NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
August 11 — 24, 2011
Mission: Shark Longline Survey
Geographical Area: Southern Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico
Date: August 2, 2011
If you asked me 35 years ago, “Who is your hero?” My reply would’ve been, “Wonder Woman.” If you asked me the same question today, my answer would be “lifelong learners.” It is due to these people that solutions are being found for clean water, that animals are being saved, and that people are being educated at just how fragile our earth is right now. NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) is full of such people (Jennifer Hammond, Liz McMahon, Rob Ostheimer, Elizabeth Bullock, for starters). I have been in contact with each of these individuals. They have one thing in common: a passion about learning. To this end, NOAA has a Teacher at Sea program. This season over 30 were chosen out of the United States. Each of us will be on a different voyage. This is where I come in because I am a 2011 Teacher at Sea. So, who am I?
My name is Jennifer Goldner. I teach 5th grade science in Room 8 in Jay Upper Elementary School in Jay, Oklahoma. Our town is small in size, but we have big ideas. If we don’t have resources, we find a way to get a project done. Here are just a few of the things we have done: our class has been featured in Popular Science and on Channel 6 News; we’ve worked with U.S. Satellite and Laboratory and NASA; and we’ve designed and built a tree house. We recently took a trip to Space Camp where we took home top honors of having the highest accuracy in completing our missions.Oregon II in the Gulf of Mexico, August 11-24th.
There are 3 main types of ships: 1. fisheries research ship, 2. hydrographic survey ship, and 3. oceanic and atmospheric ship. I am on the most physically challenging of all the cruises: the fisheries cruise. I, along with the crew, will be doing 12 hour work shifts. We will be doing a shark and snapper longline survey. I am privileged to be studying with Chief Scientist Mark Grace. His work precedes him. I have already been told he is top notch. He is the Shark Unit Leader. I cannot wait to learn from him! The crew consists of about 30 people, including officers, fishermen, deck crew, engineers, electronics crew, cooks, scientists, and 1 teacher (that would be me). NOAA Ship Oregon II, also referred to as “O2”, is headed by Commanding Officer, Master Dave Nelson. Again, I have heard rave reviews about him. I am anxious to meet him in person!
As for my travel plans, I will fly in to Jacksonville, Florida. I will then spend the night on my new “home away from home,” NOAA Ship Oregon II, in Mayport, Florida. We will depart on August 11th and sail around the entire coast of Florida. O2 will travel to Pascagoula, Mississippi, arriving on August 24th. You can follow us on the Ship Tracker.
While at sea I will be posting 2-3 blogs a week. Please join in on our polls, read along about our voyage, and post comments and questions. Let’s show NOAA that we are lifelong learners who value the importance of oceanic research. Besides, if you have read this entire blog entry, that makes you my hero.