Citgo kicks off ocean ambassador program to boost STEM education [Houston Chronicle]

May 23– May 23Houston’sCitgo Petroleum is giving a boost to STEM educators by sponsoring two Texas teachers and two others to learn more about ocean science by sailing abroad a research vessel to explore sea caves and submerged shorelines.

The annual Nautilus Ambassador Program, which invites teachers aboard the research vessel E/V Nautilus to learn about oceanography, is co-funded by CITGO and the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET), a non-profit founded by renowned explorer Dr. Robert Ballard to support ocean exploration. The vessel set sail May 9 from Los Angeles and the expedition will last through October.

The ambassadors join the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus as they explore ancient submerged shorelines and caves on Osborn Bank near the Channel Islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Citgo started participating in the program in 2014. The vessel leaves from a different location every year, and in 2015 ambassadors explored the Gulf Coast. The teachers return to their communities to share more about oceanography with their classrooms in the communities where Citgo has operations in the U.S.

The effort is driven by the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline, a broader initiative promoting partnerships with schools near the company’s headquarters and refineries to increase access to quality STEM education.

“These ambassadors are role models for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and educators and we are privileged to be part of their voyage — on the E/V Nautilus and in leading the next generation,” said CITGO General Manager Community Relations, CSR and Legislative Affairs Larry Elizondo.

Citgo Petroleum is a Houston-based refiner with about 3,400 employees nationally and 800 in the Houston area.


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