CHEVY CHASE, Md., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Sunday, Oregon 4-H launched a new marine research vessel, Ocean Watch, which set sail from San Francisco Bay, heading north to Newport, Oregon. The vessel, complete with a new 69-foot spinnaker featuring the 4-H emblem and web address, will serve as a marine research platform for the 2013 Ocean Watch 4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp hosted by Oregon State University. The camp takes place the week of June 30th.
The Ocean Watch vessel is owned by Captain Mark Schrader, who will serve at the helm of the 64-foot vessel along with his crew. Captain Mark, a life-long sailor and active marine conservationist with a mission to engage people on the importance of environmental health, is partnering with 4-H to mentor the young people attending the camp in the area of marine science.
Captain Mark is well known for directing the project Around the Americas—a documentary and book which highlights his and three other sailors' year-long adventures in 2009 while circumnavigating the North and South American continents, including 53 ports in 13 countries. It was for this project that Ocean Watch was purchased and completely refit with new wiring, plumbing, electronics, and rigging one year prior to embarking on the project. For the past decade, the vessel has been used as a marine science research platform.
"4-H knows that young people are leaders today, right now," said Mary Arnold, Ph.D., professor and 4-H Youth Development Specialist, Oregon State University. "As a result of the incredible positive impact that youth can make, this 4-H Marine Science Ambassador's program has the potential to change the course of ocean and waterway health as we engage young people in the importance of marine science and technology, and create excitement for future education and careers in this area."
The 2013 Ocean Watch 4-H Marine Ambassadors Camp will take place at Oregon State University in Corvallis and in Newport, Oregon where they will conduct marine science research on the vessel.
Upon applying for the program, students submitted an essay on their interest in the program and the impact it would have on their education choices, career decisions, and community service going forward.
Throughout the program, camp participants will be immersed in curriculum that will include experiments, projects and marine science activities in a university campus setting as well as out in the field. The campers will learn to be 4-H Marine Ambassadors, attending classes on tsunamis technology, NOAA's Essential Principles for Ocean Literacy, and learn to design and build remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) on the OSU campus. In addition, the young people will study invertebrate taxonomy at HMSC in Newport. There they will be introduced to Ocean Watch, perform research aboard the vessel, and sail to coastal education sites to study tide pools, marine mammals and birds, beach ecology, fresh water stream ecosystems, estuaries, and tides and tsunami debris.
The participating young people will also be trained as Teens as Teachers, which will enable them to continue their role as 4-H Marine Ambassadors in their respective communities using an ocean acidification science kit in their community outreach programs.
For the remainder of July, Ocean Watch will be berthed in Newport, and marine science opportunities will be open to 4-H clubs, other youth organizations, and families.
Samsung sponsors this initiative under its Samsung Summer Science Program, which provides summer learning experiences for school-aged students in science, technology, engineering and math at colleges throughout the U.S. Sixty students were selected as Samsung Summer Scholars, receiving full scholarships to participate in the Oregon State University program.
4-H, the largest youth development organization, is a community of seven million young people around the world learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. In the U.S., 4-H programs are implemented by the 109 land grant universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Overseas, 4-H programs operate throughout more than 50 countries.