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Over the past several years, Flower Garden Banks, Grays Reef, and
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuaries have hosted the annual Youth Eductional Summit for the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS-YES).

These week-long adventures expose students from across the
country to the ocean and coastal habitats, ocean technology, and
cultural elements of each geographic area. The goal of the program is to bring together youth with an interest in the marine sciences;
provide them with educational experiences that enhance their knowledge of and respect for marine life, and promote safe and skilled exploration of the seas through scuba diving.

Following are photos from the June 3-9, 2012 NABS-YES adventure with Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Click on any picture below to see a larger, hi-resolution image. All images should be credited to FGBNMS.

June 4, 2012 - Marsh Planting

People planting marsh grasses.
NABS students getting down and dirty to help restore the salt marsh with sanctuary staff and the Galveston Bay Foundation!

June 5, 2012 - Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

The head of an alligator just barely protruding above the surface of some brown water.
First gator of the day!

Students helping a park volunteer pull a net through a roadside waterway.Pulling a net to see what else lives there besides gators.

Three people pulling a net to shore.Pulling the net ashore.

Students collecting the catch out of the net on shore.Pulling a net to see what else lives there besides gators.

A volunteer tells students about what they caught.
A refuge volunteer helped the kids identify crabs, shrimp, and various species of fish before setting them free again.

An alligator's head peaking out from under a dock.
Second gator of the day! This one had just stolen a net from the previous group before retreating under the dock.

Looking through tall grasses at a freshwater area beyond.Freshwater slough view.

Students using dip nets to catch things out of the freshwater slough.
The kids used dip nets to collect specimens from this freshwater area to determine its health.

Kids looking at a tub of water that contains the items they caught in their dip nets.Another refuge volunteer talks to the kids about what they found.

A tadpole sitting among other items in a tub of water.
A tadpole well on its way to frogdom. Two legs down, two to go!

A small water animal on display in a large spoon full of water.
A water tiger--described as one of the most vicious of water critters. Good thing it's only a problem for other water critters!
June 5, 2012 - OceanWorks

Chanel climbing into a large diving suit used for deep dives.
NABS student diver, Chanel, climbing in the one-atmosphere diving suit while at OceanWorks learning about marine technology.

June 6, 2012 - Moody Gardens

A NOAA Fisheries scientist tells a student how to operate the ROV.

Juan from NOAA Fisheries shows the first student how to drive the Fisheries ROV at the South Pacific exhibit in the Aquarium at Moody Gardens.

A student at the controls of the ROV.
Each student got a chance to pilot the ROV.

A student looking over the glass panel to watch the ROV in the aquarium exhibit.
Another student watches the ROV from the front glass panel of the exhibit.

Two students operating the ROV controls.
Each student got advice from the person who piloted the vehicle before him/her.

Two students guide the cable connecting the ROV to the control box.

Line handling was another important job.

Ed the Bear poses in front of the exhibit while an aquarium worker floats in the water behind him.
Ed the Bear has been traveling with the NABS group this trip and was quick to than the diver who helped untangle the ROV umbilical for us.

Looking at the ROV from an underwater viewing panel at the aquarium.
Watching the ROV from one of the underwater panels at the South Pacific exhibit.

Two student divers as seen from the underwater viewing tunnel in the aquarium exhibit.
After operating the ROV, two of the student divers got a chance to dive in the Caribbean exhibit, along with Ryan and Michelle from the sanctuary.

A student diver swimming over the glass tunnel in the aquarium exhibit.
The rest of the group watched as one of the diving students swam over the tunnel.

Group seated in front of a viewing panel at the aquarium as the divers swim behind them.
The whole group gathered in the Ocean View room for a photo op with the divers in the background. Lighting was definitely a challenge.

Divers swiming in the aquarium with the rest of the group seated in front of the viewing panel.
This group photo shows the divers better.

Two students watching fish and divers in the aquarium.
The Caribbean tunnel was a great place to view the diving and the fish.

Sanctuary diver waves at the group viewing from the tunnel.
Sanctuary researcher Michelle waves at the group inside the Caribbean dome.

An excited student pointing at divers in the aqurium.
Everyone was thrilled with the experience!

Students holding up the sharks teeth they received as souvenirs.
Each of the students got a sharks tooth from the aquarium as a memento.

Ed the Bear posing in front of divers in the aquarium.
Ed the Bear poses with the divers at the end of their dive.

Students inside a shark cage at the aquarium.

