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"Ocean Doctor" Visits Virgin Islands Students

NSF Award:

VI-EPSCoR: RII: Building Research Strength in the US Virgin Islands  (University of The Virgin Islands)

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The Virgin Islands' EPSCoR program has created the Celebrity Scientists Tour to expose students to science "celebrities" who relate the awe and joy of their professional journey.

One of the goals of the program is to increase the number of Virgin Islands' students entering science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines by strengthening their interest, research skills and intellectual development. The celebrity scientist tour's goal is to inspire and challenge students to pursue STEM careers.

The first celebrity scientist was David Guggenheim, a deep submarine pilot and advocate of underwater exploration. Guggenheim, also known as the "Ocean Doctor" is at the forefront of ocean science, and is influencing policies that protect the Earth's oceans. His presentations include video clips of marine life 2,000 feet below the ocean surface and displays of newly discovered marine life.

The Ocean Doctor encourages students to enter the field of marine science and become pioneers in underwater exploration. After Guggenheim's tour, seven students added him to their Facebook Friends List and maintain contact with him on a wide range of topics, from career choices to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. As additional celebrity scientists provide mentoring support to island students, VI-EPSCoR expects to see an increase in the number of students opting for STEM courses, and eventually STEM careers.

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  • students with ocean doctor
Students surround "Ocean Doctor" David Guggenheim.
Nick Drayton, UVI

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