Center for Image Processing in Education

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

National Science Foundation

Today’s educators are faced with the challenge of providing engaging ways to teach science, mathematics, technology, and social studies content while preparing students to succeed in tomorrow’s world. Ocean Explorers, a new project funded by the Information Technology Experiences for Teachers and Students (ITEST) program of the National Science Foundation, will help meet that challenge.

Explore Oceans

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Teeming with life and mystery, oceans provide the perfect topic for engaging students’ interest, introducing important concepts in information technology (IT), and challenging students to use IT in ways that mirror how it is employed in professional settings. Ocean Explorers is hooking southern California teachers and their students on the marine science laboratory that is right at their doorstep—Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the southern California coast.

Explore Technology

While immersing teachers and their students in the beauty and science of their local marine environment, Ocean Explorers is introducing them to professional visualization tools—geographic information systems (GIS) and image processing and analysis (IPA)—that can be used to study the anthropology, biology, chemistry, ecology, economy, meteorology, physiography, and sociology of southern California’s coastal waters and the Pacific Ocean. Using these tools, teachers are involving their students in original research on issues of interest to their home communities: stormwater pollution, migrations of whales and other ocean life, balancing commercial uses of coastal waters with preservation of key features that make those waters special; and countless other topics.

Explore Standards and Learning

With assistance from the Ocean Explorers project, teachers are creating inquiry-based activities for their students that will help their school achieve federal, state, and local standards. Teachers are being trained and coached on how to use the Understanding by Design methodology of Wiggins and McTighe to develop projects that use targeted reading, mathematics, science, and technology standards as starting points for activities design. Online and face-to-face mentoring on instructional design, GIS, IPA, and ocean science by peers, IT professionals, and scientists is helping keep the teachers focused and on track.

Apply to Ocean Explorers

Ocean Explorers has filled its roster of participants. However, the project is accepting applications for its waiting list. Click here to go to the applications page.

Collaboratoring Organizations

Ocean Explorers is a project of the Center for Image Processing in Education (CIPE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. It is funded by the Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program of the National Science Foundation. Project collaborators include ESRI, Los Angeles Unified School District, Aquilent, WestEd, the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Office, and ClearOne Communications.

Project Staff

Steven Moore, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Jenny Vuturo-Brady, Project Director

Sam Jenkins, Senior Media Specialist

Kris Rees, Associate Director

Sandy Stoll, Business Operations Associate

Wynne Brown, Publications and Mentoring

Hedley Bond, Technical Assistance and Programming

Julie Bursek, Education Coordinator, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Laura Francis, Education Coordinator, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Project Consultants

Bill Beaver, Programming

Natalie Senyk, GIS Data Support and Mentoring

Project Evaluator

Sharon Goldsmith , Ph.D., Project Direct, Evaluation Research Program, WestEd

Kimberly Dailey, Research Assistant, WestEd


Carl Cornwell, Software Engineer, Aquilent

David Doty, Educational Specialist and National Educational Sales Manager, ClearOne Communications

Sara Hart, Ph.D., President, Hartcom

Carol Johansen, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, Santa Barbara County Education Office

Robert Kolvoord, Ph.D., Professor in the College of Integrated Science and TechnologyJames Madison University

Charles Murphy, Technology Educator, St. Louis Public Schools

Catharine Reznicek, Technology Specialist, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Office

Cliff Rodriguez, Director, Communications Technology, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Office

Chuck Untulis, Researcher, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

KJ Walsh, Science Center Director, Los Angeles Unified School District

Ali Whitmer, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Dawn Wright, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Oceanography, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University

Ocean Explorers is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author (developer) and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.