St. Thomas high school students and members of the general public interested in deep-ocean geological research are invited to attend live Wednesday morning chats with a UVI professor conducting ocean research in the Sea of Japan. The additional 10 a.m. sessions on UVI’s St. Thomas campus will take place next Wednesday, Sept. 30 and subsequent Wednesday mornings through Oct. 28. High school groups requiring transportation assistance will be accommodated.
University of the Virgin Islands researcher Nasseer Idrisi , Ph.D., is a research biological oceanographer and professor in the Marine and Environmental Science master’s degree program.
Idrisi was recently selected as the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) “Educator at Sea” sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. He is participating in an international research project that is studying an ocean plateau located about 900 miles east of Japan. The plateau – a large area of raised ocean bottom – is known as the Shatsky Rise. Idrisi departed from Yokohama, Japan, on Sept. 4 on board the scientific ocean drilling ship JOIDES Resolution. The journey will conclude on Nov. 4.
In his position as a teacher at sea, the oceanograper is part of the shipboard expedition’s science party and is communicating his learning experiences via live videoconferencing from the ship.
The ship’s main research technique is to drill into the rise and take core samples that the project’s 24 scientists are examining for clues to the history, sources and evolution of the rise.
Idrisi conducted his first “live chat” with a room full of students and other interested persons on Saturday, Sept. 19. He first gave the UVI audience a tour of the ship and its laboratories. He and other scientists then fielded a variety of questions from students gathered in room 101 of the Teacher Education Building. Idrisi is also scheduled for noon chats on Sunday, Sept. 27; Saturday, Oct. 10; and Sunday, Oct. 25.
“This is an enormous opportunity,” UVI Science Professor Donald Drost said of the live videoconference sessions. Drost teaches Science 100, a first-year science course at UVI. More than 50 of his students participated in the live chat on Saturday. “This is real-time science and it’s wonderful that students have an opportunity to be part of it.”
Additional Wednesday morning sessions will take place in the Teacher Education Building, Room 101, on the St. Thomas campus on the following Wednesdays: Oct. 7, Oct. 14, Oct. 21 and Oct 28.
School groups and others interested in organizing their own videoconference sessions with Prof. Idrisi will need to obtain special IOCOM software in order to communicate. An informational fact sheet and technical specifications are available.
The Shatsky Rise project is organized by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that promotes advanced research, education and sound ocean policy. Consortium members include the United States, Japan, China, South Korea and the European Union.
More on the Shatsky Rise voyage, including background, photos of the ship and the scientists and sailing schedules, is available from the Ocean Leadership Web site: www.oceanleadership.org
For information about scheduling or reimbursement for group transportation to the live videoconference sessions, contact Nicolas Drayton at email@example.com
or call 693-1239.