So much is happening in our schools, we have to blog about it!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
20,000 leagues under the sea
Well, the vessel's not called Nautilus and James Lindholm, a marine scientist at CSUMB, is not exactly Captain Nemo. Just the same, Lindholm and one of his graduate students, Jessica Watson, are currently living on the research vessel Aquarius, 60 feet below the surface in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The two of them, plus four other scientists and NOAA staff members, are spending eight hours a day diving in the Keys as part of a 10-day research mission. Wednesday is the last day the aquanauts will be diving before starting the process of coming to the surface. Dr. Lindholm is studying social foraging of coral reef fishes and its role in maintaining biological diversity – he's dubbed the mission, "If Reefs Could Talk." The experience (akin to living in space, with its tight quarters and the inability to just go take a walk when your roommates are driving you crazy) is being webcast (and tweeted, and blogged about and posted on Facebook), and hundreds of classrooms across the country have been tuning in to watch; each day includes a broadcast in Spanish as well as one in English. On Wednesday morning, four classes of fifth-graders at Carmel River School tuned into the webcast and watch Dr. Lindholm explore the coral reefs, talking to them and answering questions submitted from school children all over the country. A teaching assistant from NOAA will be there to help the students understand what they are seeing and hearing online. You can check one of his broadcast here.