Jennifer Goldner: Ready to Sail, August 2, 2011

 NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jennifer Goldner
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?

Jennifer Goldner, NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jennifer Goldner, NOAA Teacher at Sea

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. 

Speaking of mission, let’s get down to business: my NOAA Teacher at Sea assignment.  Though I have been to the ocean, I have never sailed on a ship. 

Take the poll to tell me if you have traveled on the ocean. I will be traveling aboard the Oregon II in the Gulf of Mexico, August 11-24th.

Oregon II
NOAA Ship Oregon II

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.

Current Cruise (8-2-11) for Oregon II on The Ship Tracker
Current Cruise (8-2-11) for NOAA Ship  Oregon II 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.

65 Replies to “Jennifer Goldner: Ready to Sail, August 2, 2011”

    1. You are the bomb! This is a great program inspiring teachers to inspire our youth who will inspire their friends…. I love that your doing this Jen

  1. What a fun and interesting first post! I am so jealous of your upcoming adventure. Can’t wait to follow along and live vicariously through you! 🙂

  2. Jenny, I’m so proud of you and know you’ll have a great time. Will you tell Sarah it’s okay for me to go swimming with whale sharks please?

  3. This is so exciting but I too must admit I am so jealous I can’t experience this first hand…so you bet I will be following your blog and adventure into the sea world. Let the learning begin! So proud of you Jen!

    1. Neil, you’ve GOT to apply next year! I didn’t get a blue flight suit like we did at Honeywell Space Academy for Educators, but I DID get a NOAA Teacher at Sea T-shirt, fanny pack, and water bottle. They are cool!

  4. Jenny, we are so proud of you!! I will be following your progress each day. You are definitely AWESOME!!

  5. Hey, Jen!
    I commented on your poll–and am leaving the same one here!

    So…I recently heard about some shark sanctuaries that have been created in some Aisan countries due to lagging populations; the demand for shark fins there (believed to be good for libido and other related items) has caused a severe decline in shark populations. I don’t know much about shark migratory habits, so I wonder if declining populations in Asia mean the same for our regional waters. If so, do we have any sanctuaries planned, or is the research NOAA is doing leading in that direction?

    Thanks for being a life-long learner! We are all with you!


  6. Hey Jen,
    This is really exciting. As always, I’m awed by your passion for learning and for teaching–those kids are the luckiest 5th graders around. Have a tremendous trip; I look forward to being educated by your posts along the way.

    1. Mark,
      I appreciate Popular Science placing importance on oceanic research, evidenced by a recent issue you published which was dedicated to this field. Keep up the GREAT work! It is a team effort to educate our world!

  7. Hey there good friend of mine!! I am soooo excited for your adventure to begin and you start posting what you have learned on here!! It is so wonderful that you are able to obtain these awesome experiences so that our students from Jay can have the benefit of learning from you. You are awesome and I hope you have a blast! Love you and be safe!!! 🙂

  8. Found you through Sarah’s blog and I am SO JEALOUS. What a chance of a lifetime! I look forward to following along via the blog! Have a great time!

  9. Dear Jenny, The Super Teacher,

    All the staff at Space Camp will be watching your experience on the good ship Oregon II, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program. And The Real Space Cowboys truly believe you have the ‘right stuff’. You are ‘go’ for launch and happy landings!
    Ed and the Space Cowboys/
    Founder, Space Camp/
    Creator-Manager The Real Space Cowboys

  10. Eat plenty of Oranges and Limes! Ha!

    A great adventure begins, this time on the high seas (during hurricane season). Have fun, we know we are being represented well. Take lots of pictures.

  11. Oh Jenny this is amazing! I loved your post, and wanted to wish you happy sailing! I hope you realize how much we all appreciate you, and what a fantastic teacher and person you are. You will forever be my Gavin’s all time favorite person,and he isn’t easily impressed. 😉 You’re a woman of adventures, and I can’t wait to hear all about this one. I’m still wound up over Space Camp!

