Learning about the depths


Scientists on an underwater research mission were connected to a science class at Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School for a lesson this week. As the researchers described their mission and accommodations, fish, in this case a school of grouper, could be observed through the hatch window.

Tim Croft
Published: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 08:23 AM.

His students attest that as much as possible Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School science teacher Scott Lamberson discards the “boring” for the “cool” in the vast world of science.

That engagement was on full display Monday when Lamberson’s marine science class, along with a sprinkling of students from other science classes taught by Lamberson, connected via Skype with Aquarius.

Aquarius is the sole underwater laboratory in the world where scientists and researchers study and work underwater for a week or more without surfacing.

The research vessel is based out of the Florida Keys and Monday students from Port St. Joe took a dive with a team of six scientists who were one day into their latest excursion.

“This is a very unique opportunity for any school in our area,” Lamberson said. “I try to turn my students into scientists. Anything that is cool I like. This is very cool.”

The scientists walked the students through their mission, which is multi-layered; examining coastal reef habitats – Florida is home to the third-largest coastal barrier reef system in the world – as well as the impacts of overfishing on predators and their prey among other research.

They showed the students around their vessel and lab, about the size of a school bus.

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