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Governor’s School teacher selected for Nautilus program

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Urbanna resident Bethany Smith stands beside the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Hercules. Smith, a 2013 Educator at Sea, will join Dr. Robert Ballard’s Corps of Exploration aboard the E/V Nautilus this July in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forty-seven educators and students from around the world have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during their 2013 Nautilus Exploration Program.

The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, and science centers in 21 states and 5 countries. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during ocean expeditions from June through November in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.

Urbanna resident and Oyster Festival Marine Science Legacy Program co-coordinator Bethany Smith, a teacher at Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School (CBGS) in Warsaw, has been selected as a 2013 Educator at Sea and will sail with the Nautilus Exploration Program during its 2013 expedition season. Smith, who teaches Marine & Environmental Science at CBGS, will join the expedition in the Gulf of Mexico in mid-July. 

“I am incredibly excited to join the Corps of Exploration this summer! Our oceans are some of the most unexplored places on our planet, and being able to join Dr. Robert Ballard and this incredible group of scientists, engineers, students and educators aboard E/V Nautilus is a once in a lifetime experience. Getting to share this experience with my students and the community is equally exciting,” said Smith.

The 2013 educators and student selectees will embark on several expeditions aboard Dr. Robert Ballard’s ship of exploration, E/V Nautilus, and other research vessels off the coast of the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as Montserrat, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turkey. As members of the Corps of Exploration, educators and students will stand watch alongside scientists and engineers, as well as participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via Exploration Now. When launched in June, Exploration Now will be a 24-hour online portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology.

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields,” said expedition leader and OET vice president Dr. Katherine Croff Bell. “So we’re very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of pure exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share their experience far and wide with their peers.”

The Educator at Sea Science Communication Fellowship Program will be bringing out 16 new educators and 4 returning lead educators, including educators from Northern Ireland and Venezuela. Educator at Sea positions entail 2-4 week periods working aboard E/V Nautilus and other vessels as communicators of the expedition. An equally important aspect of the program is bringing the expedition back home to local student populations and communities after they have returned home. The Educator at Sea Program is sponsored in part by Bechtel.

The Science and Engineering Internship Program will be bringing out 15 interns, including students from Australia and Canada. The internship program aims to train undergraduate and graduate students studying ocean science, engineering and film in the at-sea environment. Intern positions entail 2-5 week periods working aboard E/V Nautilus and other vessels as Data Loggers, ROV Pilots, or Video Engineers.

posted 06.11.2013

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