Two PCC faculty to help Nautilus team explore undersea worlds


PCC / News / July 3, 2017 /

Two PCC faculty to help Nautilus team explore undersea worlds

Photos and Story by James Hill |

Linda Fergusson-Kolmes during her training in Rhode Island this spring.
Two Portland Community College faculty are going to get, as they put it, “their geek on.”
Instructors Linda Fergusson-Kolmes (biology) and Jenny Woodman (composition) will sail aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus this August as 2017 Science Communication Fellows with the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). Fergusson-Kolmes will join the Corps of Exploration aboard the ship as they visit the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Heceta Bank, which are off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.
Jenny Woodman.
Woodman, also sailing in August, will join the team for mapping and exploration of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary near California.
As members of the Corps of Exploration, educators and students will stand watch alongside scientists and engineers. They will participate in live interactions with shore-based audiences via Nautilus Live, a 24-hour web portal bringing expeditions from the field to students and young future explorers through telepresence technology at and social media.
“We’ll all be geeking out,” Fergusson-Kolmes beamed. “We want to bring the excitement of science into the classroom. I’m hoping to get a look at a real undersea, remotely-operated vehicle and talk to people while it explores. And, I can bring back what I learn to PCC and translate it for my students.”
For Woodman, joining the Corps of Exploration was “like being selected to be an astronaut.” She has been writing about ocean health and technologies since 2014 for IEEE Earthzine, an online publication sponsored by NASA and the Oceanic Engineering Society.
“There was singing, dancing and silliness,” said Woodman when learning she had earned the Fellowship. “It was a joyful moment.”
At PCC, she teaches composition part-time and has substituted at The Northwest Academy, which …

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