TAS Brandy Hill: Personal Introduction, June 8, 2018

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Brandy Hill

Aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson

June 25, 2018 – July 6, 2018


Mission: Hydrographic Survey – Approaches to Houston

Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico

Date: June 8, 2018

Personal Introduction: Hello from Portland, Oregon! With two weeks until departure date and in honor of World Oceans Day, I figured it is time to post my first contribution to the NOAA TAS page.

I am currently wrapping up my third year teaching 6th grade math and science at Twality Middle School in Tigard, OR. We have had a phenomenal year measuring growth in math skills, getting excited learning about body systems and genetics, and completing various engineering projects. Our most recent [project] included building marble roller coasters and taking a trip to Oaks Amusement Park where students convinced me to ride the “Scream’n Eagle” more than once.


The “Scream’n Eagle” at Oaks Amusement Park. [Source: http://www.kgw.com]

My awe of the ocean began when my family moved to Oregon when I was nine years old.  A lot of my childhood was spent camping on the coast with family and a fishing boat. On Christmas, my dad gave my sister and I practical outdoorsy gifts including matching rubber crabbing suits. I went on to major in Biology at Oregon State University. As an adult, I enjoy spending weekends and summers traveling outside. This includes trips to the mountains or to the coast for hiking and surfing. I am fortunate to live in an area that allows one to uniquely experience a direct connection between the mountains and the sea.


View from Saddle Mountain on Earth Day. It was also clear enough to see Mt. Hood,  Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, the Columbia River, Astoria, and the beach.



Biking along the Deschutes River near Bend, OR.

I started my teaching career on the Oregon Coast at Toledo Elementary. With the school so close to the ocean and a district committed to teaching the Ocean Literacy Principles, integrating ocean studies into the classroom was an easy task. A continuing sixth grade project at Toledo includes designing, building and competing in the MATE ROV (Underwater Remote Operated Vehicle) competition.


Student submitted ROV: “Greatest of all ROVs” at the 2014 MATE ROV Regional Competition

 In my current position, it has been a bit more challenging to integrate ocean studies into the classroom. I am teaching in a large urban school district and my student numbers have doubled. However, facilitating meaningful student experiences and inspiring a love of the ocean is critical to moving forward and aligns with my own personal passions. I am looking forward to my time aboard the Thomas Jefferson and am excited to make connections and bring hands-on experiences back to my classroom at Twality Middle School.


My first dive in Kewalo Harbor with Gabe Scotti from Kaimana Divers. [Source: Chris McKenna]


Happy World Oceans Day!

One Reply to “TAS Brandy Hill: Personal Introduction, June 8, 2018”

  1. Brandy, I am so happy that you are on the Thomas Jefferson. I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures !

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