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Press Releases

February 27, 2008

Sarah Marquis, NOAA
(949) 300-1322 (cell)

Innovative Technology to Bring NOAA Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to Classrooms Nationwide March 2-7

NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program will use innovative Internet and satellite technology to transport students across the country to a scientific expedition in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The broadcast experience, which will feature a network of live feeds orginating from the R/V Fulmar, a remotely operated vehicle, will be accessible on the Internet and telecast to a network of Immersion Presents partner sites via satellite and Internet2 and viewed by participating Boys and Girls Clubs across the nation from March 2–7.

Students will explore in real-time one of the planet’s most spectacular and most important biodiversity hotspots, California's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Through a partnership with Dr. Robert Ballard's education program: Immersion Presents, NOAA will allows students to experience majestic 100-foot-tall kelp forests, take a day trip out to the deep sea aboard NOAA’s research vessel R/V Fulmar, and study endangered marine mammals including the gray and blue whales and the threatened California sea otter.

The daily live broadcasts, which are part of a larger interdisciplinary science curriculum designed for upper elementary and middle school students, will air from March 2–7, at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. EST on and Web sites.

“When kids see scientists in action, whether diving a kelp forest, exploring with a remotely operated vehicle, or getting up close to a whale, they immediately discover that being a scientist means much more than wearing a white coat in a lab," said Dr. Ballard, noted underwater explorer. "With everyone talking about ‘going green,’ now more than ever we need kids to get excited about the environmentally focused careers that will help protect the planet.”

"The sanctuary program welcomes the opportunity to work with partners like Immersion Presents to introduce marine sanctuaries to the American public, especially young people,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “The marine environment in Monterey Bay is unique, and the protection of these special places ensures they will be here for generations to come.”

Three special events will be part of the mission. “Nim's Island Adventure” will be presented on Mon., Mar. 3 from 3:40-4:00 p.m. EST from the decks of the R/V Fulmar. A guest representing the soon to be released film Nim’s Island, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin, will show how the movie's setting closely resembles a national marine sanctuary.

A second event is the Kelp Forest Ecology program in Spanish. This special show will be hosted on Thurs., Mar. 6 from 3:40 to 4:00 p.m. EST from the decks of the R/V Fulmar. 

The third will be a live connection between the Monterey Bay expedition and NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, located in Alpena, Mich. The show will be hosted Thurs., Mar. 6 from 4:30- 4:50 p.m. EST.

Immersion Presents is a collaborative program with Mystic Aquarium & the Institute for Exploration, the University of Rhode Island, and the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. Additional expedition partners and sponsors include the Sea Research Foundation, Inc., NOAA’s Office of Education, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the Dr. Scholl Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

Notes to media:
B-roll is available at:

High-resolution still photos are available here.

Interviews with participating students, teachers, or NOAA scientists are available by calling the contact above.


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