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Contact: Yvonne Menard, 805-658-5725
Middle school classes around the globe will soon embark on a virtual science journey with world-famous oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard and the JASON Project, hosted by Channel Islands National Park (CINP), Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS), and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM).
The JASON project is a highly acclaimed year-long curriculum that engages middle school students in learning through scientific discovery. This year’s expedition will focus on earth, ocean, atmospheric and space sciences while exploring the terrestrial and marine resources of the Channel Islands. Acting Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Terry D. Hofstra says, “JASON offers a unique opportunity to showcase the wonderful public resources and stewardship of Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary; for scientists to pass their knowledge on to young people who are eager to learn; and to build a constituency for protected areas.”
JASON XIV: From Shore to Sea will broadcast live from Anacapa Island and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum the last week of January and through the first week of February. Dr. Ballard and the JASON Project team, along with regional scientists, will work with a select group of students and teachers to conduct field research activities. Millions of viewers will follow the exploration live via satellite, on the Internet, and on the National Geographic Channel at 11:00 a.m. PST, Jan. 27 – Feb 1 and Feb. 3-7. Thousands of local students will interact with the broadcast through a direct, two-way satellite link to the Maritime Museum or view the broadcast at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center.
Students will be introduced to the ecological, archeological, cultural and scientific value of the California Channel Islands. They will also have the opportunity to work with Dr. Ballard in an ocean environment studying the history of diving technology and participate in exciting and fun educational online activities.
Two area high school students have been chosen to join Ballard to help host the broadcasts at the SBMM and on Anacapa Island. Tano Cabugos, a seventh grader at Santa Barbara Junior High School, and Georgia Broughton, a tenth grader at the Excellence in Education Academy in Monrovia, are two of 28 “Student Argonauts” who will share their first-hand experiences with over one million students and over 25,000 teachers who have been studying the JASON curriculum in science class all year.
As leaders of the expedition, Cabugos and Broughton will work with prominent researchers, share their discoveries with the community and teach science to their peers. They will post daily journals on www.jasonproject.org and participate in live chats to answer questions.
Dr. Bob Ballard, founder of the Project and an alumnus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, said, “JASON is fortunate to be working with top-notch research organizations such as the Maritime Museum, National Marine Sanctuary and National Park. Together we will take the abundance of biological diversity Santa Barbara offers and make it come alive for students so they will learn the importance of protecting these invaluable natural and cultural resources.”
For more information and a press kit on the JASON project visit www.jasonproject.org.