SAN PEDRO, CA--(Marketwired - September 12, 2016) - Amid an oceangoing celebration with tall ships and a flotilla of local boats greeting the arrival of one of the world's most advanced ocean research vessels, Councilmember Joe Buscaino and world-famous deep-sea explorer and scientist Dr. Robert Ballard joined officials from AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles and the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to announce a partnership that brings the Nautilus Exploration Program to San Pedro and greater Los Angeles.
"The Ocean Exploration Trust's mission is to engage in pure ocean exploration. Berthing Nautilus in San Pedro enables us to work with AltaSea to advance the vital cause of educating learners of all ages in science, technology, math and engineering," said Dr. Robert Ballard, founder and president of OET. "By helping us spread our roots in Los Angeles, AltaSea is providing crucial support to our goal of sharing our expeditions with explorers around the world."
The partnership's Community STEM Education Program, which fosters deeper learning about high tech ocean science and exploration, will be available to community organizations and students of all ages, from K-12 to undergraduate and graduate levels. Nearly 300 students toured OET's world-class research ship, Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, during its most recent Los Angeles visit in July. Plans are also underway to provide a professional development workshop to teachers from 30 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District this fall, in preparation for classrooms across the district to take part in this dynamic program during the 2016-2017 school year. Another key element of the new partnership will be the presence of the 210-foot long Nautilus, which will call the wharf on AltaSea's campus home throughout the winter months between expeditions (September-April).
"AltaSea is a beacon for ocean education and I am proud to join them by welcoming Nautilus to the LA Waterfront," said Los Angeles Councilmember Joe Buscaino, whose district includes the Harbor where AltaSea is headquartered. "Dr. Robert Ballard has taken the mantle from Jacques Cousteau as the world's most famous oceanographer and arrival of his Nautilus to the Harbor signals the bright future for the LA Waterfront."
In 2016-17, the Community STEM Program will include opportunities for students and educators in K-12, out-of-school programs, and summer programs including professional development opportunities, curriculum development, and opportunities for fellowships, summer programs, and student internships. The Community STEM Program will include live and interactive broadcasts with Nautilus and the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center during the expedition season, which students and the public can attend through participating venues and schools.
At a time when only a small percentage of the ocean has been explored, the partnership will also accelerate scientific advances whose impact will be felt worldwide.
"Los Angeles has always been home to great minds that test the boundaries of innovation, and change the way we live our lives," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "By bringing the Nautilus Exploration Program to San Pedro, AltaSea and the Ocean Exploration Trust are opening a path to the ocean's unknown wonders, and clearing the way to discoveries that could help us address some of humanity's biggest challenges."
The partnership will help spur AltaSea's Blue Tech "cluster," a newly announced focus area dedicated to developing technology and business applications for remote monitoring, sensing and ocean exploration. Dr. Ballard is known as a pioneer in this area and Nautilus is equipped with two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) Hercules and Argus that work in tandem to explore, sample and capture imagery of unexplored regions of the global ocean. The ship also features a high-tech mapping system that increases the team's capabilities to make new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology and chemistry.
"AltaSea and the Ocean Exploration Trust share a commitment to facilitating new scientific discoveries while cultivating the next generation of scientists, engineers and community leaders who will protect and explore the ocean," said Jenny Krusoe, executive director of AltaSea. "The good that comes from this collaboration between our organizations will exemplify what's possible when science, business and education intersect."
About AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles
AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles accelerates scientific collaboration, facilitates job creation and inspires the next generation for a more sustainable ocean. Built on a historic pier with access to the deep ocean, AltaSea's 35-acre campus brings people together to expand science-based understanding of the ocean; incubate and sustain ocean-related business; and pioneer new ocean-related education programs. For more information, find us online at www.altasea.org, on Facebook and LinkedIn at AltaSea, and on Twitter at @AltaSeaorg.
About the Ocean Exploration Trust
The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, and archaeology while pushing the boundaries of STEM education and technological innovation. The international program is launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, offering live exploration to participants on shore and the public via live video, audio, and data feeds. The major 2016 expedition and education sponsors are the NOAA Office of Exploration & Research, the Office of Naval Research, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the University of Rhode Island, CITGO, AltaSea and additional private donors. Follow online at www.nautiluslive.org, on Facebook and Instagram at NautilusLive, and on Twitter as @EVNautilus.
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