Press Release

JASON and Junior Argonauts to Come Ashore at NASA Ames

By SpaceRef Editor
January 27, 2003
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Using NASA’s unique capabilities, approximately 12,000 students from
more than 200 Bay Area schools will soon have an exceptional
opportunity to explore California’s coast as few have.

From Jan. 23 through Feb. 7, 2003, NASA Ames Research Center, in
California’s Silicon Valley will be hosting JASON XIV. Entitled “From
Shore to Sea,” this year’s expedition will focus on the unique
habitats in and around the Channel Islands off the coast of Santa
Barbara, Calif.

“The JASON Project is an example of NASA’s commitment to inspire the
next generation of explorers. By joining together with the JASON
Project, NASA is connecting teachers and students with real science
in a way that both infuses the classroom with the excitement of
discovery and provides students with a significant high-energy
educational experience. This is one of the best demonstrations of how
technology can be used to revolutionize education,” said Tom Clausen
of NASA Ames’ education office.

Students attending JASON XIV will be participating in one of 40 live,
one-hour broadcasts from the Channel Islands, where they will be
interacting with a premier research team led by Dr. Robert Ballard
and specially trained student and teacher argonauts. During the
broadcast, Ballard and the argonauts will be answering questions,
conducting interactive quizzes and showing the students the habitats
they have been studying in the classroom. After the broadcast,
students will participate in a variety of hands-on activities in NASA
Ames’ Hangar N211.

“All of us here at NASA Ames are excited and proud to support the
JASON project. It will be great to welcome the students and watch
their faces light up with excitement as they put to use what they
have learned in the classroom at the live broadcasts and JASON City,”
said Will Shaw, NASA Ames JASON coordinator.

This year, Castilleja School 9th grader, Lauren Dunec from Palo Alto,
was selected to participate as one of the 28 student argonauts. She
was chosen from a pool of thousands of applicants because of her
interest in underwater research and her initiative to become a
certified diver so she could fully participate in the research. She
will be sharing her Channel Island adventure with over one million
students worldwide through her daily journals, live Web casts and
chats, one-hour digital labs and a Web photo gallery.

As part of NASA’s mission to ‘understand and protect the home
planet,’ NASA will be assisting Dr. Ballard and the argonauts by
collecting environmental data using the Terra and Aqua satellites.
NASA engineers will also be using small uninhabited aerial vehicles
(UAV) to collect additional data. Part of the data collected will
help Ballard’s team to determine the health of the region’s
vegetation including the Channel’s famed kelp forests.

The Channel Islands were chosen as a research site because of its
unique and diverse habitats and culturally rich past. The area of
study includes the Channel Islands National Park, the waters of the
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the densely populated
California coastline.

The JASON Project is a multi-disciplinary program that sparks the
imagination of students and enhances the classroom experience. From
oceans to rain forests, from polar regions to volcanoes, the JASON
Project explores planet Earth and exposes students to leading
scientists who work with them to examine its biological and
geological development.

For more information about JASON XIV broadcasts and activities, visit:

More information about the JASON Project can be found at:

SpaceRef staff editor.