Contact: Patty Miller
NOAA News Releases 2005
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Twelve middle-school students from under-represented and urban schools across the United States will join in a study of NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Aug. 4 to 9, 2005. The study is organized by the National Geographic Society through the National Marine Sanctuary Field Studies program. NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The students, and their teachers, will explore the sanctuary’s coral reefs at the Coconut Island Research Station in Oahu, monitor fish and marine mammal populations, and use photography and GPS to document their research. Participants are from American Samoa, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Montana, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas. A cooperative agreement between NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and the National Geographic Society provides funding for this program.

“This is a great opportunity for teachers and students to personally experience the unique under-water environment of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary,” said Daniel J. Basta, director, the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program. “For many students, this field study will be a life-changing experience — one that fosters a stewardship ethic and enables preservation of our nation’s natural treasures for future generations. Perhaps this experience will encourage students to consider a career in ocean science and management.”

“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. We appreciate NOAA’s support of this program.”

The National Marine Sanctuary Field Studies program invites teacher and student teams from around the country to participate in a variety of field and laboratory activities focused on national marine sanctuaries and ocean conservation. The program promotes the understanding of America’s underwater treasures through firsthand experiences. Ocean field studies are based on educational standards, including subject areas such as geology, science, water systems, habitat monitoring and exploration.

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.

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.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and 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 our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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NMSP Field Studies Project: