WASHINGTON (Aug. 4, 2005)–Twelve middle-school students and their teachers are taking part in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Marine Sanctuary Field Studies trip to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary from Aug. 4 to 9, organized by the National Geographic Society.
The students will explore the sanctuary’s unique environment, studying coral reefs at the Coconut Island Research Station of Oahu, monitoring fish and marine mammal populations, and using photography and GPS to document their research. The study targets students from under-represented and urban schools. Participants come from American Samoa, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas. The program is funded through a cooperative agreement between NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and the National Geographic.
“This is a great opportunity for teachers and students to experience firsthand and in-depth the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,” said Daniel J. Basta, director, National Marine Sanctuary Program. “For many, this field study will be a life-changing experience — one that motivates a stewardship ethic and enables preservation of our nation’s natural treasures for future generations.”
“Good field experiences give kids relevant hands-on ways to learn about the places and creatures that are their natural heritage, places they’ll be inspired to want to protect, conserve and enjoy,” said Barbara Chow, vice president, National Geographic Education and Children’s Programs. “The skills they acquire on this trip will help the students become wise and responsible stewards of their environment.”
National Marine Sanctuary Field Studies is a project of the National Geographic Society in partnership with NOAA as part of NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program. Teacher and student teams from around the country are invited to participate in a variety of field and laboratory activities focused on national marine sanctuaries and ocean conservation. The Sanctuary Program promotes the understanding of America’s underwater treasures through firsthand experiences. Hands-on ocean field studies are based on educational standards, including subject areas such as geology, science, water systems, habitat monitoring and exploration. The project opens up a realm of possibilities of marine-related pursuits for students that may have never had this opportunity.
About NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program
NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America’s maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one coral reef ecosystem reserve that encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America’s ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.
About National Geographic
Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, with a mission to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting conservation of Earth’s cultural and natural resources. It reaches more than 300 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and its four other magazines; the National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; radio programs; films; books; videos and DVDs; maps; and interactive media. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, log on to nationalgeographic.com; AOL Keyword: NatGeo.
On the Web:
National Geographic Society: www.nationalgeographic.com
National Ocean Service: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov
National Marine Sanctuary System: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov
NMSS Field Studies Project: http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education