I have a rare opportunity and a responsibility to teach others about our world. Having been selected as a NOAA Teacher at Sea, I will be sailing aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Pisces as a scientist. Andy David, the chief scientist on our expedition, who works for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, has assigned and will be assigning me duties. Already I’ve participated in editing press materials, setting up a blog, pre-cruise meetings, and finding groups to Skype with from the ship. On board ship some of my duties will include photographing and videotaping our activities. Yeah! My students will have lots of material from which to create projects. I will be able to teach them about public access to information and my role in that from my blogging responsibilities. Having raised service dogs, I am already familiar with many aspects of public access, but it has usually been wheelchair access to buildings. Internet access for the blind hadn’t occurred to me. Learning, always learning.
I teach grades 3-5 in a pull-out program for the gifted and talented. Last week my 3rd grade students got to Skype with Andy David and asked him questions about the purpose of our cruise, what we would find there, how we would solve problems, how the ship is powered, and so much more. The students seem very interested in sharks, dolphins, whales, and turtles. Those species aren’t exactly what we are focusing on in our study of the deep water coral, Lophelia. Andy said that we would probably see all those marine creatures. That hadn’t occurred to me; they weren’t on my radar since these species haven’t been mentioned in other blogs or information pages from this study. They will be serendipitous meetings, and, although I didn’t think it possible, my excitement level has increased. I found a great web site about Lophelia. Check it out. It has easy reading, maps, pictures, and games.
Keep checking back for more on this exciting adventure. I will post my blog entries as often as bandwidth will allow after we depart on May 31, 2011 to help you better understand about our mission and what we found. We will return June 11, 2011. Until then, I will talk about things I plan to take and why.