Science and communication at sea: The JR Academy for undergraduate students

Monday 4:30pm-6:00pm Quad
Poster Session Part of Monday Poster Session


Sharon Cooper, Columbia University in the City of New York
Lisa White, University of California-Berkeley
Laurel Childress, Texas A & M University

The JR Academy is a program for undergraduate students on the ocean drilling vessel, JOIDES Resolution (JR). Designed to inspire students toward geoscience topics and careers, it was held in February 2023 for the first time since 2019. Students were recruited from throughout the United States and the cohort included 15 students from 13 states and a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. During the 10-day program, students lived and worked aboard the JR and sailed on a transit from Heraklion, Greece to Tarragona, Spain. Students learned about scientific ocean drilling as a tool to explore Earth, and the fascinating discoveries that have and are being made about our planet Earth. In addition, the program focused on communication tools and projects to share cutting edge science with the broader community. Through a partnership with the NASA Astrobiology program, a NASA communication specialist also sailed with the group, providing information and tools to students about NASA opportunities and connections between these exploratory programs. Students returned with enthusiasm, new skills, new ideas, new connections and new friends. Each is working on a science communication project as a part of the program. This presentation will present the structure and lessons learned from JR Academy through the lens of the student experiences. Funding for JR Academy was provided by two National Science Foundation-funded programs, the Ambassadors for STEM Training to Enhance Participation (A-STEP) and the U.S. Science Support Program.