Mt. Rainier High Student selected to explore ocean with Titanic Discoverer

Mount Rainier High’s Sebastian Martinez has been awarded the coveted position of Honors Research Student and will sail with Titanic Discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard’s Nautilus Exploration Program during their 2013 expedition season.

Sebastian will be sailing aboard the E/V Nautilus from August 8 – 17 in the Bahamas.

“It’s a huge honor for me to work alongside professionals in the marine science field while on my expedition with E/V Nautilus,” Sebastian said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for students like me to gain insight on what exactly happens on research expeditions and how it will benefit the scientific community.”

Sebastian is one of just forty-seven educators and students from around the world selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during the program. Among the Educators at Sea will be Mount Rainer Teacher Sam Garson, who is returning for his third year with the program. In previous years, Garson has shared live video conferences with students and staff back at home. The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, and science centers in twenty-one states and five countries. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during ocean expeditions from June through November in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea.

The 2013 educator and student selectees will embark on several expeditions aboard Dr. Ballard’s ship of exploration, E/V Nautilus, and other research vessels off the coast of the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as Montserrat, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turkey. As members of the Corps of Exploration, educators and students will stand watch alongside scientists and engineers, as well as participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via Exploration Now. When launched in June, Exploration Now will be a 24-hour online portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology.

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields,” said Expedition Leader and OET Vice President, Dr. Katherine Croff Bell, “so we’re very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of pure exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share their experience far and wide with their peers.”

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Ballard’s exploration of the Titanic, here’s a video:

About the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) Programs:

The Educator At Sea Science Communication Fellowship Program will host sixteen new educators and four returning lead educators, including educators from Northern Ireland and Venezuela. Educator at Sea positions entail 2-4 week periods working aboard E/V Nautilus and other vessels as communicators of the expedition. An equally important aspect of the program is bringing the expedition back home to local student populations and communities after they have returned home. The Educator at Sea program is sponsored in part by Bechtel.

The Science and Engineering Internship Program will host fifteen interns, including students from Australia and Canada. The internship program aims to train undergraduate and graduate students studying ocean science, engineering and film in the at-sea environment. Intern positions entail 2-5 week periods working aboard E/V Nautilus and other vessels as Data Loggers, ROV Pilots, or Video Engineers.

The Honors Research Program (HRP) will host twelve students from across the United States. The HRP Program invites junior and senior high school students to participate in a seven-week summer research and exploration program. Students work with scientists at the University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) and are also invited to join the Corps of Exploration aboard Nautilus and other vessels.

The Nautilus Exploration Program was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard. The international exploration program centers on scientific exploration of the seafloor launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, a 64-meter research vessel currently based in the Caribbean Sea, and additional research vessels. In addition to conducting pure scientific research, the Nautilus Exploration Program offers telepresence to explorers on shore via live video, audio and data feeds from the ships. The program also includes an education component that brings educators and students on ocean expeditions. The 2013 Nautilus Exploration Program sponsors are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bechtel, Sea Research Foundation, Office of Naval Research, National Geographic Society, University of Rhode Island, and additional private donors.


One Response to “Mt. Rainier High Student selected to explore ocean with Titanic Discoverer”
  1. Marilee Wamsley says:

    Congratulations, Sebastian. We are so proud that you are one Des Moines Yacht Club First Mate Scholarship recipients through the Des Moines Dollars for Scholars program!

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