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REF NO.: 139

SUBJECT: Technology brings Dr. Robert Ballard’s ocean exploration program live to students at the Marine Institute

DATE: April 20

This week, St. John’s students will venture into the mysterious waters of the ocean and join real-life explorers such as famed oceanographer, Dr. Robert Ballard – all without leaving dry land. Immersion Learning a division of Sea Research Foundation Inc., brings the exciting world of ocean exploration live to the Marine Institute April 22–24.
During the week of live Ocean Exploration webcasts, the students will be able to interact directly with Dr. Ballard and other scientists and engineers involved in a variety of oceanographic research expeditions. They, along with students in classrooms and Boys and Girls Clubs across the United States, Mexico and Canada, will be able to participate in an online question-and-answer session, voting and polling features as they watch young explorers and learn how they can get involved in the world of exploration.
The webcasts will feature recent expeditions to the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, the Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron, Mich. Audiences will find out how marine archaeologists map and explore shipwrecks using ocean technologies such as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
Students will also watch young explorers working alongside world-class scientists and engineers as they design, build and test their own ROVs and compete in a series of challenges at Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration.
“Previous Immersion broadcasts have allowed audiences to follow scientists on their expeditions as they uncover the secrets of our oceans,” said Dr. Ballard, founder and president of the Institute for Exploration. “The Ocean Exploration webcasts will provide a behind-the-scenes look at how scientists make these discoveries, creating a unique and fascinating experience for students.”
“Immersion broadcasts bring science to students and the public in a completely new way, transporting them to a world of groundbreaking technology and unprecedented ocean exploration that they would not otherwise experience,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation Inc. “Just as importantly, Immersion ignites interest and excitement in children, building a foundation for future careers in science, technology, engineering and math.” 
Dwight Howse, head of the Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology, agrees.
 “The ocean covers over 70 per cent of our planet. The ocean sustains us with food, transportation, energy and minerals. The ocean moderates our climate and yet we know so little about it. The Immersion Presents program developed by Dr. Ballard provides an exciting and informative method to encourage young people to appreciate this most precious resource.”
 The live webcast complements Immersion’s Ocean Exploration multimedia curriculum developed for students in grades 4 through 8 and designed to inspire young people to be part of the world of marine science, exploration and conservation. Immersion has partnered with the Institute for Exploration and NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and Office of Ocean Exploration and Research to produce this curriculum and series of webcasts.
The live webcasts, a detailed broadcast program guide and program resources can be accessed online at
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 500,000 students in classrooms, after-school settings, such as Boys and 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 private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration.
About the Fisheries and Marine Institute
The Marine Institute is Canada’s most comprehensive institute dedicated to education, training, applied research and industrial support for the oceans industries. In March 2008, the Marine Institute opened the first permanent Immersion Present theatre in Canada to broadcast future live expeditions to students, educators and researchers. The theatre is also used by the Institute’s School of Ocean Technology in the Technician Diploma - Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).

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For more information, please contact Becky Giantonio, Sea Research Foundation, Inc, at (860) 572-5955, ext. 338 or or Kimberley Thornhill, Fisheries and Marine Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland, at (709) 778-0544 or


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