They had been selected to participate in a program at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California, as part of a marine research project known as Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a five-year project of deepwater exploration and public education conducted by National Geographic and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The field work would have entailed working with biologists at the marine sanctuary to monitor oceanic life and activity. Hiking and kayaking to several of the study areas was part of the planned agenda.
The six teachers and students who were en route to California had been selected for the program by local coordinators of a Society-sponsored network of educators known as the National Geographic Alliance.
The National Geographic Society established a fund to honor and celebrate the lives of Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge and their tireless commitment to the Society's mission of education, exploration, research, and conservation.
Designated to support geography education, including continued opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and interact with the natural world, the Ferguson/Judge Fund has raised more than U.S. $200,000.
The public may still make donations to the fund. Gifts of all sizes are welcome and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Please send a check, made out to the National Geographic Society, with a note indicating the Ferguson/Judge Fund to: National Geographic Society Development Office, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.
To make a gift with a credit card online, please visit the NGS Development Office online.