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CD-ROM Puts Students "On Board" ODP Research Ship

Contact: Kasey White
Public Affairs Counsel
Ocean Drilling Program
202 232 3900 Ext. 269

For Release: Nov. 12, 2000

The Joint Oceanographic Institutions and the U.S. Science Support Program have developed a new interactive CD-ROM that takes students on a voyage of discovery on board the Ocean Drilling Program’s sophisticated science research drill ship, JOIDES Resolution.

Using sediment cores recovered by the drill ship at two ODP sites in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in the Caribbean Sea, students study the growth of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere over the past four million years.

As students search for clues to the Earth’s climate history, they learn about the links between Northern Hemisphere glaciation, plate tectonics and ocean circulation.

The program, called From Gateways to Glaciation, includes a virtual tour of the JOIDES Resolution and allows them to visit laboratories and interact with scientists who are conducting research during a typical two-month ocean-exploration voyage.

The CD-ROM is appropriate for use in high school and introductory college courses. From Gateways to Glaciation is available without charge at The From Gateways to Glaciation Teachers' Manual will be available at by January 2001. Request for copies of the CD-ROM and the teachers' manual may also be mailed to From Gateways to Glaciation, Joint Oceanographic Institutons, 1755 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20036.

The new CD-ROM was distributed to teachers and students nationwide in "Earth Science Week" kits. The American Geological Institute’s Earth Science Week (October 8-14) provides a focal point for public education concerning how the earth sciences are part of our daily lives. JOI/USSSP–as a champion of this event–supplied the 25,000 copies of both the CD and an educational "Blast from the Past" poster for the kits. The poster shows what happened when an asteroid slammed into earth 65 million years ago.

JOI is the prime contractor to the U.S. National Science Foundation for the Ocean Drilling Program, an international partnership of scientists and research institutions organized to study the evolution and structure of the Earth.

ODP scientists working on the JOIDES Resolution, have drilled more than 2,000 holes into the ocean floor Earth's crust in the last 15 years that have led to many outstanding discoveries and provided a better understanding of the Earth’s past, present and future.

The U.S. Science Program (USSSP) was created in 1984 as an integrated, long-term program to support U.S. participation in the Ocean Drilling Program. The goal of USSSP is to maximize the scientific output of ODP by involving the broadest possible cross section of U.S. scientist in a wide variety of activities. USSSP is funded by the National Science Foundation.

In 2003, the Ocean Drilling Program is scheduled to end and be succeeded by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program which will include a second drilling vessel to explore regions that are currently inaccessible because of safety considerations in the continental shelf areas of the world. These areas are vital to understanding the oceans as a system. This new program will be lead by the U.S. and Japan, as equal partners, along with significant international participation.

A USSSP-like program is expected to be formed to serve IODP.

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