NOAA Teacher at Sea
NOAA Ship Pisces
June 14 – June 26, 2012
Mission: Reef Fish Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: U.S. Virgin Islands
Date: April 30, 2012
Hello, everyone! Greetings from Sinclair, Wyoming! My name is Lesley Urasky, and I am a science teacher at Rawlins High School in Rawlins, Wyoming. I’m currently teaching Geology/Astronomy, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, and Physical Science. This upcoming year will be my eighth at RHS, and my fifteenth year as a science teacher. I began my teaching career at the Science Academy of South Texas in Mercedes, Texas; SciTech is a science and engineering magnet school.
My love of exploring Earth’s natural wonders began at a very early age. My parents took me to the mountains when I was only a few weeks old and were very instrumental in making sure I was able to explore through amazing family trips all over the United States. I attribute my travel bug to my mother, who just “wants to go!”
A few years ago, I realized that there was an entirely amazing opportunity for teachers to travel to the far reaches of the world and bring these experiences back to their students. Teacher Research Experiences (TREs) are designed to allow teachers to accompany research teams and share the amazing science being conducted to help understand how the Earth and its processes work. TREs have been demonstrated to be highly effective programs (Silverstein, S.C., Dubner, J., Miller, J., Glied, S., & Loike, J.D. (2009). Teachers’ Participation in Research Programs Improves Their Students’ Achievement in Science. Science, 440-442.)
I first discovered these opportunities through a program called PolarTREC. As a PolarTREC teacher I accompanied a team of scientists to Antarctica where we spent five weeks camped in the Central Transantarctic Mountains along the Beardmore Glacier.
Now, I have the unique opportunity to bring a completely different region and type of science to students — I’ll be participating in another chance of a lifetime — sailing on the NOAA Ship Pisces! I’ll be aboard the ship for Leg 2 of the Caribbean Reef Fish Survey. Having been to the polar regions and seen first hand the changes occurring there, I feel it is extremely important to show how our changing climate is having an impact on the world’s oceans. I’m excited to be able to participate in the reef fish survey (this is similar to what we’ll be doing, but in a different region) to learn about the health of reefs and their associated fauna. I’m hoping to be able to make connections between the science I learn on the cruise with global changes.
To see a short video of what I may be doing on my cruise, see the following video by NOAA’s Ocean Today.