Dr. Ballard
and the Jason XIV Project

by Geeta Malik

<center>Dr. Bob Ballard</center>
Dr. Bob Ballard

Dr. Bob Ballard, the creator of the Jason Project, stopped to talk to MY HERO in Santa Barbara. He says, "my hero was Captain Nemo. I always liked Captain Nemo. He was a naval officer, which I became, and an oceanographer, which I became, so I would say he was my principal hero. Well, I started at UCSB and I actually became an army offier, through ROTC, studying general science. Then I went off to graduate school at the University of Hawaii, transferred into the Navy, and then the Navy assigned me to a deep diving submariner. I came back and then got my PhD in marine geoglogy."

<center>Claire Johnson</center>
Claire Johnson

Claire Johnson, works for NOA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Marine Sanctuaries program. For the past five years, she's worked on a project, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and NOAA, called "Sustainable Seas." Claire traveled on the research vessel. She says, "The sub went to about 2000 feet. I was trained as a pilot, but I only did some training dives in Monterey and Key West."

When asked who inspired her, Claire says, "Jaques Cousteau, being the father of the ocean, was an inspiration to me. I was born and raised in Hawaii, surrounded by the marine environment, and I was always curious about what lies beneath...just having a passion for the ocean really has driven me in this direction." Claire believes that women can do anything in the sciences that they want to. She says, "each day, there are fewer and fewer barriers, and these days women in the ocean enviroment are very accepted and encouraged, and I think it’s fabulous because it's equal opportunity when if comes to the oceans." She advises young people to "definitely study hard, get involved with sciences at a young age, and don’t let your curiosity ever disappear. And when you get to a certain age, make sure you intern and volunteer."

<center>Argonauts Lance and  Andrea</center>
Argonauts Lance and Andrea

Student Argonaut Andrea, and Teacher Argonauts Linda and Margie discussed the Jason Project and their experiences.

Andrea: I want to be a mechanical engineer. Without the instruments, you can't do the science, so that's what I'm interested in.

Margie: I love Dr. Ballard's idea of including children and taking children along, and giving back and encouraging the younger generation coming through, and inspiring them. Lots of other scientists also out there are trying to do the same thing, to give their time to come over to the school, and who want to reach children and the future generation as well.

Andrea: Just as long as you try your hardest, I don’t think there should be any obstacles with being a girl in science.

Linda: Back in the 70's when I was in high school and college, I was the only woman in the geology department, and I kept going to the classes and thinking I was kind of strange becuase I was the only woman there. And nowadays, there are so many more women in science and that is so important. They can do it as well as they can do anything. Andrea is going to be somwhere doing something important--it makes me proud to say she is a woman! We have a much brighter future with kids like these because they’re out there getting involved, and they're full of wonderful ideas.

Page created on 6/7/2004 1:45:29 PM

Last edited 6/7/2004 1:45:29 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

The Jason Project - A link to the Jason XIV Project on the Channel Islands
Dr. Robert Ballard - The My Hero page about Dr. Ballard
XIV Argonauts - Read more about other Student Argonauts

Related Books


Author Info

JASON XIV: From Shore to Sea (school year 2002-2003) is engaging students and teachers in an exciting journey to explore the unique Channel Islands region of California. This area includes the Channel Islands National Park, the waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the densely populated California coastline, and serves as the project's laboratory for studying nature's dynamic systems.