Mission: SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Current Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Date: June 22, 2012
Welcome everyone to my first Teacher at Sea blog post! I am very honored to have been given this wonderful opportunity and am looking forward to this fast approaching experience!
As many of you may already know I am a K-5 gifted and talented teacher for the Expanded Learning Program (ELP) in Waterloo, Iowa and will be going into my third year of teaching this fall. I actually teach at two separate schools in my district, Lowell Elementary and Kingsley Elementary. It is awesome to work with such wonderful staffs and students at both buildings and be a part of both communities!
I love my job and the daily excitement it brings! I love presenting my students with challenges that require them to think in ways they may not have been asked to think before. My favorite part of teaching is watching my students learn and grow each day, and I am always in awe of who they’ve become by the end of the school year. I have always had a passion for supporting the needs of gifted and talented students and am thrilled to be in a position where I am able to do that every day.
Just as it is important for students to learn and grow each day, it is also important that teachers do the same. I am currently working on my Master’s degree at the University of Northern Iowa and will complete my course work next May. I have started preliminary work on my thesis and plan on receiving my degree, Education of the Gifted, in the fall of 2013. It is exciting, challenging work and has reinforced the importance of time management and working toward one’s goals. I always encourage my students to follow their passions and I hope I have set a good example. Overall, it has been a very rewarding experience.
Besides gifted and talented education, I have many other passions. Growing up in a military family I was able to see and do things that many have yet to experience. Before I lived in Iowa, I lived in Colorado, Mississippi, and Alaska. (In Mississippi I lived in Biloxi which is VERY close to where I will be starting my Teacher at Sea adventure!) I spent a lot of time outdoors. Hiking, mountain climbing, camping, fishing, and whitewater rafting were many of the things I enjoyed while living in Colorado and Alaska.
I knew from a young age that I was passionate about science. I loved exploring, experimenting, and questioning the “hows” and “whys” of everything around me. My excitement for science continued into college where most of my elective classes were science related. Biology, chemistry, and geology were my favorites. When I took my first geology class I was enthralled by our world’s natural history and how we can “dig up the past”.
After taking a course specific to Iowa geology, I have now learned that geology is exciting everywhere, not just in Colorado. My students can attest to my passion in geology as my room is littered with all of my quarry findings!
Within the realm of geology is the important connection to our world’s oceans. Many people may think that geology is what we can see on the surface: rocks, mountains, valleys. However, it is important to remember that even at the depths of our oceans, geological activity takes place.
My passion for our world’s oceans began shortly after my first experience snorkeling off the coast of Key West, Florida. After viewing the ocean through a pair of goggles, I was transported into a new and exciting world. Swimming alongside angelfish, parrotfish, barracuda, and sharks was beyond my imagination.
It wasn’t long after my snorkeling adventure on Dry Rocks Reef that I started the certification process to become an Open Water SCUBA diver. While I won’t be able to SCUBA dive during my Teacher at Sea adventure, I will still be able to explore life from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico aboard the Oregon II which will be just as exciting!
My Teacher at Sea Adventure
The mission I will be supporting this summer is the SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey. SEAMAP stands for Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program. The SEAMAP-Gulf of Mexico survey has been conducted since 1981.
The NOAA Ship Oregon II conducts a groundfish survey twice each year, once in the summer and again in the fall. Samples are gathered at randomly chosen stations and brought back up to the ship for examination to determine the abundance, distribution, and health of the fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. The NOAA Ship Oregon II is stationed out of Pascagoula, Mississippi which is where I will begin my journey.
Once my adventure begins, stop back frequently and check for new blog postings! Make sure you leave comments and questions at the bottom of my blogs, especially if it is something I can explore while still aboard the Oregon II! I will make sure to answer you back as soon as I can and maybe even include your answers in my later blogs!
~ Time to embark on my adventure!