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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, June 28, 2013

Local Student Selected for NOAA Ocean for Life Program

Carmen Cordero, a resident of Carpinteria, is one of 15 U.S. students selected to participate in the 2013 Ocean for Life program at NOAA's Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary from June 22- July 4.


Gabriella Rigonotti

Carmen Cordero

Carmen applied for the program by writing a series of essays on her interests in marine ecology, sharing extra-curricular activities, and providing adult references. The 15 year old homeschooler, in addition to her regular studies, has participated for the past two years as a volunteer for Carpinteria Seal Watch, serves as Vice President of Community Service for Goleta 4-H Club, is a member of the Santa Barbara Airpac Squadron of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, and is active in many native cultural events.

Ocean for Life is an educational field study program that enhances cultural understanding among high school students through ocean science. The program is a partnership between NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)Program, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. This is a unique program that brings together Middle Eastern and North American high school students of diverse cultures and backgrounds to study marine science and in the course of that, break down stereotypes and strengthen global relationships. The premise is simple but powerful:we are all connected by the ocean and by studying the ocean we can learn about improving stewardship of the planet and ourselves: one world, one ocean.

The program has its origins in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Among the victims of the tragedy that day were three DC public school students,their three teachers, and two National Geographic Society staff who were on their way to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to study marine science in a precursor education program run by NOAA. After 9/11, NOAA reshaped the program to address some of the root causes that were at the heart of the tragedy. A short and powerful video that provides some background can be found at http://oceanforlife.org/page/ofl-projects or directly at http://youtu.be/kFJunYi8qDs.

Thirty students, including 15 from the Greater Middle East including Bahrain, Egypt,Lebanon,Pakistan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, and Oman, were selected out of nearly four hundred applications for the 2013 program. The 15 American students hail from Mississippi,Michigan,Virginia,District of Columbia,Georgia,Oregon,Florida,New York,California,Illinois,North Carolina, and Hawai’i.

The 2013 field study is hosted by the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and the University of California Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute. Close to the California mainland, the sanctuary encompasses the ocean surrounding Anacapa,Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara islands and protects a rich diversity of marine life. The Ocean for Life program is designed around three main themes: a sense of place, interconnectedness,and ocean conservation and stewardship. Activities focus on ocean science and exploration,cultural exchanges,stewardship activities such as beach clean-ups, and youth media projects. The students will document their experiences through video and still photography, mentored by staff from Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society Media Camp and American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking. The lead sponsor for the 2013 field study to Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary is the Qatar Foundation International with additional funding from Khalid bin Sultan’s Living Oceans Foundation and the Ettinger Foundation. Ocean for Life is supported by a host of public and private interests that contribute instruction, use of facilities, and reduced fees to participating students.

For more information go to http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/educationa/ofl/ Carmen applied for the program by writing a series of essays on her interests in marine ecology, sharing extra-curricular activities, and providing adult references. The 15 year old homeschooler, in addition to her regular studies, has participated for the past two years as a volunteer for Carpinteria Seal Watch, serves as Vice President of Community Service for Goleta 4-H Club, is a member of the Santa Barbara Airpac Squadron of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, and is active in many native cultural events.

Ocean for Life is an educational field study program that enhances cultural understanding among high school students through ocean science. The program is a partnership between NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, The GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)Program, and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. This is a unique program that brings together Middle Eastern and North American high school students of diverse cultures and backgrounds to study marine science and in the course of that, break down stereotypes and strengthen global relationships. The premise is simple but powerful:we are all connected by the ocean and by studying the ocean we can learn about improving stewardship of the planet and ourselves: one world, one ocean.

The program has its origins in the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Among the victims of the tragedy that day were three DC public school students,their three teachers, and two National Geographic Society staff who were on their way to the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to study marine science in a precursor education program run by NOAA. After 9/11, NOAA reshaped the program to address some of the root causes that were at the heart of the tragedy. A short and powerful video that provides some background can be found at http://oceanforlife.org/page/ofl-projects or directly at http://youtu.be/kFJunYi8qDs.

Thirty students, including 15 from the Greater Middle East including Bahrain, Egypt,Lebanon,Pakistan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, and Oman, were selected out of nearly four hundred applications for the 2013 program. The 15 American students hail from Mississippi,Michigan,Virginia,District of Columbia,Georgia,Oregon,Florida,New York,California,Illinois,North Carolina, and Hawai’i.

The 2013 field study is hosted by the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary and the University of California Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute. Close to the California mainland, the sanctuary encompasses the ocean surrounding Anacapa,Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara islands and protects a rich diversity of marine life. The Ocean for Life program is designed around three main themes: a sense of place, interconnectedness,and ocean conservation and stewardship. Activities focus on ocean science and exploration,cultural exchanges,stewardship activities such as beach clean-ups, and youth media projects. The students will document their experiences through video and still photography, mentored by staff from Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society Media Camp and American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking. The lead sponsor for the 2013 field study to Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary is the Qatar Foundation International with additional funding from Khalid bin Sultan’s Living Oceans Foundation and the Ettinger Foundation. Ocean for Life is supported by a host of public and private interests that contribute instruction, use of facilities, and reduced fees to participating students.

For more information go to http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/educationa/ofl/ or http://oceanforlife.org.

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