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Buzz Aldrin will be among guests on Classroom Under the Sea

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Roane State Community College

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon, will be among the guests appearing this fall on Classroom Under the Sea, an online show hosted by two educators living underwater for 73 days.

Roane State Community College biology professor Bruce Cantrell and adjunct professor Jessica Fain will live and work in an underwater habitat from Oct. 3-Dec. 15. The habitat, Jules’ Undersea Lodge, is located 25 feet down in the lagoon at the Marine Resources Development Foundation on Key Largo in the Florida Keys.

While in the habitat, where living space is the size of a dorm room, Fain and Cantrell will host weekly live episodes of Classroom Under the Sea. Aldrin will appear in the Oct. 16 episode.

Roane State and the Marine Resources Development Foundation are partnering to present Classroom Under the Sea broadcasts. The first episode, titled  “History of Man in the Sea,” will be Thursday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Viewers can watch live at roanestate.edu/classroomunderthesea or on youtube.com/classroomunderthesea. Recordings of each program will be available on youtube.com/classroomunderthesea.

Viewers are invited to tweet questions for Cantrell, Fain or guests to @ClassUnderSea or by using #ClassroomUndertheSea.

All Classroom Under the Sea episodes have been made possible through the generous support of Diversity in Aquatics, the project’s official sponsor. To learn more about Diversity in Aquatics, please visit www.diversityinaquatics.com.

Thursday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. EDT: History of Man in the Sea: Experts will discuss the fascinating, and daring, history of underwater habitats. The program is sponsored by the Atlantic Rangers Scuba Club.

Thursday, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. EDT: The Sea and Space Connection: How do astronauts learn to land on an asteroid? They practice under the sea. Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Mike Gernhardt will discuss how the undersea environment has helped astronauts train for missions beyond the atmosphere. The program is sponsored by the Sun Chaser Project.

Thursday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. EDT: Fisheries: Prey and Predator: The episode will address the devastating lionfish invasion and the famed, and misunderstood, shark.

Thursday, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. EDT: The World of Art and Its Impact on Ocean Conservation: Renowned marine life artist Wyland and underwater photographer Stephen Frink will share how the ocean influences their work and how they use art to show the fragility of the ocean.

Thursday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m. EST: Marine Archaeology: Marine archaeologists will discuss how explorers and scientists find cultural resources beneath the sea, preserve them, and reconstruct stories lost in the depths of the oceans.

Thursday, Nov. 13, 1 p.m., EST: Ocean Exploration and Climate Change: The oceans remain a source for fascinating discoveries. This episode will cover the latest research on the oceans and address climate change.

Thursday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m. EST, Recreation Diving and Its Impact on Ocean Conservation: You do not have to be a marine scientist to help conserve the oceans. Experts will discuss how anyone can learn to dive and contribute to ocean conservation. The program is sponsored by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI).

Thursday, Dec. 4, 1 p.m. EST: Coral Restoration: Approximately 50-80 percent of the large coral population in the Caribbean has died in the past 40 years. Experts will discuss the devastation of coral reefs and what is being done to preserve coral formations.

Thursday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. EST, Wrap-Up: After more than two months underwater, Fain, Cantrell and guests from the Marine Resources Development Foundation will put Classroom Under the Sea in perspective.

In addition to hosting the weekly programs, Cantrell is teaching an online college-credit course for Roane State students. After 73 days in the habitat, Cantrell and Fain will also set a world record for the longest time spent living underwater.

For more on Classroom Under the Sea, visit roanestate.edu/classroomunderthesea.

Roane State is a two-year, 6200-student college with nine campuses in East Tennessee. For more information, visit roanestate.edu.

Tennessee’s Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. All colleges in the system offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit tncommunitycolleges.org.

Located on Key Largo in the Florida Keys, the Marine Resources Development Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the goal of developing a better understanding of Earth's marine resources. For more information, visit www.mrdf.org.