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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Expedition to the Titanic will be broadcast live at URI's Graduate School of Oceanography

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Narragansett, RI -- May 11, 2004 -- Nearly 20 years after the discovery of the RMS Titanic, University of Rhode Island oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard and a team of scientists will revisit the underwater wreck site in June 2004. Using state-of-the-art imagery and equipment, they will inspect the ship to see how it has withstood both natural changes and human exploration over the past two decades. The result will be the first-ever high definition map of the entire 12,500-foot-deep wreck site and the delivery of 24 live broadcasts, called Titanic Live!, from the wreck site to viewing locations around the US, including the URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO).

The Titanic Live! broadcasts, hosted in Rhode Island by the URI Office of Marine Programs (OMP), will showcase the Titanic expedition's use of the tandem ROV team of ARGUS and LITTLE HERC, incorporating new technology and methods to map Titanic's entire wreck site and create color mosaics of the bow and stern along with the vertical hull surfaces of the bow section. Using a shipboard satellite telecommunications system that is linked to the underwater vehicles, data and images will be transmitted back to shore in real time. During the expedition, members of the scientific team will be in direct contact with their colleagues on shore, as well as students and the general public during the live broadcasts.

The educational value goes beyond watching a live broadcast. To complement the Titanic Live! programming, a compendium of twelve student-directed, interactive modules and web-based activities for use in schools and after-school programs will be made available to program participants.

"Using Internet2 videoconferencing technology, educators and students have the opportunity to participate in an archeological expedition of the RMS Titanic, a ship that has captivated the attention of people for generations" said Maryann Scholl, OMP Titanic Live! coordinator. "The expedition will be used as a tool to educate students through a variety of interactive educational materials and activities encompassing marine archaeology, oceanography, geology, technology, culture, history, and forensic science. After the expedition, students from across the country will continue to share what they have learned with each other via scheduled Internet2 teleconferences."

Ocean State Higher Education and Administrative Network (OSHEAN) has made the Internet2 videoconferencing technology possible in Rhode Island.

"The members of OSHEAN are pleased to be working with the Office of Marine Programs once again to bring rich scientific content to the students of Rhode Island. OMP has been a great partner in utilizing the power of Internet2 and the OSHEAN network to deliver innovative educational programs throughout the state, and the world," said George Loftus, Executive Director of OSHEAN.

"Committed to providing schools with instant access via Internet 2, Cox Communications is also proud to participate in this invaluable, innovative learning experience. The classroom walls disappear as teachers continue to successfully integrate online resources in the curriculum by using our broadband technology. The instant access of Internet2 allows students and teacher to visit the Titanic with Dr. Ballard, all without leaving their classroom," said Mark Scott, vice president of business services for Cox New England.

Titanic Live! broadcasts from the expedition site will be shown four times each day over a six-day period (Friday through Wednesday, June 4 through 9, 2004) via two viewing options--in the 200-seat Corless Auditorium at the URI Narragansett Bay Campus and distributed statewide to participating classrooms and libraries via innovative Internet2 videoconferencing technology. The four, 75-minute programs will be aired daily at 9:30 and 11:30 am, and 1:00 and 3:30 pm.

To view the live broadcasts at the URI Bay Campus, individuals and groups must reserve seats by calling the Office of Marine Programs at (401) 874-6211. Tickets are $2 per person, payable at the door.

To arrange for Internet2 viewing directly in classrooms and libraries, teachers and librarians must reserve an Internet2 viewing time in advance through the Office of Marine Programs. The cost to schools and libraries to view via Internet2 has been waived due to the generous support of Rhode Island Titanic Live! sponsors Cox Communications and Cox Business Services, Ocean State Job Lot, the URI Office of the President and Office of the Provost, the Ocean State Higher Education and Administrative Network (OSHEAN), and the Rhode Island Network for Educational Technology (RINET).