Two Jackson County students travel to Alaska

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - By Jessica Bowman – email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Two high school students from Jackson County are packing their bags for a trip to Cordova, Alaska. The two won scholarships to attend an Ocean Science and Leadership Expedition.

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center sits right on the Pascagoula River. Friday, it was packed with friends and family honoring two scholars as they prepare for a learning adventure.

"I really don't know what to expect, but I just want to have a good time and learn as much as possible and soak up all the knowledge I can bring back here," Cierra Martin said.

Martin will be a senior this year at East Central High School in Hurley. Her travel partner to Alaska, Bobby Glenn, is in his final year of high school at Mississippi School for Math and Science. Glenn said he could not be more excited about this opportunity.

"Hanging out with ten other teenagers that are interested in the same thing I am," Glenn said.

Martin and Glenn have been selected to receive $1,500 scholarships to attend the environmental expedition. During their ten day stay, they will take a four day sea kayaking trip to Valdez.

"They're doing a number of different things looking at some science aspects, but one of the most exciting things that is most applicable for us down here is an oil spill simulation program that they're going to be going through," Steve Sempier said.

Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Deputy Director Steve Sempier said while in Valdez, the class will learn firsthand about the Exxon Valdez oil spill and see what is being done to prevent future spills.

"And also studying the impacts of oil the biology and other aspects," said Sempier.

The two said they hope to bring their experience of the simulation back home.

"We'll kind of be looking at what they did to recover. How far they've come since then," Glenn said.

"Try to relate that back to the Gulf and I think learn different ways we can help out here," said Martin.

The two seniors were chosen to receive their scholarship by a committee at the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova, Alaska. Their scholarship money actually came from the Mississippi Alabama Sea Grant Program. Officials say there is an additional Mississippi student from Columbus who is also going on the trip.

The students leave Wednesday for Alaska.

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