News Release

REF NO.: 200


DATE: May 17, 2010

           St. John’s students are getting set to venture to the ends of the Earth to meet the fascinating animals that live there and the people who work with them. Immersion Learning™, a division of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., brings the vast and exciting world of the Arctic live via webcast to 50 students at the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland on May 18 at 12:30 p.m. and May 19 at 6:30 p.m.
            During the two days of live Marine Mammals of the Arctic webcasts, the students will have the opportunity to interact directly with scientists and trainers who work with marine mammals to better understand their behaviors and physiology, as well as the impact of humans and climate change on these animals. They, along with students in classrooms and Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, will also be able to participate in an online question-and-answer session and polling features as they hear from these experts and learn how they can help protect the oceans.
            Kids will get a firsthand look at polar bear research, seal rescue and rehabilitation efforts at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, satellite tagging and population surveys of ringed seals and beluga research that involves a unique collaboration between the people of Point Lay, Alaska, and researchers including one based at Mystic Aquarium. The students will also meet the three winners of Immersion’s first-ever Goldfish Training Contest, who will each serve as an apprentice trainer during one day of webcasts and work closely with Mystic Aquarium’s beluga whales and professional trainers.
            “Sea Research Foundation is devoted to protecting our ocean planet, and the Arctic is currently one of the most threatened places,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation. “In providing kids an up-close look at these amazing animals and the dangers they are facing, we hope to inspire them to become ambassadors for the Arctic regions and beyond.” 
            Dwight Howse, head of MI’s School of Ocean Technology, said Marine Mammals of the Arctic offers a unique opportunity to local students.
            “Marine Mammals of the Arctic provides a look at an ecosystem that will face many challenges in the future. It provides an opportunity to communicate with scientists and trainers who are very familiar with the animals of the North,” said Mr. Howse. “We are pleased that the Marine Institute is able to bring this webcast to local students and want to thank Immersion Learning™ for including us in this project.”
            The live webcast complements Immersion’s Marine Mammals of the Arctic multimedia program, developed for students in Grades 4-8 and designed to inspire them to be part of the world of marine science and conservation by helping to protect marine mammals and their ocean home. Program elements include hands-on activities and lesson plans for use in schools and after-school settings and online games, projects, videos and career profiles.
            The live webcasts, a detailed webcast program guide and program resources are available at immersionlearning.org.    
About Immersion Learning™
            Immersion Learning™ was founded by Dr. Robert Ballard and Dr. Stephen Coan in 2002. Through live broadcasts from scientific expeditions, hands-on activities and an engaging website, this non-profit science education organization brings ocean adventures and discoveries from Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, the University of Rhode Island and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to more than 50,000 kids in classrooms, after-school settings, such as Boys & Girls Clubs, and other informal learning arenas each year.
About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning, are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.

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