NOAA Aquarius

posted Jan 2, 2012, 7:56 PM by Jason Stanley   [ updated Jan 2, 2012, 7:57 PM by Jacqui Stanley ]

This has been a very exciting month.

Just before I left to participate in the California MS 150 bike ride with my daughter, I received a phone call asking if I would like to participate in a mission called “If Reefs Could Talk.”

I rushed back from the bike ride, had a dive physical, went to commercial dive school to become certified in oxygen administration and update my CPR and First Aid, and packed and flew to Key Largo in Florida.

I was at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Aquarius Reef Base located in Key Largo, Florida. Aquarius is the only underwater habitat in the world. It is located nine miles from the coast of Key Largo and rests on Conch Reef in 65 feet of water.

The mission was supported by researchers from the University of Connecticut and California State University. By incorporating both scientific research and educational programs into this multi-disciplinary mission, the ONMS will bring the science of ocean conservation and the underwater world to communities nationwide.

The mission incorporated live educational broadcasts into the daily lives of aquanauts and scientists to bring the science of ocean conservation and the underwater environment to communities worldwide.

Scientists and Educators worked together to communicate themes of biodiversity, climate change, and field science technology with the goal of creating a more ocean literate public.

Two of the aquanauts were scientists and they conducted research and collected data and used technology to explore the reef.

I was the resident educator and I conducted daily broadcasts teaching art and science in a kid friendly segment called "What is it?"

You can check it out at:

The live broadcasts were be at You can check out the past programs under "Archives." 

Also, my Aquarius blog is at

I painted in my "studio" which the personnel at Aquarius Reef Base gave me. I had a corner of the base workshop near the circular saw! I painted 9 small pieces that we used for the daily lessons for broadcast broadcast, and I painted one big piece that showed all the different marine life that we have used in our lessons. 

It was a great privilege to be part of such a dedicated group of professionals, all focused on education.