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Q: Who is responsible for developing this unique partnership between NOAA and the North Carolina Natural Science Museum? Will this be an on-going effort? Are there plans for additional outreach programs, such as distance learning throughout the state and US?

A: Steve Ross of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve and the head scientist for the mission is truly responsible for pulling this group together. Not only is NOAA and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences involved, we have Ken Sulak and his group from the USGS office in Gainesville Florida, Fritz Rohde from North Carolina Marine Fisheries, Martha Nizinski from the Smithsonian, teacher Alan Felker from Boone, North Carolina, and Art Howard, a videographer from Raleigh, North Carolina. You can read more about these individuals in the Meet the Researchers section of our Web site.

This collaboration pulls together experts in fish biology, invertebrate studies, GIS work, and videography. Most science research missions are partnerships that are developed to take the best advantage of the available resources. NOAA recognizes the value of having many people working together, and they encourage collaboration and education outreach. We hope that we will have many future opportunities to work together.

The Museum plans to use the information and experiences from this mission to continue outreach and distance learning efforts throughout North Carolina and perhaps to other areas in the United States.

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