Explorer Ballard to host live broadcasts of expedition to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Mar. 2-7

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NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – February 26, 2008 – Rhode Islanders interested in following along with marine explorer Robert Ballard as his research team investigates the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are invited to view live broadcasts of the expedition March 2-7.

Sponsored by Immersion Presents and the Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography, the public can view the broadcasts online at http://www.immersionpresents.org or http://oceanslive.org/portal. The broadcasts on Mar. 4-7 can also be viewed at the Coastal Institute Auditorium at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus.

In addition, teachers and students in Rhode Island can view the broadcasts right in their schools via Internet2 teleconferencing technology.

“This is a great opportunity to learn about the unique biological features off the northern California coast, and to experience the day to day progress of an exciting oceanographic research expedition,” said Maryann Scholl, project manager at the Office of Marine Programs. “Dr. Ballard will lead the expedition from the Inner Space Center here at URI, and the program will include live footage shot by divers in a kelp forest and from a remotely operated vehicle deep underwater.”

Four 30-minute programs will be broadcast each day at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. The broadcasts at the URI Coastal Institute will be preceded by a 10-minute introduction led by Scholl and followed by a question and answer session.

Teachers who register for the broadcasts may download educational materials, including an expedition overview, interviews with the researchers, and hands-on activities.

A $1 fee will be charged to those planning to view the broadcasts at the URI Coastal Institute. Please register in advance by calling 401-874-6211 or emailing mscholl@gso.uri.edu.