    1. Christal, you just made my day! Gavin is very special to me as well! I am SO proud that he went out of his comfort zone on that trip. Tell him I am doing the same this time around. I am pushing myself to do something I have NO experience with whatsoever! It will be an adventure!

  12. So excited we get to follow you on your adventure! Enjoy every minute, can’t wait for your next post!

  13. I’m back from my road trip and settled in for your launch and adventure. Elisha is so jealous he can not stand himself! lol We can not wait to read your blogs and track your journey. Will you have any live feed blogs to post, similar to what the storm trackers use? What kind of tags will you all be using, and what are the specific things being tracked? Do you have a target group of sharks, as far as size etc.? Lastly, what method of catching and tagging will you be using?

    Good luck, stay safe and learn lots!

    1. Tam, I’m so glad you guys will be tracking our journey! Thank you for the wonderful questions! I will ask and get back with you. We’re all getting ready to learn, learn, learn!!

      1. Jenn, I just read up on the Oregon II and some of the methods used. Are the tags used electronic and transmit data back for long periods of time? I just watched a documentary on shark migration and it’s very interesting. I can’t wait. Get your rest, it sounds like you will need it.

  14. Wow! You are a real life “Wonder Woman”. You are amazing! Space camp and now sharks you inspire all who are lucky enough to know you!

  15. Jen,
    I have kept up with Sarah’s blog since I heard of their miraculous pregnancy and read what she said today about your blog here and your upcoming trip. Sounds greatly exciting for an adventurous lady/teacher. I will try to keep up with you as you sail around.

  16. Jen, I am so excited for you! What a great post. This will be so fun to follow your journey. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  17. I am so proud of you and so envious! Of all of your adventures, this is the one that I would gladly take your place! I love scuba diving and have been fascinated by marine life, especially sharks all of my life (Don’t know why being from landlocked Jay)! On my ‘bucket list’ is to swim with some one day! But for now, I will live and learn through you. And of course, will be sharing with my students (your former ones) when school starts.

    1. Thank you Sheila for being excited about this journey! Thank you also for letting your students (my former students) join in on the fun! You guys make sure and leave comments, ask questions, and take the polls! Have a great 1st week of school!!

  18. Hi Jen,
    Best of luck during your trip. I just came back from the first leg aboard the Oregon II. You’re going to have an amazing time. Everybody is great! Enjoy!
    – Maureen Anderson

  19. Hey there Wonder Woman…you are still doing wonderful things, and I’m so proud of you, and excited to receive all the updates about your excellent adventure. Love you, Sweetie! XO

  20. Hey Jen,
    In everything you do, you make me proud! Can’t wait for the next blog! Happy sailing, Wonder Woman! I love you!
    Auntie Sue

  21. Hi Mrs. Daftari,
    Do you have your own room? Are you scuba diving?! We are excited to hear all about your trip!

    2nd hour

  22. Mrs. Daftari,
    We can’t wait to meet you! Have you seen any big fish jumping or sharks? Have you seen any great white sharks? Will you see any hammer head sharks? And can you post a picture of you tagging a shark?!

    3rd hour

  23. Mrs. Daftari,
    Hi! It is really cool you are at sea! We want to meet you! How many sharks have you seen?

    5th hour

  24. Mrs. Daftari,
    We can’t wait until you get back! We hope you have a safe trip. You are an AWESOME teacher! Can you bring a big fish back? Can you take pictures of sharks, please?

    7th hour

  25. hi, mrs.daftari
    i’m daniel from 2nd hour science it’s cool that you’re tagging sharks.i hope you are having fun.i hope i see you soon.

    daniel kimble.

  26. Mrs. Daftari! You were my most favorite teacher! You will be having visits from me next year! You are so brave to do the things you have done! I look up to you for a role model! I mean, who wouldnt? You are amazing! You have changed my life, my aditude about life and most importantly on the out look on life! I couldnt find a better role model! I know I wasnt the “Best student” in the world but I really did try. I cant belive what you have acomplished in your life! Nobody is as caring as you are! And nice! And I hope that you never quit at Jay cause then, 5th grade for everyone well, school would be boring without you there!

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