Alaska SeaLife Center Educator Selected to Explore the Ocean aboard Famed Explorer Dr. Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel Nautilus
July 16, 2018

Seward, Alaska (July 16, 2018)– Alexander Havens from the Alaska SeaLife Center has been selected as a 2018 Science Communication Fellow and will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2018 expedition. Alex will join the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus in July and August as they explore off the west coast of Canada.

Twenty-one educators and eighteen students from North America have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during the 2018 Nautilus Exploration Program expedition. OET, a nonprofit founded by Dr. Robert Ballard in 2008, has the mission to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, physics, and chemistry while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, science centers, and non-profit organizations in eighteen states in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during sea-going expeditions from June through November in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, exploring from British Columbia, Canada, along the West Coast of the US, and west to the Hawaiian Islands.

“I have been mesmerized and inspired by the ocean ever since I was a child, and today I work to instill that wonder in others,” said Alex. “Through the Ocean Exploration Trust, I have been given the opportunity to participate in the cutting edge of marine science communication. I am looking forward to bringing ongoing deep-sea science and exploration live to classrooms and audiences of all ages.”

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.

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. “One of the major goals of our Nautilus Exploration Program is to inspire the next generation of explorers in STEAM fields,” said Allison Fundis, OET’s Vice President of Marine Operations and Programs, “we are very excited to provide educators and students with the direct experience of ocean exploration, while allowing them the opportunity to share that experience with their peers around the world.”

The 2018 Science Communication Fellowship, an initiative of OET, will bring twenty-one formal and informal educators and communicators together from North America as a part of the Nautilus Corps of Exploration. Fellows are charged with the responsibility of engaging students and the public in the wonders of ocean exploration, sharing discoveries from the 2018 mission, as well as aspects of daily life aboard a working exploration vessel. Fellows receive four days of intensive training at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, and then spend two to three weeks aboard E/V Nautilus between the months of June and November, as it explores the Eastern Pacific Ocean. An equally important aspect of the program is for Fellows to 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 presentation events, and through informal educational opportunities.  

Alaska SeaLife Center Senior Education Manager Jeff Dillon is excited about this opportunity for Alex. “We are very proud of Alex on achieving the honor to serve with the 2018 Nautilus Live crew,” said Dillon. “His dedication to educating a variety of audiences about the wonders in, importance of, and challenges facing the ocean is contagious. He is always looking for new and novel ways to engage the public and we know he will be a perfect fit for his cruise this summer. The Alaska SeaLife Center staff, members, and guests will all benefit greatly from Alex’s participation – congratulations Alex!” 

Alex will participate in live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website while aboard the ship; he will also engage events and activities upon his return. The public, scientists, educators, and students can join Alex’s adventure while he is at sea via streaming video on, a 24-hour portal bringing expeditions from the field to onshore audiences through telepresence technology. The public can also follow the expedition on social media – on Twitter as @EVNautilus and on Facebook and Instagram as @NautilusLive – and through in-person live interactions at partner museums, aquaria, and science centers around the world.

About the ASLC:

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) research institution and public aquarium. We are excited to be celebrating 20 years of generating and sharing scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit or find us on Facebook.    

About the Ocean Exploration Trust:

The 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 (E/V) Nautilus, offering live exploration to participants on shore and the public via live video, audio, and data feeds. The major 2018 expedition and education sponsors are the NOAA Office of Exploration & Research, the Office of Naval Research, Ocean Networks Canada, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, NASA Science Mission Directorate PSTAR program, the University of Rhode Island, CITGO, AltaSea, KVH, Global Dynamix, ESS, and additional private donors. Follow us online, on Facebook and Instagram at @NautilusLive, and on Twitter and YouTube as @EVNautilus. 

Questions and requests for high resolution photos may be directed to General E/V Nautilus photos. Credit: OET/Nautilus Live. For specific expedition photos, email

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