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El Capitan Science Teacher Joins Expedition Studying Earthquakes in Costa Rica

Dena Rosenberger will join an international team of geoscientists and technicians to show students what science looks like in action.

Submitted by the Grossmont Union High School District

Dena Rosenberger, a high school science teacher from El Capitan High School, has been chosen to join an international team of geoscientists and technicians on board the scientific ocean drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution this fall. Her role will be to help communicate the daily progress of the expedition – which will study the genesis of earthquakes near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica – through a variety of methods including blogs, videos, social media updates, and live videoconferences.

The JOIDES Resolution will set sail from Balboa, Panama on October 23 to begin Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 344 (Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project A Stage 2), also known as CRISP 2. Co-chief scientists Robert Harris (Oregon State University) and Arito Sakaguchi (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology) will lead a team of 31 scientists representing 11 countries.

“This will be an incredible opportunity to show students all over the world what real science looks like in action,” says Rosenberger. 

“I hope they will see that science isn’t always something you read in a book or see in a video, and that scientists don’t always know what they will find! I am so excited to be a part of these fantastic discoveries, and to bring them live into classrooms and other venues all over the world.”

The team will pick up where a previous expedition, CRISP 1, left off last year. CRISP 1 was the first expedition to drill an erosive convergent margin for scientific study, establishing several boreholes along the margin between the Cocos and Caribbean plates off the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

CRISP 1 did not reach the framework rock of the upper plate, which is the main input into the seismogenic zone. The CRISP 2 team hopes to sample this material, which should reveal much about the nature of the margin’s seismic activity. 

Chosen via a competitive nationwide search process, Rosenberger teaches Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and AP Environmental Science at El Capitan High School. She has also worked as a research assistant for the Navy, which gave her a love of research. Rosenberger has also worked in both the Arctic and Antarctic on NSF-sponsored teacher research experiences. She enjoys blending teaching science with being a part of scientific research so that she can share the excitement of discovery with students.

 “We’re honored that Ms. Rosenberger has been selected for this prestigious project,” says Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Ralf Swenson. “What she brings back to the classroom will be invaluable for her students for many years to come.”

As the Education Officer for Expedition 344, Rosenberger’s responsibility is to learn shipboard science alongside the expedition’s science party and translate her learning experiences for educators, students, families and the general public. She will share her insights through the creation of blogs, videos, social networking site updates, live video conferencing from the ship and classroom activities.

You can follow Rosenberger and the rest of the expedition team at: www.joidesresolution.org/blog. Learn more about hosting a live ship-to-shore video broadcast for your class or group, and/or sign up for a live broadcast here: www.joidesresolution.org/node/1746.

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