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Flour Bluff Intermediate Teacher aboard Exploration Vessel Nautilus

Katie Doyle, Oceans Program teacher at Flour Bluff Intermediate, has been selected as a 2021 Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2021 expedition. Katie will join the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus in August to September as they explore the Northern Pacific Ocean from Canada to Oregon.

Educators from across North America were selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea in 2020, but were deferred for safety precautions, but now will join the 2021 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition. OET, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard in 2008, operates E/V Nautilus with a mission to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics, and chemistry while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. The selected educators hail from schools, districts, science centers, non-profit organizations, and science media outlets in eleven states in the US. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during different sea-going expeditions from August to December, exploring along the North American West Coast from British Columbia to Southern California, and west to the Hawaiian Islands and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This is OET’s seventh year of deep-sea scientific exploration in the Pacific Ocean, continuing to work with expedition partners and the wider scientific community to make significant scientific discoveries using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), autonomous vehicles, and seafloor mapping technologies.

“The Nautilus had a rigorous screen process” said Katie Doyle. “I am so fortunate to be chosen. It feels like all my hard work is paying off.”

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 Nautilus Live, a 24-hour web portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology at www.NautilusLive.org and via social media.

OET promotes science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) education around the world using the excitement of exploration and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. “One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEAM fields,” said Allison Fundis, OET’s Chief Operating Officer, “we are very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of ocean exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share that experience with their peers around the world.”

The 2021 Science Communication Fellowship, an initiative of OET, will bring twelve formal and informal educators and communicators together from North America as a part of the Nautilus Corps of Exploration. Fellows are charged with the responsibility of engaging students and the public in the wonders of ocean exploration, sharing discoveries from the 2021 mission, as well as aspects of daily life aboard a working exploration vessel. Fellows receive science communication training and spend two to four weeks aboard E/V Nautilus as it explores the Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean. An equally important aspect of the program is for Fellows to bring their expedition and the excitement of ocean exploration back to their home communities after they have returned from sea by incorporating their experience into classroom lesson plans, community presentation events, and through informal educational opportunities.

Katie will participate in live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website while aboard the ship including with her students at Flour Bluff Intermediate; she will also engage events and activities upon her return. The public, scientists, educators, and students can join Katie’s adventure while she is at sea via streaming video on www.nautiluslive.org, a 24-hour portal bringing expeditions from the field to onshore audiences through telepresence technology. The public can also follow the expedition on social media ౼ on Twitter and YouTube as @EVNautilus and on Facebook and Instagram as @NautilusLive ౼ and through in-person live interactions at partner museums, aquaria, and science centers around the world.