NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada
August 28 – September 13, 2017
Mission: Pacific Hake Survey – Leg V
Geographic Area of Cruise: Northwest Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Washington
Date: August 26, 2017
Weather from the Bridge…or Backyard
At home in Decatur, GA we are celebrating a weekend break in the humidity. The sun is shining and the sky is filling with a variety of imagination provoking Cumulus clouds.
Wind Speed: 6mph
Wind Direction: E
On Monday I will travel 2,759 miles to Port Angeles, WA where I will board the Bell M. Shimada. I look forward to cooler temperatures and the invigorating salty air.
Science and Technology Log:
I have yet to meet the scientists and crew of the Shimada so I have no first hand info to share. However this is a great opportunity to introduce the main focus of this survey… Merluccius productus, Pacific Hake.
Pacific Hake is an important species to both humans and many species in the marine ecosystem off of the Pacific Northwest coast of both the United States and Canada. There is a cooperative effort to manage these fish that involves the governments of both the U.S. and Canada, fisheries scientists and fisherman. Such a collaboration and intentional effort amongst so many groups is a great model and example for other issues at large. Here is some background reading related to the Pacific Hake Survey.
I have taught middle school science at Renfroe Middle School (RMS) in the City Schools of Decatur for 10 years. Renfroe is full of wonderfully intelligent, thoughtful and supportive people – students and staff. Currently, I work with 7th grade students as we explore ecology, evolution, genetics, cells and anatomy. I am thrilled to have this adventure at sea to share with my students and friends. I look forward to bringing back real-world research and developing curriculum that we can ALL benefit from.
As an inquisitive and adrenaline hungry person I love the combination of adventure and challenging work, so I am thinking that my time on the Bell M. Shimada may be about as ideal of a learning opportunity as I could imagine. In addition to being a classroom teacher at RMS, I also work as a Mentor in The Nature Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program. LEAF provides an opportunity for Mentors and Interns to spend an intensive month focused on all aspects of conservation. This program encourages all involved towards hands-on environmental stewardship experiences and to broaden the boundaries of our comfort zone. For both my RMS students and LEAF mentees I take this Teacher At Sea opportunity to put into action the message that I often share with them…learning is a life long goal and risk-taking is a way to enhance the connection that you feel with the world.
I want to thank my colleagues and students for a heart warming send-off and I promise all plenty of awesome photos and updates to come.
Did you know?
According to Atlas Obscura, in 1914 the town of Port Angeles had such an issue with sewage flooding that they opted to raise one of the town’s main streets by 10-14 feet. This engineering challenge was accomplished by moving soil from a neighboring hill completely by hand…no mechanical interventions. To this day you can tour the underground areas and see store fronts frozen in time. This lovely seaside town is where I will embark on my voyage.