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Gulf of Mexico, USA

Argonauts on the High Seas!

Liz Smith / Ocean Exploration Trust

One of the best aspects I’ve seen about the partnerships that Nautilus has, is that it brings the science on the ship to students all over the world.  This is accomplished through the website, through bringing in scientists and professors from different countries, and various other outlets.  One of these partnerships is  unique in that it actually brings students to the ship.

The JASON Project is an organization that is well known for producing science teaching resources and it has a special program known as the Argonaut program that allows students to apply and get accepted to come on board the Nautilus for a time.  We were fortunate enough to have the Argonauts on board the ship as we traveled between the first and second leg of the expedition.  This gave me a chance to talk with them and get to know a little bit about each of their journeys in science.

Katie Cubina led the Argonaut team this year.  She is the Senior Vice President for Educational Programs for JASON Project.  She explained to me that the program is open to  14 and 15 year-olds who are interested in science and science careers.  The application for students is posted in the early spring on the JASON Project website which is www.jason.org.  They also have a Facebook page where enthusiasts can keep up with the Argonauts on their journey, among other things. 

Katie Cubina Touring the Ship

Tanea Hibler was the selected Teacher Argonaut for the 2012 expedition.  She escorted the Argonauts along their trip to Turkey and the Nautilus and was a great science resource for them on their travels.  Tanea teaches 9th -12th grade science at Concordia International School Shanghai, in China.  She hopes to take enthusiasm and knowledge from Nautilus back to her students. 

Tanea Hibler (left) and Nyika Campbell (right) During a Safety Drill

Alex Overman was the selected Argonaut Student Mentor for the 2012 expedition.  As an Eagle Scout, he went through a competition sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America, National Eagle Scout Association, to be selected to travel as another resource and escort for the student Argonauts.  Alex just graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. degree in Oceanography. 

Alex Overman tries on a Special Hypothermia Suit for Emergencies

Darryl Prevost (the second) currently attends Booker T. Washington High School for Engineering Professions in Houston, Texas.  Darryl begins his senior year this fall and hopes to major in biomedical engineering or oceanography next year at a university to be determined.  When I asked him how he got interested in science, he said that growing up he’s always had lots of questions about how and why things work and science can answer all of them. 

Darryl Prevost Checks out the Microscope in the Wet Lab on Board Nautilus

Nyika Campbell is from Madison, Wisconsin.  She is fourteen and going into 9th grade this fall.  She loves biology and botany and has always enjoyed studying science in school and outside of the classroom.  When looking for more outside science resources to get involved with, Nyika discovered the Jason Project and was thrilled to apply to be an Argonaut.  I asked her what her favorite thing was about being on Nautilus and she said that she loves being around people who love science.

 Nyika Campbell Uses the Microscope onboard Nautilus in the Wet Lab

It was truly a pleasure to get to know the Argonaut team.  They had so much passion and excitement for science and it was great to see them apply that to learning about the science mission of Nautilus.