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Flower Garden Banks underwater photo
Mission notebook


An important aspect of any scientific expedition is a plan for sharing the results with others.  This expedition is no exception.  In fact, a big part of the expedition focus is bringing science to the public in real-time, as it is happening.


Using state-of-the-art "telepresence" technology, the Secrets of the Gulf expedition will be able to bring live images and information to students, educators, scientists and the general public back on shore. 

Live video feeds will be available on the Internet at www.OceansLIVE.org so that you can view what the scientists see at the same time they see it.  In addition, Dr. Robert Ballard will be hosting a series of live broadcasts for Immersion Presents.  These broadcasts will also be available at the OceansLIVE web portal at 11 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm EST from March 4-9, 2007.  An additional 1 pm EST broadcast each of those days will feature a taped program from earlier the same day due to sun outages that impact the satellite signal.

Make YOUR connection by logging on to the following websites for live images and/or supporting information:


Map indicating where Texas and Louisiana shorelines were located in relation to the Flower Garden Banks 19,000 years ago.
Map indicating where Texas and Louisiana shorelines were located in relation to the Flower Garden Banks 19,000 years ago.
Before the mission plan was complete, before all of the participants and partners were confirmed, the staff at Immersion Presents began developing a variety of educational activities.  This process involved selecting key topics, researching background information, and, of course, trying out the ideas to see how well they worked. 

The result of these efforts is an interdisciplinary curriculum called the Secrets of the Gulf Adventure Series.  The eight activities in the series address topics of regional geography, geologic history, human history, biology, ecology, conservation and careers.  In addition, four curriculum extension activities were developed to deepen the level of exploration and discovery for upper elementary and middle school students. 

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary staff were important players in this development process.  They shared information in their areas of expertise, reviewed each activity as it was written, provided images and bounced around ideas.  It was definitely a collaborative effort! 

You should also be sure to check out the Web Quest at the Immersion Presents website.  This extension activity mirrors the Management Plan Review process currently taking place at the sanctuary.  It is designed to help students understand how the science gleaned from the Secrets of the Gulf expedition might influence sanctuary management decisions and how the same information might mean different things to different people. 


The actual expedition is only the beginning of the education process.  Scientists will continue to ponder the information they have gathered, study the recorded images, test the samples, and more.  As we learn new things, we will continue to look for interesting ways to bring that information to life for our audiences.  So, be sure to check back at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary web site every so often to see what's new.  We'll do our best to share what we know! 

And, if you missed the live video feeds, segments of the footage will be archived at www.OceansLIVE.org for you to go back and reference at any time.

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