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Aquanauts' Underwater Internet Classroom Kicks Off From Underwater Lab Off Florida Coast

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KEY WEST, Florida -- Distance learning goes to the extreme November 12 - 14, when Project SeaCAMEL aquanauts go live with high tech marine science classes broadcast from Aquarius, the world's only undersea research station.

Live action coral reef science will be a click away for students and ocean enthusiasts around the world via satellite and the Internet from Conch Reef, located 4 miles off Key Largo and 60-feet beneath the sea inthe Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The mission is the first in a series of online sea-to-shore educational programs sponsored by the Maryland-based Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation ( ), a non-profit organization focusing on ocean research and conservation.

The university-level science experiments using high-tech undersea tools to collect data will also have broad appeal to younger audiences. Numerous schools, museums, and aquariums across the country, in Mexico and Great Britain are expected to participate. A curriculum for 8th-12th-graders is also available online from project partner Immersion Presents ( ).

Support for the live broadcasts will be provided by Media Arts, Inc. (Six live webcasts begin airing Monday, November 12: and

Class Schedule: Monday 12 Nov, 2-3 PM: Intro to the Aquarius Reef Base

Monday 12 Nov, 7-8 PM: The Reef at Night

Tuesday 13 Nov, 11-12 Noon: Reefs under Siege

Tuesday 13 Nov, 2-3 PM: Sponges: the Reef's Filters

Wednesday 14 Nov, 11-12 Noon: The Boundary Layers of the Reef

Wednesday 14 Nov, 2-3 PM: Aquarius as an Artificial Reef

In the "Reefs under Siege" class, students will learn about the basic biology of corals and the threats reefs are facing worldwide from climate change and human activities. The aquanauts will assess the reef's health by measuring the percentage of corals covering the sea floor, and will use sophisticated equipment to evaluate how corals perform under severe storm conditions.

During the last broadcast, Michael Crockett, a senior from Gloucester High School in Gloucester, Va., will play a unique role when he sends online commands to an underwater robotic fish, Fetch1. This will be the first-ever attempt to control a free-swimming robotic vehicle over the Internet.

The Project SeaCAMEL aquanaut team includes: Mark Patterson, Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Living Oceans Executive Director Philip Renaud, USN (ret); Chief Project Scientist Annelise Hagan; videographer DJ Roller and Aquarius crewmembers Craig Cooper and Jim Buckley.

Aquarius is owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and managed by the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Distribution Details:

Commodity Internet

Multicast Address: port 4424
Satellite:          AMC-3
Location:           87 Degrees West
Receive Polarity:   Vertical
Receive Frequency:  12,064 MHz
L-Band:             1,314   MHz
Symbol Rate:        6.500   MS/s
FEC:                2/3

English Channel (Service):  34

Media Contacts: For more information, and to schedule advance and live underwater interviews with the Aquanauts: Terri Taylor Project SeaCAMEL 412-512-9292

Dr. Ellen Prager Chief Scientist, Aquarius Reef Base NURC/UNCW Ph 305.451.0233 ext 206

Related Links:

Project SeaCAMEL Goes Live November 12-14!

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