Julia Harvey: A Dream Revisited/Getting Ready to Sail, July 18, 2013

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Julia Harvey
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson (NOAA Ship Tracker)
July 22 – August 9, 2013

Mission: Alaska Walleye Pollock Survey
Geographical Area: Gulf of Alaska
Date: July 18, 2013


Julia Harvey
Julia Harvey. Photo by Wilson Garland

 My name is Julia Harvey and I currently teach biology and environmental science at South Eugene High School in Eugene, Oregon.  Eugene is at the southern end of the Willamette Valley and just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean.  I have taken many trips over the coastal range to Florence and the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast

And while the weather is not always cooperative, the ocean is always gorgeous.  This last spring I took a group of students on a short marine discovery cruise out of Newport, where NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has based their Marine Operations Center for the Pacific.

Marine Operations for the Pacific
Marine Operations Center for the Pacific located in Newport, Oregon
photo courtesy of noaa

It was my dream since 2nd grade to become a marine biologist.  Mrs. Hellwege inspired me to learn more about the ocean as we studied marine mammals.  My career path remained unchanged as I attended Occidental College and spent time on the college’s boat the Vantuna.  I put my academic education on hold after graduating to serve in the Peace Corps.  My passion for the sea continued while I was stationed in the South Pacific on an island in the Kingdom of Tonga.  But as I became a teacher, I realized the perfect career would combine my love for biology and my new love of teaching.  22 years later, I now have to opportunity to revisit my childhood dream.

I learned about the NOAA Teacher at Sea program as I was taking an Oceanic Studies course.  I decided to apply last October because I wished to connect my students directly with current research that is impacting our ocean environment.  I also wanted to learn first hand how oceanic data was being collected since I have been out of the lab setting for quite some time.  I was ecstatic when I learned in February that I was selected to sail.  I am truly honored and appreciate the opportunity to involve my students in oceanic research and to present to them potential oceanic careers.

Oscar Dyson
The ship Oscar Dyson
photo courtesy of noaa

I will be sailing in the Gulf of Alaska aboard the Oscar Dyson and participating in a Walleye pollock fish population survey.  Walleye pollock is the largest fisheries in the United States and one of the largest in the world.  These fish become fish sticks, fish sandwiches and imitation crab.  I am looking forward to learning more about the science involved in assessing a fish population.  What makes fisheries healthy and sustainable?

My bags are packed with clothes, cameras, workouts, books and lots of enthusiasm.  I am excited beyond description.  I will be blogging several times a week and I hope you will continue to follow my journey at sea.

11 Replies to “Julia Harvey: A Dream Revisited/Getting Ready to Sail, July 18, 2013”

  1. Hey Julia – I’ll be reading your blog and happy not to be seasick! Hope you see a million interesting things!

    1. The stewards aboard are amazing. Today we had fresh fish for both meals. I sleep through breakfast.

    1. I don’t ask about the weather. We are having such excellent weather I don’t want to jinx it. The next blog will demonstrate how calm the seas are.

      1. Hi,Julia
        How exciting is that?!! Are you loving Alaska? I do for sure- been to Seward and Homer 2x each. Want to go back again.what an incredible experience for you. Savor every minute…
        Mary Livingston- former ELL teacher at South…

  2. Mary,
    I am totally loving it. I watched Dall porpoises bow surf as we entered Prince William Sound under sunny skies yesterday. That video will be in the August 1st blog.

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