Posted Date: 08/29/2023
Tori Hunt, a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and science teacher at Concord High School, has been selected as a 2023 Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Ocean Exploration Trust’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus. Tori will join the team aboard E/V Nautilus for four weeks in September as they explore Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
Tori will join the 2023 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition as an expedition communicator bringing the excitement of exploration to learners around the world. Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), a nonprofit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard, operates with a mission to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. Over 80% of the global ocean remains unmapped in detail and over 90% remains unexplored.
Tori is one of sixteen Fellows selected nationally this year hailing from schools, science centers, and non-profit organizations across eleven US states and territories. Fellows will join the team on different sea-going expeditions from May to December, exploring the Eastern Pacific near British Columbia and the Central Pacific Ocean near the Hawaiian Islands, in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, and in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
“It is an absolute honor and a dream to sail aboard E/V Nautilus. This experience will forever shape me not only as an educator but as a person who has always dreamt of learning from the ocean,'' says Tori Hunt, 2023 OET Science Communication Fellow.
Our community and the public can engage with Tori via Nautilus Live, a 24-hour live-streaming web portal bringing expeditions from the field to explorers on shore via telepresence technology at NautilusLive.org and via social media. Tori will participate in daily live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website from sea. Ashore, she will also engage in various community outreach events and activities throughout the team to engage students and families in learning about the ocean. Local schools can also schedule free, live, one-on-one Q&A sessions with explorers on the ship in English or ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).
“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to motivate the next generation of explorers in STEAM fields,” said Allison Fundis, OET’s Chief Operating Officer, “we are very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience in ocean exploration while allowing them the opportunity to share that experience with their peers around the world.”
OET promotes science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) education around the world using the excitement of exploration and innovation to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“Science Communication Fellows bring expertise as educators and storytellers to work alongside scientists and engineers and make discoveries about the planet. We are proud to elevate these role models for learners, with a particular focus on reaching communities who have been historically marginalized from STEAM and maritime fields”, said Megan Cook, OET’s Director of Education and Outreach.
The OET Science Communication Fellowship brings formal and informal educators onboard to engage students and the public in the wonders of ocean exploration, sharing discoveries from the 2023 mission, as well as aspects of daily life aboard a working exploration vessel. Fellows develop their science communication skills and spend several weeks as a crucial part of the team aboard E/V Nautilus. Fellows bring ocean exploration back to their home communities by incorporating their experience into classroom lesson plans, community presentation events, and informal educational opportunities.
“What an amazing opportunity for one of our outstanding science teachers to go out and have a scientific experience and be able to share it with her students and the world. I am thrilled that Ms. Hunt has been selected and cannot wait to see what she brings back to help her students develop their love of science”, said Dr. Adam Auerbach, Principal at Concord High School.
About Ocean Exploration Trust
Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, and archaeology while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. Our international program is launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, offering live exploration to participants on shore and the public via live video, audio, and data feeds. Learn more about Ocean Exploration Trust.
The 2023 Nautilus Expedition is sponsored by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, Ocean Networks Canada, the Office of Naval Research, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. OET education program sponsors and partners for 2023 include the Office of Naval Research, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, CITGO, and the Phil Stephenson Foundation. Learn more about our partners and sponsors.
About Concord High School, Cabarrus County Schools
Founded in 1895, Concord High School is the oldest public school in Cabarrus County and one of the oldest in North Carolina. Concord High is one of eight traditional high schools serving the Cabarrus County Schools system and currently enrolls approximately 1000 students. Concord High School's academic offerings include traditional instruction as well as an International Baccalaureate program, Public Safety Academy and the school's Academy of Hospitality and Tourism.