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press

PAST Foundation Honored in NOPP 2017 Excellence in Partnering Award

February 7, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact
:
Lori Trent
PAST Foundation
614-340-1208
ltrent@pastfoundation.org

 

PAST FOUNDATION HONORED IN NOPP 2017 EXCELLENCE IN PARTNERING AWARD

COLUMBUS, Ohio, January 12, 2018 – PAST Foundation one of GOM-SCHEMA’s partners (Gulf of Mexico Shipwreck Corrosion, Hydrocarbon Exposure, Microbiology, and Archaeology), is among the recipients of the NOPP Excellence in Partnering Award. Other GOM-SCHEMA’s partners include the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Naval Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, George Mason University, University of Southern Mississippi, Oceaneering Inc., Droycon Bioconcepts Inc., Montana State University, and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The Excellence in Partnering Award is given annually to a NOPP project that best exemplifies the NOPP’s objective of developing a successful network of partnerships to advance the ocean sciences.

The GOM-SCHEMA team, led by Dr. Leila J. Hamdan of the University of Southern Mississippi and Melanie Damour of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, investigated the impact of oil exposure on historic shipwrecks from the microscopic to the macro scale during a four-year period and the subsequent recovery of these sensitive deepwater habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. During this project, the team discovered that a sunken WWII German U-boat and a 19th century wooden-hulled sailing vessel located within 10 miles of the spill’s origin had been exposed to the fallout plume of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and that such exposure could have negative impacts on the long-term preservation of these non-renewable, historically significant cultural resources and their resident biological communities.

The GOM-SCHEMA project involved scientists from a wide array of disciplines, such as maritime archaeology, geology, micro biology, and microbial ecology from both public and private organizations exemplifying the effective use of public-private partnerships in understanding the role of historic shipwrecks as deepwater ecosystems. PAST’s role in the project was to also actively involve K–12 classrooms in its research expeditions through real-time interactions and leverage that excitement into long term impactful learning.  Through the SCHEMA project PAST developed an ROV competition that has evolved into the MATE Buckeye Regional impacting students throughout the Midwest and connecting them to a national network. The MATE competitions mirror the real world challenges that met the Oceaneering’s Global Explorer ROV as it collected video and sonar data, deployed biofilm monitoring platforms and recovered sediment, coral and debris samples. 

“The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is extremely proud of this winning partnership,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “The team exemplifies the highest degree of collaboration, coordination, cooperation, and scientific excellence needed to understand the impacts from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on historic shipwrecks and ecosystem recovery. The vibrant science education outreach and diversity of the research team, as well as the quality of the scientific work, represent all we strive for in conducting ocean research.”

As the winner of the 2017 Excellence in Partnering Award, the GOM-SCHEMA project will be honored during the closing plenary of the 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, taking place from February 5 to 8 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information on the research, please visit the BOEM website and the University of Southern Mississippi website.

This is the third NOPP (National Oceanographic Partnership Program) award PAST Foundation has received. Both Dr. Annalies Corbin and Dr. Sheli Smith were not only involved in the projects but led the educational outreach. “Giving high school students real-world experiences to help them select their career pathways is one of the most rewarding parts of these experiences,” said Dr. Shelli Smith. “This is where PAST’s transdisciplinary problem-based learning is put into use. Once the groundwork is laid, students jump in and tackle problems that you just cannot imagine in a classroom!

ABOUT NOPP

As the winner of the 2017 Excellence in Partnering Award, the GOM-SCHEMA project will be honored during the closing plenary of the 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, taking place from February 5 to 8 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information on the research, please visit the BOEM website and the University of Southern Mississippi website.

ABOUT PAST

For over 17 years, PAST, a non-profit foundation, has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. Most notably, PAST was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report. PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication (full report).

PAST was also recognized in 2014, by CGI America and former President Bill Clinton for their outstanding work, and again in 2015 for their achievements in improving STEM education in rural America. In 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab was recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design.

For more information on PAST Foundation and how you can link learning to life, visit https://pastfoundation.org/ or contact Lori Trent at ltrent@pastfoundation.org.