"How do you learn about a special place in the ocean 70 miles offshore and 60 feet deep?"
"How can you protect this very unique underwater ecosystem when you may never even be able to see it?"
These were just a few of the many questions twenty-four high school students and teachers confronted as the first participants in the Gray's Reef Field Study hosted by the National Geographic Society and NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program. Students and teachers from Colorado, Washington, Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Virginia, Oregon and Florida met on Skidaway Island, Georgia, for a five-day expedition filled with activities that explored the local watershed, listened to experts, scientists and local residents and captured their experience in over 1900 photographs. These images, seen through the student's eyes, told the story of a unique coastal environment and this once in a lifetime field study.
The trip was all about "rivers to reefs." How everything and everyone is interconnected with the enivronment in which we live. How ocean reefs are affected by what we put in our air, rivers, streams and even our soil. How a very special national treasure, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, can be a place that needs our attention and protection.
Select teacher and student teams from around the country are invited to participate in a variety of field and laboratory-based activities focused on national marine sanctuaries and ocean conservation. NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program in partnership with the National Geographic Society promotes the understanding of America’s underwater treasures through first hand experiences. These hands-on ocean field studies are based on educational standards, including subject areas such as geology, science, water systems, habitat monitoring and exploration. Please email Sanctuary.Education@noaa.gov for more information on how to get involved in future ocean field studies using national marine sanctuaries as living classrooms.
Download a summary of the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary Field Study from July 2004 written by Francesca Cava of National Geographic Society.
Download a summary of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Field Study from August 2004 written by Melissa Goslin and Francesca Cava of National Geographic Society.