NOAA Teacher At Sea
Soon-to-be-Aboard NOAA Ship Pisces
May 27 – June 10, 2015
The countdown has begun. Looking at the calendar, I have less than 2 weeks until I kiss the family goodbye, and board a plane bound for Biloxi, Mississippi. From there, I will be joining the crew of the Pisces, and we will depart on a research journey in the Gulf of Mexico. During our time at sea, we will be we will be engaged in reef fish surveys of offshore banks and in the marine reserves along the West Florida Shelf. To say that I am excited about the upcoming adventure is an understatement.
I have always had a passion for the ocean. Growing up in Santa Monica, California, I spent as many hours of the day as I could at the beach. Whether I had my toes in the sand, on the deck of a sailboat, or on a surfboard – I loved the feeling of being in the water. Today, as a transplant from Hawaii living in Portland, Oregon, I still seem to log many hours of exploration both above and below water.
When I’m not playing, I am a teacher at St. Matthew School in Hillsboro, Oregon (go Vikings!). I teach 6-8th grade math and technology – under this umbrella comes algebra, data and statistics, probability, geometry, robotics, computer programming, and more. One of the challenges of a middle school math teacher is to try to engage a group of pre-teens for about one hour each day. As a teacher, I have had to answer the notorious: “When will we ever use this?” more than once. Real-life applications of mathematics get farther from the common experiences of a middle schooler as the math becomes more complex. Through this amazing experience, I would like focus on using data collected about the coral reef and fisheries, various research operations, and navigation to explore algebraic concepts.
Why do we explore? Jean-Michel Cousteau has said, “We know more about the dead seas of Mars than our own ocean.” There is something about the excitement of discovery, especially into the unknown – so it is surprising to learn that 95% of the Earth’s ocean is unexplored. Climate change, energy, human health, ocean health, research, innovation, and ocean literacy are all modern reasons for ocean exploration. NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program provides the means with which teachers can bring the ocean back to their students to promote and inspire the love of exploration. The students of today will be the explorers of tomorrow.
I hope that you will continue to join my journey for the next month by coming back to read the latest happenings aboard the Pisces.