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|Nautilus Live Theater Opens, Bringing Ocean Exploration Live to Audiences|
Beginning today, guests at Mystic Aquarium and people on their computers at home can experience the next generation of deep ocean exploration. With the opening of the Nautilus Live Theater and launch of the Nautilus Live Web site (nautiluslive.org), people around the world can virtually join Sea Research Foundation’s Dr. Robert Ballard and his team aboard his new ship of exploration, the E/V Nautilus.
Social media will add a new dimension to the four-month-long expedition, enabling participants to learn about and share discoveries in real time and communicate with each other as they watch live ocean exploration and shipboard activities during each leg of the journey.
On June 25, the Nautilus, which is operated by Dr. Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Trust, heads out to explore the deep-water regions of the Black Sea, Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean in search of undiscovered natural wonders of the undersea world, as well as lost chapters of human history. Through telepresence, a term coined by Dr. Ballard, satellite and high-speed networks will create a “you are there” experience, in which people can watch his team’s deep-sea exploration live, as it happens, in the Nautilus Live Theater, on the Web site and on Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, scientists will be able to participate in undersea exploration from remote consoles. Each of these outlets was designed to give viewers the experience of being aboard the ship, looking over the shoulders of the scientists and crew and listening to their conversations.
"I enjoy sharing my experiences at sea, and now, with this technology, I don't have to wait to come home and tell people about it,” said Dr. Ballard. “They can come aboard the ship and be there at the moment of discovery. Rather than read about our findings, they can say, 'I was there.'" “Through these channels, as well as programs like our national Immersion Learning education division, Sea Research seeks to expand our understanding of the oceans and inspire the explorers of tomorrow,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation, which includes Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning. “The Nautilus Live Theater, Web site and social media components will forever transform the way in which scientists, students and the public experience deep-sea exploration.” The Nautilus Live Theater experience
Located in the Challenge of the Deep exhibition – the world’s only public exhibits dedicated to Dr. Ballard’s ocean exploration – the Nautilus Live Theater is a 50-seat, state-of-the-art theater space that delivers live expedition coverage in high definition onto the big screen. Guests will join Dr. Ballard and his team aboard the Nautilus as they explore the oceans.
Audiences will see footage from Dr. Ballard’s previous expeditions, hear about his greatest discoveries and expedition goals during an interview, get the latest news on shipboard activities and recent findings and see the tools and technologies used to explore oceans. Guests will also have the opportunity to talk with a Nautilus team member and watch images from the ocean floor in real time via telepresence. A Nautilus team member monitoring the expedition’s progress from shore will host the daily live shows and explain to the audience what they are seeing on the screen. The Nautilus Live online experience
People will also be able to track the expedition 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home at nautiluslive.org and on Facebook and Twitter. The site’s homepage will feature a live video feed from one of the cameras aboard the Nautilus or on a remotely operated vehicle, allowing visitors an intimate look at shipboard or underwater activity. Additional site features include status updates detailing current expedition activities and discoveries; a science event log, which features scientists’ descriptions of what they see on the sea floor; maps showing the ship’s current location; and blog posts from educators and expedition team members.
Site visitors can post comments on the blogs, photos or videos or share links to them through their own social networks, send a question to the expedition team, update their Facebook or Twitter status as they watch the live Nautilus feed and even see what other viewers are saying as they watch. Facebook fans and Twitter followers will receive alerts when something new or interesting is taking place aboard the ship or when a discovery is made.
Educators at Sea and Doctors on Call
Two new programs will ensure that shipboard activities are observed and shared on nautiluslive.org and through social media networks 24 hours a day. Through the new Educators at Sea educational outreach program, teachers from across the country will travel aboard the Nautilus, constantly reporting back to shore on what is happening on the ship and filing daily reports. They will be supported by teams of Educators Ashore working on rotating watches at the Exploration Command Centers, who will then send out alerts on various Web sites, including nautiluslive.org, and social networks when a discovery is about to happen.
In addition, scientists around the world called “Doctors on Call” will work on rotating watches to examine live footage from the expedition and communicate with the Nautilus crew to determine whether specific sites or targets appearing on sonar images are worth further exploring and/or a significant discovery. The Nautilus Live Theater shows take place daily at 11 a.m. and 1, 3 and 4:30 p.m. Free show tickets are distributed at Mystic Aquarium’s Information Booth on a first-come, first-served basis, as seating is limited. Visit mysticaquarium.org for details. For more information on Dr. Ballard’s upcoming expedition or to follow it live, visit nautiluslive.org. About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3organization. The mission of Sea Research is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through education, research and exploration. This press release was published on June 23, 2010. Images are available here. Please contact Becky Giantonio at 860.572.5955 ext. 338 for the password. B-roll is also available upon request.
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