The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is offering a free online workshop for teachers and the general public, called “How Do We Explore?” The course is based on the voyages of the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer, which most recently completed a joint expedition with an Indonesian vessel and scientists in Indonesian waters. The workshop is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from now through Feb. 11, allowing participants to work on their own time and at their own pace. Topics will include searching for ocean anomalies, selecting sites for exploration, communication tools, telepresence technology, ocean mapping techniques, water column study, and operating underwater robots called remotely-operated vehicles, or ROVs. Participants will engage with ocean explorers and will receive a variety of downloadable supporting materials. For educators, the course contains inquiry-based lesson plans for all grade levels and the option to receive either one graduate extension credit ($100) from California State University at Fullerton or a certificate of completion. “All life on Earth relies on the ocean, and yet the ocean is 95 percent unexplored, unknown and unseen by human eyes,” said Paula Keener, director of education programs for NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. “To better understand, manage, and protect the ocean and its resources, NOAA believes it is critical to use the best technology to explore, discover, inform, educate, and motivate.”

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Jeff Festa