Tom Jenkins: Teacher at Sea, Not at Sea. Yet… April 14, 2018


NOAA Teacher at Sea
Tom Jenkins
Aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
April 10 – 27, 2018

Mission: Spring Bottom Trawl Survey
Geographic Area: Northeastern U.S. Coast
Date: April 14, 2018

So…What to do when you are a NOAA Teacher at Sea, you are at the port and you are not yet out to sea?  You leverage your NOAA connections within the scientific community to learn more about things related to various aspects of NOAA’s mission.

On Thursday, I was fortunate enough to be part of a NOAA group that toured UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology.  This recently opened, cutting edge facility provided a wonderful insights into the study of marine life.

School for Marine Science & Technology

UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Tom at UMass Dartmouth

Me touring UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Lab at UMass Dartmouth

Lab at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

While on our special tour, members of the NOAA Fisheries team were able to exchange knowledge with the team that helped build and is currently getting this amazing research space up and running to full capacity.

We learned about some of the various aquatic species that are indigenous to the region (see below) and the current research surrounding these impressive life forms.

Inside a Tank

Tank at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Tom and specimen

Me holding a specimen from the tank at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

Inside of Tank 2

Tank at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology

And I also learned about some of the technologies that are utilized by fisherman including those similar to what we will use by the Henry Bigelow on our upcoming research mission.

Example net

Technologies that are utilized by fisherman including those similar to what we will use by the Henry Bigelow

More tech examples

Technologies that are utilized by fisherman including those similar to what we will use by the Henry Bigelow

While spending time around the dock, I took time to explore and learn more about some of the equipment that is used to gather data at sea.  Notice the NOAA environmental buoy to far left and the crane aboard the Henry Bigelow. While watching a Coast Guard Ship (with a similar crane) effortlessly load and unload these massive buoys, I couldn’t help but to start brainstorming an engineering design lesson that would help capture this really cool process.  Hopefully, ideas similar to these will continue to be developed over the next couple of weeks and will result in all kinds of new curricula for my classroom.

Tom on Buoy

Me on a NOAA environmental buoy

Crane on Bigelow

The crane aboard the Henry Bigelow

Tom and other buoys

Me in front of a row of navigational buoys

Tomorrow, we are once again set to sail out.  The past few days have allowed me to learn about the marine life that we will be gathering, the ways in which we will be doing it and has also allowed me to get to know the wonderful people I will be working with during my research mission.  To say that I am excited would be an understatement.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  As always, please feel free to leave any comments below.

4 responses to “Tom Jenkins: Teacher at Sea, Not at Sea. Yet… April 14, 2018

  1. Tom, It sounds like you are learning a lot! I start my Teacher at Sea adventure in two weeks on the Fairweather in Alaska. I can’t wait for all of the new things I will experience! I hope you have a great voyage.

    • I am! My head has finally stopped spinning. Mostly…haha. Everyone has been amazing. I can’t wait to hear about your experience.

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