NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA ship Pisces
April 5-18, 2018
Mission: SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: Friday, March 23, 2018
Hello from the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I am a 7th grade science teacher at St. Martin Middle School in Ocean Springs. This is my 5th year as a St. Martin Yellow Jacket and my 17th year as an educator. I currently teach science to over 100 seventh graders every day. This is most definitely a challenge, but one I enjoy taking on. Teachers are always looking for ways to improve classroom instruction and grab student interest. I applied to NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program hoping to accomplish both of those tasks. Because we live so close to the Gulf of Mexico, it is a big part of my students’ lives. I will use the experience and knowledge I gain at sea to link our curriculum to something they see every day. This will give real value and relevance to the content they learn in class. I have already spent some time explaining my trip and NOAA’s mission to my students. They are interested and excited about my adventure. Most of them have written questions that they want me to answer in my future blogs. Students, keep checking back to see if your question is posted or just to make sure Mrs. K hasn’t fallen overboard.
I am eager to spend two weeks on the NOAA ship Pisces. I love the Gulf of Mexico and I can’t wait to learn more about it. My husband and I spend every possible weekend, on our on boat usually heading to one of Mississippi’s beautiful barrier islands. We spend most of our vacation days on Gulf beaches and we even got married on the beach in Orange Beach, AL.
In just a few weeks I will board Pisces in Pascagoula, MS, and join the crew on Leg 3 of a 4 Leg reef fish survey. I will be at sea for 14 days and disembark in Tampa, Florida. I am thrilled I have the opportunity to be on a fishing vessel. I really enjoy fishing and I love seeing marine life. I feel like this is going to be very interesting and I am excited to do this type of hands-on research.
The next time I write I will be officially at sea. I know it won’t be easy to be away from home. I will certainly miss my family, friends, and SMMS. My students wrote me letters to read while I am on the boat to help combat homesickness. I can’t wait to read them. I am very grateful for the opportunity to take this trip and I look forward to sharing what I am learning along the way.
Don’t forget to check back in 13 days.
Did You Know?
The Pisces has a multi-beam echo sounder (MBES) that allows scientist to measure and count fish by the reflection of sound off their bodies. It projects a fan-shaped beam of sound that can also be used to map the seafloor.