Marine Awareness Officer Selected to Explore the Ocean with Titanic Discoverer Dr. Robert Ballard’s Nautilus Exploration Program

Nia training in Rhode Island

22 educators and 24 students will go to sea during the 2014 ocean expeditions to explore the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean.

Forty-six educators and students from around the world have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during their 2014 Nautilus Exploration Program. The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, science centres, aquaria, and non-profit organizations from 6 countries. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during ocean expeditions from June through October in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean.

Nia Hâf Jones, our Marine Awareness Officer, has been selected as a 2014 Science Communication Fellow and will sail with the Nautilus Exploration Program during their 2014 expedition season. Nia will join the Corps of Exploration on-board Exploration Vessel (E/V) on June 11th 2014 to represent NWWT as they explore the Strait of Florida, Dry Tortugas and the Gulf of Mexico.

“I couldn’t quite believe it when I got selected and now I’m just really looking forward to getting aboard the ship to start my month as a communicator at sea. It’s an incredible project which allows people from all around the world to join in with deep sea exploration live and I’m so happy to be a part of that!”

Nia and Dr Robert BallardThe 2014 educator and student selectees will embark on several expeditions aboard Dr. Robert Ballard’s ship of exploration, E/V Nautilus off the coast of the United States, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, and Grenada. As members of the Corps of Exploration, educators and students will stand watch alongside scientists and engineers, as well as participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via Nautilus Live, a 24-hour web portal bringing expeditions from the field to future explorers on shore via telepresence technology at and via social media.

“One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEM fields,” said Expedition Leader and OET Executive Vice President, Dr. Katherine Croff Bell, “so we’re very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of pure exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share their experience far and wide with their peers.”

The Science Communication Fellowship Program will bring 21 communicators – including 5 returnees that will serve as mentors on the ship for new Fellows – hailing from across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Jamaica, and Northern Ireland to sea in 2014. Science Communication positions entail up to a month working aboard E/V Nautilus as key communicators of the expedition to public audiences following the exploration online and in public venues. An equally important aspect of the program is that the Fellows bring the expedition and excitement of ocean exploration back to their home communities after they have returned from sea by incorporating their experience into classroom lesson plans, community presentations, and through informal educational opportunities.

On the evening of the 21st of July Nia will be talking about her experiences on-board the Nautilus as part of Wrexham Science Week. Nia will take you on incredible journey to the deep seas and will be sharing her accounts of ocean science, expedition operations and daily life from her time at sea aboard the E/V Nautilus. The ship is currently carrying out research in the Gulf of Mexico using deep sea Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and a live link-up with the scientists on board will allow the audience to hear more about the research and participate in a question-and-answer session. The event on the 21st July will be starting at 19:30 and is suitable for families and will take place a the Yale Grove Park Campus in Wrexham. Tickets are free but please book your space by clicking HERE

The Science Communication Fellowship is made possible with sponsorship from Bechtel, the Office of Naval Research, the Viola and Panthers Foundations, and private donations.

Follow Nia live at while she is on-board E/V Nautilus exploring the Strait of Florida, Dry Tortugas and the Gulf of Mexico from the 11th June – 6th July.

Tune in anytime from June 11th through October 9th as the Corps of Exploration stream their exploration and discoveries live.

Also follow the adventures on social media at Nautilus Live on Facebook and @EVNautilus on Twitter.


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