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Students to take virtual research voyage

The McArthur
NOAA is providing the ship McArthur for JASON students to compare ocean environments.  
March 5, 1998
Web posted at: 7:07 p.m. EST (0007 GMT)

By Environmental News Network staff

More than 2 million middle and high school students are about to embark on a virtual voyage this month as they follow, via the Internet, ocean scientists on a research expedition to compare the surface, mid-level and deep sea ocean environments of coral reefs in Bermuda and kelp beds in Monterey Bay.

The JASON IX: Oceans of Earth and Beyond project, a collaborative effort between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the JASON Project, takes place March 16-27.

During the expedition, students will be able to follow along via the Internet as the scientists report back via journals and digital images. Students will also have access to the procedure, data, and results of the experiments the scientists will be running in the Discovery Lab during the two weeks.

Meanwhile, the students will conduct their own research and report back to the argonauts via the same Web-based communications.

Jules Verne novel helps students prepare

The two-week research voyage will be shared by two teams of scientists in Monterey, California, who will chat with both the scientists in Bermuda and students nationwide via the Internet.

The students and researchers will be studying structures of life found in shallow water and deep ocean environments, including kelp forests, marine snow, coral reefs, hydrothermal vent communities and exotic deep sea creatures. The research is geared to answer the following thematic research questions:

  • What are the Earth's physical systems?
  • How do these systems affect life on Earth?
  • What technologies do we use to study these systems, and why?

To prepare for the project, students have been boning up on their knowledge about oceanographic research by reading such famous works as Jules Verne's 19th century classic, "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," and studying Ed Ricketts' work in marine biology and tide pools in Monterey Bay, circa 1939, that introduces students to shallow water research.

NOAA is providing the ship McArthur, the officers and crews, and the scientists for JASON students to compare ocean environments.

The McArthur is a 175-foot multi-purpose vessel that conducts oceanographic research, marine mammal population studies, and environmental assessments along the West Coast of the United States and throughout the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Copyright 1998, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved


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