Centenary alumnus participates in deep-sea STEM initiative in Eastern Pacific

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dennis Pevey, 2012 Centenary alumnus, has been selected as a 2016 Lead Science Communicator and will sail aboard Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus during its 2016 expedition. Pevey will join the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus in July as they explore the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary along with Titanic-discoverer Robert Ballard. The voyage will mark Pevey's second full expedition aboard the Nautilus.

"While at Centenary, I learned the power of communicating with my peers and other members of the community with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and philosophies," says Pevey. "At sea, my role is to facilitate rich conversations between the scientists and engineers on the ship with viewers from around the world. I credit my Centenary education with my ability to engage others in these conversations and feel comfortable discussing topics that are new to me."

Seventeen educators from around the world have been selected from a competitive pool of applicants by the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) to participate at sea during the 2016 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 STEM education and technological innovation. The selected educators and students hail from schools, universities, after-school programs, science centers, aquaria, and non-profit organizations in twenty states in the US and Australia. They will join the Nautilus Corps of Exploration during sea-going expeditions from May through September in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Pevey provides live audio commentary via NautilusLive on a previous Nautilus voyage.

Pevey earned a BA in music from Centenary and currently serves as the Science Facilitator at eStem Public Charter School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In the classroom, he creates an innovative K-12 curriculum that integrates science and engineering concepts into large-scale environmental projects. Throughout his courses, he encourages community involvement and citizenship by highlighting local environmental issues. His efforts have been recognized personally by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, NSTA, PBS, and Vernier Technology.

"Growing up in South Louisiana, I saw first-hand the power of the ocean and the importance of protecting both its resources and biodiversity. I applied to the program in order to connect my students in Arkansas with these issues and highlight important STEM careers," says Pevey. "It has been really powerful watching the impact that my experiences on Nautilus have made on students in our K-12 district. Through interactions with the ship, testimonials, and hands-on projects, the students are beginning to understand both the diversity of STEM careers in oceanography as well as gain a deepened appreciation for the importance of ocean exploration, conservation, and research."

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 www.nautiluslive.org and via social media.

Pevey will participate in live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions through the Nautilus Live website while aboard the ship and will also engage events and activities upon his return. Global audiences can tune in to the website, Facebook or Instagram at NautilusLive, and on Twitter as @EVNautilus to follow their expedition.

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 STEM education and technological innovation. The 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 2016 expedition and education sponsors are the NOAA Office of Exploration & Research, the Office of Naval Research, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the University of Rhode Island, CITGO, and additional private donors.