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Guam Coral Reef Initiative staff member joins Deep Ocean Exploration mission


Cara leads a scavenger hunt activity for high school students in Guam’s mangroves. Photo by Carolyn Haruo.

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Cara Lin from the Guam Coral Reef Initiative has been selected as a 2023 Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Ocean Exploration Trust’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. Cara will join the team aboard E/V Nautilus for about four weeks in September to explore the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Lin's work at GCRI includes monitoring, research, and education concerning our seagrass, mangrove habitats and coral reef habitats. Her work in education includes running field trip programs, creating teacher resources, visiting classrooms, and running activities for the Guam Department of Agriculture’s various public events. “I am so excited to share our exploration journey in real-time with students in Guam and showcase potential career paths for our future ocean scientists, explorers, engineers, videographers, and educators," Lin said. Lin will join the 2023 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition as a science communicator, bringing the excitement of exploration to learners around the world.


The Nautilus Exploration Program is run by OET, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard. OET operates with a mission to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation.


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Over 80 percent of the global ocean remains unmapped in detail and over 90 percent remains unexplored. Lin is one of 16 Fellows selected nationally this year, hailing from schools, science centers, and other organizations across eleven US states and territories.


The 16 fellows will join the team on different sea-going expeditions from May to December, exploring the Eastern Pacific near British Columbia and the CentralPacific Ocean near the Hawaiian islands, in the Pacific RemoteIslands

Marine National Monument, and in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.


Local schools and community groups can schedule free, live one-on-one Q&A sessions with explorers on the ship either with Cara in the month of September or with other science communication fellows from May through December.


Guam residents can also tune into Nautilus Live, a 24-hour live-streaming portal on their website, NautilusLive.org, and watch the exploration feed. Lin will participate in daily live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website from sea.


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Ashore, Lin will also engage in various community outreach events and activities throughout the next school year to engage students and families in learning about the ocean.


Ocean Exploration Trust 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.


“Science Communication Fellows bring expertise as educators and storytellers to work alongside scientists and engineers and make discoveries about the planet. We are proud to elevate these role models for learners, with a particular focus on reaching communities who have been historically marginalized from STEAM and maritime fields," said Megan Cook, OET’s director of education and outreach.


The OET Science Communication Fellowship brings formal and informal educators on board to engage students and the public in the wonders of ocean exploration, sharing discoveries from the 2023 mission, as well as aspects of daily life aboard a working exploration vessel.


Fellows develop their science communication skills and spend several weeks as a crucial part of the team aboard E/V Nautilus. Fellows bring ocean exploration back to their home communities by incorporating their experience into classroom lesson plans, community presentation events, and informal educational opportunities. (OET)



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