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Media Release
Release Date: October 16, 2015

Camosun's Environmental Technology students were in for a real treat this semester as their ocean science instructor Steve Gormican lectured via satellite from the decks of the Ocean Networks Canada research vessel, the E.V. Nautilus.

Steve was invited to join the Ocean Networks Canada research team on a 10-day research cruise, September 3-10. His role as an on-board science educator was to write live blogs and answer questions submitted by science enthusiasts as the ship transited its course off the west coast of Vancouver Island. On duty for two four-hour shifts each day, Steve says he got some great questions from around the globe. “It was fun to note what parts of the world came online as the earth rotated through the day,” says Steve. “It got really interesting when the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) was sending back pictures of an active site, like deep sea hydrothermal vents.”

But Steve’s audience extended beyond the public domain and reached right into the classroom. Unlike previous research cruises Steve has been on, the Ocean Networks Canada lab was equipped with a satellite link, allowing Steve to communicate in real time with his land-locked students. “When I called in to teach live from the ship, my students could see the porthole behind me, and watch the ship’s motion as I talked to them.”

As a young boy, Steve’s inspiration was Jacques Cousteau. “I feel like I’ve come full circle, and this trip re-energized me to continue Cousteau’s work and spread the word about the importance of oceans to the planet’s health. The oceans are the world's largest unexplored ecosystem. They comprise 90% of the world’s ecosystem, but only 10% of that has been explored.”

Photo courtesy of Steve Gormican

Steve says the biggest thrill for him is always helping students learn, understand, and appreciate the technologies that explain what’s happening in the environment. Being on the Nautilus exposed him and Camosun students to the latest and greatest in research. Not to mention it was “one heck of a pro-d experience!”

With hands-on learning and instructors who can bring the real world into the classroom, it’s not surprising that Camosun’s ET program attracts students from across Canada and around the world. Who else gets to listen in when “ET calls home”?

Learn more about ET and other Camosun science programs at an information session October 22.

Photo courtesy of Steve Gormican Photo courtesy of Ocean Networks Canada

Last updated: October 16, 2015 2:24 pm

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