Students pose inside a shark cage on display at Moody Gardens.

June 7, 2012 - Battleship Texas

A students standing near a railing with the Battelship Texas visible in the background.

First look at Battleship Texas.

Students in a narrow passageway inside Battleship Texas.

Exploring inside to complete a scavenger hunt.

A students climbing a steep set of stairs inside the Battleship Texas.

Lots of steep stairs!

A students looking out at the Houston Ship Channel from an upper deck of Battelship Texas.

Looking out over the Houston Ship Channel.

Group posing on an upper deck of Battleship Texas with the ship channel behind them.
Group photo on an upper deck.

A person with a camera looking up at us from a lower deck.
Here's looking at you!

A tall obelisk-shaped monument in the distance with the ship's bow in the foreground.
San Jacinto battleground and monumnet viewed from Battleship Texas.

June 8, 2012 - Texas A&M and the R/V Manta

Students looking through observation windows at the TAMUG sealife facility.
Group learns about sea turtle rehab and various university research projects at the Texas A&M Galveston (TAMUG) Sealife Facility.
Three people and a stuffed bear pose in  front of a painting showing sea life of the Gulf of Mexico.
Ed the Bear poses with one of the NABS participants and two of the A&M students who taught us about the Sealife Facility.

Students walking away from a glass-fronted building.

Happy students heading to their next activity.

A long orange tube with hoses and a glass cover for each end.

Students learned about the portable recompression chamber, an important piece of safety equipment for dive operations on board R/V Manta.

One person fitting an oxygen mask to another person who is lying down.

Our first practice "patient" is fitted with a breathing mask and a throat microphone for communication.

A student lying down and strapped in to a soft mat.
Our second practice "patient" is hooked up as if this was a real emergency.

Student pulling on one end cap of a long orange tube.
Students help seal the recompression chamber as it is pressurized with nobody inside. This was a practice drill for the sanctuary divers to make sure everything is running properly.

R/V Manta at the dock, viewed from the stern forward.

R/V Manta sitting dockside waiting for the students to board.

Students crossing the gangway from the dock onto the R/V Manta.Students board the R/V Manta for the next part of their adventure.

Students sitting on a bench in the pilot house of the R/V Manta.
Students sit on a bench in the wheel house of the R/V Manta and watch the captain get the vessel underway.

Students sitting in front of the pilot house of the R/V Manta.
Students sit in the observation area of the R/V Manta, just in front of the wheel house.

Students on a boat as it approaches a draw bridge that is opening.
Students watch as the R/V Manta approaches the draw bridge at Pelican Island.

Students listening to a person explaining a large piece of equipment on the deck of a boat.
Ryan Eckert explains how a CTD is used to check Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth of water.

People in hard hats getting ready to launch a piece of equipment off the deck of a boat.
Ryan and some students get ready to launch the CTD from the back deck of the R/V Manta.

Boat back into space by a dock.

R/V Manta returns to the TAMUG dock after taking students out into Galveston Bay to collect water samples.

Group of students, some wearing red hats, on the observation deck of the R/V Manta.

Group photo in front of the pilot house on R/V Manta. The red watch caps are in honor of Jacques Cousteau, an ocean exploration pioneer whose birthday was in June.

June 8, 2012 - Surfing in Galveston

Students lined up on the beach and stretching their arms.
Before surfing, everyone stretched out their arms, legs, and backs.
Leader directs students on beach to do pushups.
Ken led the group in some pushups in preparation for learning to stand up on a surf board.

Two groups of people in the waves at the beach learning to surf.

Surfing lessons were provided by Surfriders Galveston. Each surfer worked with a group of 4-5 students.

Michelle and Matthew posing for the camera in front of the water.
Michelle Johnston & Matthew were excited to get in the water and go surfing.

Basir in the water with a surfboard floating alongside him.

Basir couldn't get enough of surfing and went back into the waves time and again.

Jimi sitting in a beach chair under an umbrella.

Jimi Mack, a Sanctuary Advisory Council member and local NABS coordinator, watches the surfing from a comfortable spot on the beach.

Ken asleep in a beach chair with Ed the Bear in his lap.

Ken and Ed the Bear were completely worn out by the end of the day.

weather report observations cool stuff get wet

Juvenile blue tang (fish).  Bright yellow body with irridescent blue marking around eye and at top edge of dorsal fin.
National Marine Sanctuary logo - a stylized whale tail above waves