Project Description

Scientists of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research have been accompanying the expedition ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises for years to conduct their research in remote areas but also to inform and sensitize passengers about the ocean as an ecosystem of global importance. For the latest expedition ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, an Ocean Academy was designed as a science lounge where passengers can learn about the scientific topics related to the ocean. How can we present the wide spectrum of marine research topics at GEOMAR right on the spot so that it can also be understood by interested laypersons?

We developed an interactive scientific poster which is especially designed for the self-study of laymen. The extensive research topics of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research are divided into 4 chapters and 15 episodes, similar to a TV series. Current data are visualized and detailed 3D animations illustrate the processes in the oceans and make the change comprehensible.

Scientific Concept & Research: Dr. Susanne Landis
Concept, Art
Direction & 3D Design: Konrad Rappaport
Interface & Informationdesign: Manuel Reitz
Creative Development & Visual Coding: Luna Nane
Project supervision & Concept: Prof. Tom Duscher

Dr. Jennifer Rieger, Axel Schröder

Scientific Advice:
Dr. Tobias Bayr, Prof. Dr. Arne Biastoch, Prof. Dr. Colin Devey
Dr. Jan Dierking, Dr. Matthias Haeckel , Dr. Helena Hauss
Dr. Henk-Jan Hoving, Dr. Cornelia Jaspers, Prof. Dr. Heidrun Kopp
Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif, Dr. Mark Lenz, Prof. Dr. Katja Matthes
Prof. Dr. Dirk Nürnberg,Dr. Olivia Roth, Dr. Sven Petersen, Dr. Marlene Wall

Dr. Gerd Hoffmann-Wiek, Dr. Andreas Villwock

Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises GmbH

2019 Information is Beautiful Award – Gold in the category Science & Technology, distinction: ”Most beautiful”
2020 iF Design Award in Gold


The extensive content of the poster invites passengers to take on different chapters for each visit to the Ocean Academy and to learn all about ocean exploration one after the other. Another new feature of this poster is that each topic is explained by an audio commentary, just as scientists themselves present their research topics in a lecture. Journalistically prepared texts and professional radio speakers present the topics in an entertaining and informative way. 

On a global level, extensive data visualizations are presented, such as atmospheric and ocean currents, marine resources, plate boundaries and tsunami events, fish catches and movements. The impacts caused by climate change, such as sea-level rise and El Niño effects, are impressively conveyed in their global significance. See slideshows of the four chapters about Geodynamics, Biosphere, Climate and Observation Systems below.

References and data sources
Global information:
British Oceanographic Data Centre: Depth Map
NASA Visible Earth: Clouds
United Nations ESA: Capitals

Natural hazards:
USGS: Submarine Landslides

Raw materials: 
GEOMAR: mineral raw materials (georef. data), ISA: Licenses for raw materials
Sea Atlas: Information on raw materials
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2015, Issue 100: Goldgrund

Comb jellyfish:
Pangaea database: Ribbed Jellyfish Distribution Data (

Plastic waste: 
Eriksen et al. 2014, PLOS ONE: Plastic size distribution
Boucher, J. and Friot D. (2017). Primary Microplastics in the Oceans: A Global Evaluation of Sources. IUCN: Microplastics Sources
Lebreton et al. 2017: Input into rivers

Ocean currents:
NASA: Ocean currents

Wind systems: 
NOAA: Winch at different heights

Plate tectonics:

GFZ: population density, plate boundaries, plate movements

Black smokers:
vents-data.interridge: Black Smoker Occurrence

Sea around us: Fishing Quantity worldwide
Margit Eero, DTU Aqua: Cod stock – catch statistics
Fishbase: Info

Climate archives
Datebase of national icecore Laboratory: Ice cores global data
ITRDB: tree ring bore data

Climate crisis Sea level rise
NSIDC Data on Google Earth: Sea ice
Petit et al., Nature 1999: Icecore Data
IPCC, 2013: Annex II: Climate System Scenario Tables 2014: Climate Future Scenarios
Foster et al. Nature Comm. 2017: CO2 long-term data, NOAA: current data
Temperature data: NOAA, NASA GISS

Ocean observation
Coriolis Database: Observation Data