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UVI Professor Conducts Live Ocean Research Chats from Sea of Japan

A University of the Virgin Islands professor will conduct a live chat on Saturday, September 19 from on board a research vessel in the Sea of Japan. The public is invited to attend the 45-minute session, which will take place at noon in Room T101 of the Teacher Education building on UVI's St. Thomas campus.

Educators who want to involve their students in real-time deep ocean geological research, as well as members of the public, are encouraged to attend the videoconference session with Dr. Nasseer Idrisi. Subsequent live chats are scheduled for noon on Sunday, September 27; Saturday, October 10; and Sunday, October 25.

Dr. Idrisi, a UVI research biological oceanographer and professor in the Marine and Environmental Science master's degree program, was recently selected as the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) "Educator at Sea" sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Dr. Idrisi 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. Dr. Idrisi departed from Yokohama, Japan on September 4 on board the scientific ocean drilling ship JOIDES Resolution. The journey will conclude on November 4.

In his position as a teacher at sea, Dr. Idrisi 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.

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.

Senior high school and college-level students with an interest in ocean exploration, ocean processes or the geological history of the planet will find these video conferences extremely instructive and inspirational.

Much more on the Shatsky Rise voyage (IODP Expedition 324), including background, photos of the ship and the scientists and sailing schedules, is available from the Ocean Leadership web site: www.oceanleadership.org.