The devastation of coral reefs will be the topic of the next episode of “Classroom Under the Sea,” an online lecture series hosted by two local college educators living underwater for more than two months.
Roane State Community College biology professor Bruce Cantrell and adjunct professor Jessica Fain are living and working in an underwater habitat for 73 days. While they stay in the habitat, where the living space is about the size of a dorm room, Fain and Cantrell host “Classroom Under the Sea,” an educational program about marine science.
Guests visiting the habitat for the December 4 episode are David Vaughan from the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and Kayla Ripple, nursery program manager for the Coral Restoration Foundation. They will discuss the devastation of coral reefs and what is being done to preserve coral formations. Approximately 50-80 percent of the large coral population in the Caribbean has died in the past 40 years.
Viewers are invited to tweet questions for Cantrell, Fain, or the guests to @ClassUnderSea or by using #ClassroomUndertheSea.
The final episode of Classroom Under the Sea will be Thursday, December 11.
Recordings of each Classroom Under the Sea episode are available on youtube.com/classroomunderthesea.
All Classroom Under the Sea episodes have been made possible through the generous support of Diversity in Aquatics, the project’s official sponsor. To learn more about Diversity in Aquatics, please visit www.diversityinaquatics.com.
In addition to hosting the weekly programs, Cantrell is teaching an online college-credit course—BIOL 2600: Living and Working Under the Sea—for Roane State students.
During their stay, which ends December 15, Cantrell and Fain will also set a world record for the longest time spent living underwater.
For more information about the Classroom Under the Sea, visit roanestate.edu/classroomunderthesea.
Roane State is a two-year, 6200-student college with nine campuses in East Tennessee. For more information, visit roanestate.edu.
Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. All colleges in the system offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit tncommunitycolleges.org.
Located on Key Largo in the Florida Keys, the Marine Resources Development Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the goal of developing a better understanding of Earth’s marine resources. For more information, visit www.mrdf.org.
Jules’ Undersea Lodge was the undersea research habitat called “La Chalupa,” which Marine Resources Development Foundation operated from 1971-1976. Several missions were conducted in the habitat, including two at a depth of 100 feet. In 1986, the habitat started a new life as Jules’ Undersea Lodge, which is to date the only underwater hotel in the world and accessible to any recreational diver. Learn more at www.jul.com.