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Thursday, January 26, 2012

National Marine Sanctuary Helps Community

The following information is provided by Jeff Gray, Superintendent of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve:

Through research, education, and community involvement, the sanctuary works to protect the Great Lakes and their rich history for this and future generations. Education is one of our most powerful preservation and conservation tools. The sanctuary and our partners have developed programs to enhance awareness and stewardship of the Great Lakes and the ocean. Conducted on board ships, in our exhibits, and in classrooms, these programs have been delivered to everyone from kindergarteners to retirees.

We partner with educators to provide immersive experiences for students. Dozens of schools around the state participate in our underwater robotics contest. This program has set the stage for three incredible educational offerings in Northeast Michigan:

--Bob Thomson, a teacher at Sanborn Elementary in Alpena County, has woven sanctuary and ROV technology into his classroom throughout the year. Thomson also developed a week-long summer camp based on the underwater archaeology of the sanctuary and maritime technology.

Thomson class
Middle school teacher Bob Thomson helps his students maneuver their underwater robot into Thunder Bay. NOAA, Thunder Bay NMS

--At Alpena High School this spring, science teacher John Caplis will teach a class titled "Shipwreck Alley: Shipwrecks, Science, and the Marine Sanctuary." Students will explore the history, archaeology, technology, and science of the sanctuary during the trimester.

--Alpena Community College is about to launch a new degree program in Marine Technology. The program will train students for careers in the "Blue Economy."  Featuring classes on technology (including ROV building and operations), underwater archaeology, diving, and working on ships, the program provides students with experiences to better prepare them for the workforce.

With these partners, we are inspiring students to be stewards and preparing them for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Please contact us to find out more about our education programs.

Thank you for your support of the sanctuary. As always, we welcome your feedback on Thunderstruck or any of the sanctuary's programs so
we can better serve you.


Jeff Gray, Superintendent

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Jeff and all the folks at the Thunder Bay Sanctuary are great friends to Rogers City.  We support the Sancturay expansion into the waters off Presque Isle County as a means to preserve our priceless maritime heritage.  Keep up the good work Jeff and company.

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