SEARSPORT — Maine Ocean School will undertake a citizen scientist project, beginning this academic year, that will explore the dynamics of the Penobscot River Estuary, the school announced Aug. 9, together with an invitation to prospective students to enroll in the public magnet high school.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, students will contribute to the research conducted by Lauren Ross, an assistant professor of hydraulics and water resources at the University of Maine.

In this unique hands-on learning opportunity, according to the press release, students will support the collection of data from 12 spots along the estuary during a five-year study. Upon further analysis, the students’ data will help quantify the mixing process of salt and fresh water in estuaries around the world. At the conclusion of the study, students will understand the differences among estuaries, be able to explain simple tidal and volume conservation theory, and use data visualization tools, the press release said.

“This is one of the many wonderful examples of how we incorporate real-world learning at Maine Ocean
School,” said Kylie Bragdon, executive director of Maine Ocean School. “In addition to providing students with employable skills,” she said such opportunities encourage students “to contribute to the broader ocean community.”

Maine Ocean School incorporates an ocean-themed curriculum to provide students with the skills needed for jobs in Maine and on the ocean. All residents of Maine may attend free of charge, either in person or virtually. Applications for the upcoming school year can be found at mainoceanschool.org.

Encouraging students to enroll, Maine Ocean School senior Hannah Mellor said the school “has provided me with an individualized curriculum, one-on-one support, a family-like atmosphere, and has helped improve my confidence as a learner. I would highly recommend this high school to anyone interested in the ocean.”