Located in Mystic, Connecticut, the Institute for Exploration (IFE) is dedicated to research in the aquatic sciences, especially pertaining to human and natural history in the oceans. Working with partner institutions like the Inner Space Center at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, the National Geographic Society, NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and the Institute for Archeological Oceanography, IFE seeks to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. Under the direction of oceanographer and explorer, Dr. Robert Ballard, IFE develops advanced deep-sea vehicle systems to conduct this research in cooperation with other academic institutions and government agencies. In addition to its research and engineering programs, IFE conducts regular programming consisting of exhibits, distance learning, classroom instruction, field trips, etc. to educate students and the general public about the work that’s conducted there. An important aspect of IFE’s work is the annual expedition to such venues as the Black and Aegean Seas, the Mediterranean and the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the Atlantic.