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U.S.-Australia environmental education partnership is being led by Horn Point Professor Judy O'Neil

March 25, 2013
Professor Andrew Campbell (Charles Darwin University), Minister for School Education Peter Garrett, U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich, and Professor Judy O'Neil. Courtesy of U.S. Embassy, Canberra/U.S. Government Work

Professor Judy O'Neil of the Horn Point Laboratory joined U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich and Australia’s Minister for School Education Peter Garrett in Canberra, Australia, on March 22 to launch the U.S.-Australia Virtual Environmental Partnership, or US/AUS-H20, a program is designed to promote science education and raise awareness of environmental issues. This virtual environmental partnership will create a web platform between Australian and American high school students to investigate the sustainability of local water cycles.

"Protecting our water sources and waterways is an incredibly important issue for students everywhere," O'Neil said. "Getting kids involved in their local water issues--and hooked on science and sustainabilty--is key for promoting informed citizens, future scientists, and this generation of future decision makers."

US/AUS-H20 will link teams of secondary school students in Australia and the United States in an online collaborative program designed to promote science education and raise student awareness and knowledge of common environmental issues. Queen Anne's County High School in Maryland will be one of the U.S. schools participating in the program.

In total, eight bi-national teams will work together on joint projects to investigate components of their local water cycles and evaluate overall sustainability. Titled “How Sustainable is Your Water Cycle,” the program will be administered by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and Charles Darwin University.

This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State as part of the Global Connections and Exchange Program. The Principal Investigator for the project is Dr. Judy O’Neil, Horn Point Laboratory. In addition, Drs. Cindy Heil from Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in Maine, Simon Costanzo, Adrian Jones and Bill Dennison from the Integration and Application Network are actively contributing to the project. Professor Andrew Campbell from Charles Darwin University is coordinating the Australian component of the effort.

More information on the U.S.-Australia Virtual Environmental Partnership can be found here: http://www.usaus-h2o.org/.