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Wednesday Chats Added with UVI Professor in Japan

St. Thomas high school students and members of the general public interested in deep-ocean geological research are invited to attend live Wednesday morning chats with a UVI professor conducting ocean research in the Sea of Japan. The additional 10 a.m. sessions on UVI's St. Thomas campus will take place next Wednesday, September 30 and subsequent Wednesday mornings through October 28. High school groups requiring transportation assistance will be accommodated.

University of the Virgin Islands researcher Dr. Nasseer Idrisi is a research biological oceanographer and professor in the Marine and Environmental Science master's degree program.

Idrisi was recently selected as the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) "Educator at Sea" sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. He is participating in an international research project that is studying an ocean plateau located about 900 miles east of Japan. The plateau - a large area of raised ocean bottom - is known as the Shatsky Rise. Idrisi departed from Yokohama, Japan on September 4 on board the scientific ocean drilling ship JOIDES Resolution. The journey will conclude on November 4.

In his position as a teacher at sea, Idrisi is part of the shipboard expedition's science party and is communicating his learning experiences via live videoconferencing from the ship.

The ship's main research technique is to drill into the rise and take core samples that the project's 24 scientists are examining for clues to the history, sources and evolution of the rise.

Idrisi conducted his first "live chat" with a room full of students and other interested persons on Saturday, September 19. He first gave the UVI audience a tour of the ship and its laboratories. He and other scientists then fielded a variety of questions from students gathered in room 101 of the Teacher Education Building. Idrisi is scheduled for noon chats on Sunday, September 27; Saturday, October 10; and Sunday, October 25.

"This is an enormous opportunity," UVI Science Professor Dr. Donald Drost said of the live videoconference sessions. Drost teaches Science 100, a first-year science course at UVI. More than 50 of his students participated in the live chat on Saturday. "This is real-time science and it's wonderful that students have an opportunity to be a part of it."

Additional Wednesday morning sessions will take place on the St. Thomas campus October 7th; October 14th;October 21st; and October 28th .

School groups and others interested in organizing their own videoconference sessions with Dr. Idrisi will need to obtain special IOCOM software in order to communicate. An informational fact sheet and technical specifications can be obtained by visiting these links

Shatsky Rise_Fact_Sheet

Shatsky Rise Technology

The Shatsky Rise project is organized by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that promotes advanced research, education and sound ocean policy. Consortium members include the United States, Japan, China, South Korea and the European Union.

More on the Shatsky Rise voyage, including background, photos of the ship and the scientists and sailing schedules, is available from the Ocean Leadership web site:

For information about scheduling or reimbursement for group transportation to the live videoconference sessions, please contact Nicolas Drayton at or call 693-1239.