NOAA Launches New Marine Science Portal

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
View of the USS Monitor wreck, which sank on Dec. 31, 1862, and now teams with marine life. Photo Credit: NOAA

NOAA and Immersion Presents launched, a marine science portal that offers live video and special content to educate people of all ages about the ocean, including national marine sanctuaries. Immersion Presents is an after-school science education program founded by ocean explorer Robert Ballard.

"NOAA is excited to offer this dynamic Internet-based resource, which will allow students, educators and the public to share in the thrill of discovery while learning more about the natural and cultural treasures of our national marine sanctuaries and the underwater world," said NOAA National Marine Sanctuary program director Daniel J. Basta. "Through everyone can be a marine explorer." In addition to watching live video from research expeditions, the portal's visitors can learn more about oceanography, marine life, conservation and preservation, marine research technologies, and the nation's maritime heritage. To complement the video broadcasts, the portal offers lesson plans, videos, puzzles and games based on the marine environment.

The portal's first live "telepresence" broadcast on July 17 focused on a research expedition to the wreck of the Civil War ironclad the USS Monitor, located off the North Carolina coast. The expedition is a collaborative effort between the Institute for Exploration and the NOAA Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to generate a digital photographic mosaic of the ship's hull and surrounding wreckage. Live programming was fed via Internet 2 to sites across the country, and also was converted for broadcast through the portal. The NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program seeks to increase the public awareness of America's marine resources and maritime heritage by conducting scientific research, monitoring, exploration and educational programs. Today, the sanctuary program manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and one marine national monument that together encompass more than 150,000 square miles of America's ocean and Great Lakes natural and cultural resources.

In 2007, NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, celebrates 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. Source: NOAA

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