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April 05, 2013

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UVic Instructor On Board The "School Of Rock" - For Science

A University of Victoria instructor is one of two Canadian educators on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution that is docked off Ogden Point in Victoria.

Sarah Thornton, a senior lab instructor at UVic’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, is part of the "School of Rock," a professional development workshop for educators. Since 2005, the program has provided teachers in the U.S. and Canada with hands-on training in scientific techniques. They use the same laboratories, samples, and data available to working scientists aboard the research vessel.

For 12 hours a day—mimicking the long shifts that scientists work during regular two-month expeditions—the teachers work alongside the ship scientists and crew, using the advanced lab equipment on the ship.

They study what has been achieved during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring, and monitoring the sub-seafloor. During normal operations, the ship's complement consists of up to 60 scientists and technicians, and 70 crew members.

Thornton is on board with 17 other educators from the U.S. and one from Canada. She is thrilled about the opportunity to expand her experience and bring it back to the classroom at UVic.

The vessel is named for the HMS Resolution, which explored the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and the Antarctic region under the command of Captain James Cook more than 200 years ago. Like its namesake, the purpose of the current Resolution is to sail for scientific exploration. But this time, its discoveries lie deep beneath the oceans.

Media advisory: Thornton is on board the ship until the morning of April 9. Thornton is busy working most of the day, but will check her emails three times a day and respond.

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  Media Contacts:

Sarah Thornton (senior laboratory instructor, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences) at sarahjt@uvic.ca
Kim Westad (UVic Communications) at ucommr@uvic.ca
Matthew Wright (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) at mwright@oceanleadership.org

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