Diane Stanitski: Days 1-5 (Pre-Trip Log), August 11-15, 2002

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Diane Stanitski

Aboard NOAA Ship Ka’imimoana

August 16-30, 2002

Date: August 11-15, 2002

Pre-Trip Log

Two years ago, I took my Shippensburg University Climatology class on a field trip to the National Headquarters of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, MD. It was then that I learned about an amazing opportunity sponsored by NOAA known as the Teacher at Sea Program, and was immediately interested. I always keep my eyes open for new opportunities to learn up-to-date information about the atmosphere and to conduct exciting field research. This would also be a perfect chance for my students to learn more about current research which would help inspire them to pursue careers in the atmospheric and physical sciences.

During spring 2001, I was invited to attend a reception for Susan Carty, the first fully sponsored Teacher at Sea. She was inspiring, especially as I read her logs and learned about the kinds of research that she became involved with on the ship. I then attended the reception for Jennifer Richards and Jane Temoshok, the 2nd and 3rd sponsored Teachers at Sea. I then applied for an upcoming 24-day voyage from Honolulu to Nuku Hiva (where?!?) after reviewing my atlas to see where the ship would travel. I couldn’t believe it when I heard from the NOAA Teacher at Sea program that I’d been accepted! I immediately spoke with my husband who thought that I should jump at the opportunity (thanks, Jonathan!). Upon receipt of this dream position I followed Dana Tomlinson via the Teacher at Sea web site (this one!) as she set sail on the Ka’imimoana, the same ship that I am on today, experiencing the exciting research that she shared with her elementary school students. All previous teachers were excellent communicators and great sports. I hope that I can follow their exemplary performance.

Here is my story…

During the past week in Waikiki, I met with Cindy Hunter and other educators at the Waikiki Aquarium, to describe NOAA’s Teacher at Sea (TAS) Program so that they could more easily plan their own upcoming educator at sea program to the northwest Hawaiian Islands. It was exciting to learn that their teacher’s adventure would follow mine by a few days in mid-September. I will definitely plan to follow their voyage at the web site http://www.hawaiianatolls.org. Dr. John Kermond (the director, producer, videographer, etc. of all TAS webcasts) and I shot video footage at the Aquarium and interviewed their volunteers and educators.

Dr. Kermond was interviewed all day on Sunday, August 11, by the director of a Discovery (Canada) documentary about global warming, specifically El Niño’s link to global processes. The film crew asked me to walk beside Dr. Kermond along a gorgeous stretch of Waikiki Beach while they filmed us discussing El Niño together. We had to shoot the scene many times due to interruptions by planes flying overhead, dogs and people entering the picture, or clouds muting the light. It’s amazing what goes into a few minutes of tape during film production…very interesting overall.

We also met Delores Clark, of NOAA’s Public Affairs Office. I learned more about what their office does and she organized a meeting for us with the morning meteorologist from KHNL, a local Honolulu TV station. The broadcaster was most interested in the new tsunami buoy that is replacing an older one in the mid-Pacific. It will assist with the warning of tsunamis for the Hawaiian coastline. He also interviewed me about the Teacher at Sea Program.

It was an exciting couple days of new experiences.

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