MVYLI Field Trip to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Last Friday MVYLI youth ventured into the amazing world of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "They rolled out the red carpet for us," said  Noah Kleinhenz . "It was so awesome!"  A senior at MVRHS, Noah aspires to become an environmental engineer.  Creating new things and helping the environment are passions he feels strongly about.  In the fall, Noah will travel to England to study at the University of Southampton. 


For some, it was an opportunity to imagine their future careers.  For others it nurtured their curiosity, impressed upon them the importance of science, and increased their interest in our oceans.  For MVYLI youth committed to sustainability, it reinforced their awareness of the interconnectedness and fragility of our oceans.   Other MVYLI youth who traveled: Kristine Hopkins, Elijah LaRue, Kelsey Moreis, Lila Norris and Owen Singer.


Owen really enjoyed talking with Josey Kirkland about her experiences living in New Zealand.  A senior, he hopes to spend his gap year there.  "Getting youth excited about the science fields, in whatever capacity, is something I am always happy to do!" said Josey, Education Director Felix Neck.  "MVYLI is a fantastic group for island youth.  They present the next generation of the island's leaders with great opportunities."


Woods Hole is home to world famous science organizations: WHOI, MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) and NOAA Fisheries (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration).  WHOI is the largest independent oceanographic research institution in the U.S. With 1,000 staff and students, it is the largest employer in the area.  WHOI scientists, engineers, and students collaborate to develop theories, test ideas, build seagoing instruments, and collect data in diverse marine environments. 


Research Engineer Casey Machado toured the WHOI's Deep Submergence Lab (DSL) of underwater vehicles like the Nereid Under Ice vehicle and talked about other cool projects like the DVS Alvin that helped with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and was featured in film maker James Cameron's Deep Sea Challenge 3D.   Dutch Wegman toured the R/V Knorr - most famous as the ship that discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic.  "It was a lovely opportunity to share our work with an engaged group of young people," said Casey. "It's encouraging to see future generations displaying interest in the fields of ocean science and engineering."  Curator George Liles gave a tour of the Woods Hole Aquarium.


At the  MBL's Marine Resources Center  Scott Bennett let them hold native species like squid, horseshoe crabs, sea urchins and discover how they are used for biological and biomedical research.  At MBL's The Ecosystems Center Director Christopher Neill greeted them.  JC Webber engaged them explaining connections of all sciences.  Jessica Drysdale showed how ecologists study climate change from the Arctic to the Amazon.  



The MVYLI Field Trip to WHOI is part of a yearlong project envisioned during last year's Youth Leadership Summit that was dedicated to Oceans.  Last June,  WHOI's Executive Director Susan Avery invited MVYLI for a visit where she met MVYLI's Executive Director at Secretary Kerry's Oceans Summit in Washington D.C.  At the Cronkite Awards Ceremony MVYLI youth shared this project with award winner  Dr. Sylvia Earle.  Last fall, MVYLI youth organized Beach Clean Up at the Vineyard Haven Harbor.  In honor of the Ocean Conservancy's 29th International Coastal Cleanup, they partnered with MVRHS Environmental Club, National Honor Society, Oak Bluffs School Students, Cub Scout Pack 90 & 93, BioDiversity Works, Tisbury Waterways, Vineyard Conservation Society and Black Dog Sails.   This year's Youth Leadership Summit is again dedicated to oceans. 



MVYLI is grateful to The Steamship Authority for ferry tickets and Humphrey's sandwiches.  Thanks to WHOI Research Engineer Megan Carroll, MVYLI Project Coordinator Maura Valley and to Anna Cotton for giving extra credit to her physics students.  This project is supported in part from a grant from The Edey Foundation. 


MVYLI's Youth Leadership Summit is June 27-July 2.  The Orientation is Wednesday, April 29.

To nominate a Vineyard youth to MVYLI:


Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative

P.O. Box 4551 * Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 *