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Science Oxford on board with maritime project to MAP the Black Sea

Tuesday 6th September 2016

Roger Baker, Education Support Officer at Science Oxford, embarked on a unique and exciting research trip to the Black Sea where he spent ten days mentoring four A-Level STEM students selected for the trip of a lifetime.

What stories will be revealed on the sea-bed many thousands of feet below the surface?

The Black Sea is bordered by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine and the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea have been never been explored on a large scale.

‘MAP’ – the Maritime Archaeology Project – will see experts in maritime archaeology and marine geophysics work together to investigate the seabed in order to better understand the submerged cultural heritage of Bulgaria.

MAP - Black Sea research vessel

MAP – Black Sea research vessel

They’ll be using remote sonar and deep sea diving ROVs to observe the underwater landscape in order to improve their knowledge of the prehistoric and historic environmental record of human activity in this region. Could intact shipwrecks or uncovered ancient settlements tell us more about ourselves?

What makes the project unique is that students from secondary schools nationwide are also involved. In collaboration with Catalyst Learning and Communication, Black Sea MAP has partnered with schools across the UK to identify A-Level students who show a potential and passion for STEM subjects. Following residential training at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, selected groups of students were invited to work alongside the team of international scientists on board the research vessel.



Roger Baker, Education Officer Science Oxford

Roger, who has a PhD and is also a qualified secondary science teacher, said “We are taking part in one of the largest multi-disciplinary Maritime Archaeology projects ever attempted. Our group of scholars have this amazing opportunity to work alongside a large team of international scientists, and even a film crew, to undertake marine geophysics and maritime archaeology of the unknown depths of the Bulgarian region of the Black Sea.

“As well as contributing to the wider investigations into the prehistoric and historic environmental record of human activity in this region, the students will be completing individual projects on board the research vessel, projects which will lead to a Gold Crest Award. The programme will open up to the students the exciting possibilities of a career working in a STEM subject.”

To find out more about the project head to the Black Sea MAP website.



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