Amanda Peretich: Get to Know Me, June 20, 2012

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Amanda Peretich
(Almost) Onboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
June 29 – July 17, 2012

Mission: Pollock Survey
Geographical area of cruise: eastern Bering Sea
Date: June 20, 2012

That's me and one of my loves: the periodic table!
That’s me and one of my loves: the periodic table!

My first post is supposed to be an introduction to me and what I’ll be doing for three weeks in the middle of the Bering Sea so here goes nothing! My name is Amanda Peretich, and I have been teaching biology, chemistry, and criminal science investigations (get it? CSI) at Karns High School in Knoxville, TN for the past four years. My route to teaching high school was probably not really traditional, but it’s provided me with plenty of adventures along the way, and if you know me, you know I love a good adventure!

I am so excited to arrive on the NOAA ship Oscar Dyson to participate in walleye pollock research in an acoustic trawl survey in the eastern Bering Sea (similar to this one from last summer) in a little over a week. You’ll hear plenty more about this research in the weeks to come. How am I able to do this? Well, NOAA (which is an acronym for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a Teacher at Sea program that I had never heard of before last fall when I randomly found it in a Google search for summer teacher-y programs. Ahh, the wonders of the internet and technology! So I applied to the program (really kind of at the last-minute, which also hits on my procrastination problems), wrote some pretty good essays, had some amazing recommendations from people (shout out to Theresa Nixon and Anne Hudnall for what I can only imagine were the best letters ever!), and later found out I’d been selected as one of 25 teachers from across the U.S. for this amazing opportunity!

FUN FACT: Did you know that the Discovery show Deadliest Catch is filmed in the Bering Sea and that the operations base for the fishing fleet is in Dutch Harbor, Alaska where I will be leaving from? However, I think those rough seas on the show are due to filming during the fall and winter seasons, not summer. I’m sure I will update you in a later post about how crazy the waters are during July, but I will have to remember that it could be much more treacherous.

Not that I’ll be able to have so many photos in all of my blogs (being on a ship in the middle of the ocean = sporadic and slow internet access, thus less photos), but this little slideshow will hopefully tell you a little more about myself in picture form:

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Each of my posts (which are limited to about every other day or every 3 days) aboard the ship will include a science & technology log and then a personal log, but we are also able to add additional sections as well. Help me choose which ones to add below! (sidenote: I chose the “sunset” background for the poll because of the birds in it – I hear there are plenty of birds in Alaska – now the palm trees and sun, you’ll want to replace with other trees and clouds)

Did I forget to mention that this experience is also the beginning of a new chapter in my life? My wonderful husband Michael finished his PhD in chemistry at the University of Tennessee and accepted a civilian chemist position in the fuels lab with NAVAIR in Patuxent River, Maryland. I finished out the school year and sold our house in Knoxville while he has been training and traveling to fun places like Pensacola, Florida, but I will officially move up to Maryland the day before I get on a plane for Alaska! Didn’t I say how much I love adventures and the unknown?

7 Replies to “Amanda Peretich: Get to Know Me, June 20, 2012”

  1. We are so proud of you!!! – STAY SAFE – Take a lot of photos!!! See you at BWI when you get back…LOVE DAD…

  2. Hey couz’! I’m sooo excited (and a little jealous) you get to go on this amazing adventure! You’re gonna see the beautiful Alaskan wildlife that very little get to experience…and maybe see some of those crabbers from “Deadliest Catch” (the “Cornelia Marie”, “Time Bandit” and “Nothwestern” are my faves in case you happen to see them lol). But seriously – be safe, have fun, learn lots of cool stuff – and then come home and visit me! 🙂 LOVE YA!

    1. Thanks Cher! You’d think the only thing Alaska is known for is Deadliest Catch in some of the gift shops at the Anchorage airport! And boy, is it all expensive! But Dutch Harbor was difficult to access today, which I’m sure I’ll blog about later, so I’m back in Anchorage tonight and going to try getting to Dutch Harbor again tomorrow 😀 The adventure has only begun!!!

  3. I am so excited to see and hear all about your adventures! And I am also jealous…I have always wanted to go to Alaska and to Dutch Harbor(Love those Deadliest Catch guys, especially the Time Bandit! LOL) Have a great time on this wonderful adventure!!!

    1. Thanks Stephanie! It is already an adventure for sure! The puddle jumper-esque plane that I took from Anchorage to Dutch Harbor was … interesting. Great pilots, scary flying situations! We didn’t make it to Dutch Harbor (after two attempts), refueled at another location (Sand Point), and had to come back to Anchorage to try again tomorrow. Hopefully I can get on a flight off standby.

  4. Congrats Amanda, We are sorry to see you leave K-Town but know that you will be able to add yet another adventure to your life. Have fun in Alaska ( don’t get sea sick) and be safe coming back. Good luck with a new job in Maryland. You will be great at whatever you do.

    1. Thanks Tim! Already an adventure 🙂 But your red duffel bag made it to Dutch Harbor and then back to Anchorage today! Hopefully it will make it all the way to Dutch Harbor tomorrow (with me too!!). My photos aren’t doing the beauty of the landscape here justice. Oh, and I was HOT when we refueled today. Everyone else was in long sleeves and/or jackets, and I was in a short sleeve shirt and comfy, if not a little clammy. I am a temperature freak.

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