In 2004, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and BP entered into a long-term collaboration to work on scientific and technical problems of common interest.

Similar in concept to other BP partnerships with Cambridge University, Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology, the BP/SIO collaboration allows BP, one of the world’s largest energy companies, to collaborate with one of the world’s largest oceanographic institutions, with a breadth and depth of expertise and resources that would otherwise be unavailable to either partner acting independently. For additional information regarding BP's Universities Research Program, click here.

The initial focus of the program was to develop and evaluate new technologies to image and characterize the seafloor and subseafloor. Using a wide variety of surveying techniques such as electromagnetics, fiber optics, acoustics, autonomous underwater vehicles, and ocean bottom seismographs, SIO and BP scientists are working to improve our understanding of the seabed and the processes that shape it (tides, storms, earthquakes, etc.). The particular emphasis has been to design, construct, and deploy new technologies aimed at better assessing marine geohazards. The research performed under this collaborative agreement will hopefully permit BP and SIO scientists to better understand the magnitude of the processes that shape the sea floor, and therefore not only improve the design of offshore facilities, but also evaluate the potential threat of marine geohazards to coastal communities as well as contribute to our overall understanding of the world’s oceans. The Principle Investigators for the BP/SIO Collaborative, and their topics of research from 2003 through 2010 include:

Marine Geohazards


Physical Oceanography


Climate Change