Lemont, Ill. – May 30, 2019 – In recognition of his leadership in STEM education, Lemont High School teacher and science department chair, Scott Collins, was selected as one of four 2019 CITGO Nautilus Ambassadors who embarked on a four-day sea voyage offshore of Los Angeles, California on May 9. The Nautilus Ambassador Program, which invites teachers aboard the research vessel E/V Nautilus to learn about ocean science, 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 ambassadors joined the Corps of Exploration aboard E/V Nautilus as they explored ancient submerged shorelines and caves on Osborn Bank near the Channel Islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

In addition to his role as an educator, Collins has also been a champion for the Heritage Quarries Restoration Project in Lemont, Ill. and was pivotal in launching the CITGO Innovation Academy at Lemont High School. According to Collins, being a part of the dedicated team onboard was an incredible experience. “We came from different locations and backgrounds, but we all shared a common love for science and research,” said Collins. While onboard, Collins had the opportunity to communicate directly with students and teachers at Lemont High School via a live ship-to-shore video interaction. He shared about the Corps of Exploration team’s use of the ROV Hercules to examine ancient caves near the Channel Islands and answered questions about life onboard the ship.

Vice President and General Manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery Dennis Willig said being able to serve the local community by further equipping teachers is truly an honor. “I’m sure Scott has returned to his role at Lemont High School with many new ideas, resources and insights to share with his students and peers from this great adventure. CITGO is proud to be part of this learning experience for both Scott and the school. STEM education opportunities like this one opens a whole new world of opportunities for everyone involved,” said Willig.

Since 2014, CITGO and OET have partnered to create a variety of STEM educational opportunities for teachers and students nationwide. 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. The CITGO-OET Community STEM partnership also supports educator professional development opportunities, STEM enrichment curricula, classroom grants, and in-classroom programs across greater Lake Charles, La., Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, and Lemont, Ill.

About the Ocean Exploration Trust

The Ocean Exploration Trust was founded in 2008 by Dr. Robert Ballard to explore the ocean, seeking out new discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, and archaeology while pushing the boundaries of STEAM education and technological innovation. Our international program is launched from aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, offering live exploration to participants on shore and the public via live video, audio, and data feeds. The major 2019 expedition and education sponsors are the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Office of Naval Research, NASA Science Mission Directorate PSTAR program, Air Sea Heritage Foundation, University of Rhode Island, CITGO, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, Richard Lounsbery Foundation, University of California Santa Barbara, Phil Stephenson Foundation, Nippon Foundation/GEBCO Scholars Program, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, KVH, Global Dynamix, ESS, and additional private donors.


Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 45 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,500 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the fifth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 4,900 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.