Oktay Ince: Farewell to NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, for now! August 8, 2022

NOAA Teacher At Sea
Oktay Ince
Aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson
June 20- July 1, 2022

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Lake Erie
Date: Monday, August 8, 2022

Latitude: 40.08°N
Longitude: 83.08°W
Elevation: 902 ft

Columbus, OHIO Weather
Humidity:
74%
Wind Speed: SW 8 mph
Barometer: 30.06 (1017.0 mb)
Dewpoint: 72°F (22°C)
Visibility: 10.00 mi
Heat Index: 85°F (29°C)

Science and Technology Log

65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist (World Economic Forum).”

I can’t help but wonder what types of careers and jobs will be available for our students. However, I can speculate that marine science would have a huge piece on this “never-before-existed” future job pool when you consider seventy percent of our Earth’s surface is covered with ocean and among it eighty percent of it unmapped, unobserved and unexplored, according to NOAA. There are many different careers available within NOAA and I believe there will be many more new careers available for the future generations. 

You may wonder and ask why oceans are still unexplored. One answer comes from Dr. Gene Carl Feldman, an oceanographer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He states that one of the biggest challenges of ocean exploration comes down to physics. In the depth of the ocean, there is zero visibility, extremely cold temperatures, and crushing amounts of pressure. He also states that “ In some ways, it’s a lot easier to send people into space than it is to send people to the bottom of the ocean”. It is hard to fathom what it looks, and feels like under the water, at least for me as a non-swimmer. 

With technological advancements, who knows what mysteries will be solved in the world of oceans in the future? I think it is important to show our students to know the unknown world of oceans and inspire them to take careers related to marine science so that we can know more about our blue planet. Without knowing our oceans, there would be no future for our own existence. 

Personal Log

Oktay, in his Teacher at Sea hat and t-shirt, poses for a photo on the flying bridge of NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson at sunset
Last Day at the NOAA’s Ship Thomas Jefferson

It’s been a great learning experience while at sea for 12 days. I have learned so much, met incredible women and men, and made awesome friends. 

As a STEM educator, the reason I wanted to apply for this opportunity is because I wanted to bring marine science into my school and community. By training, most of the time I spent time in various labs focusing on genetic studies using many biotechnological tools during my graduate study. But, it wasn’t until my NOAA experience to involve marine science research in the field. Much of my marine science knowledge comes from theory, reading books/ articles, or watching documentaries. This lack of experiential knowledge put me in a position where my students are also learning it from textbooks. However, now thanks to the NOAA Teacher at Sea program, I am confidently bringing any resources or tools related to the ocean, and atmosphere to my students. My plan is to create interdisciplinary project-based learning opportunities that involve challenging questions related to marine science. 

Thank you NOAA Teacher at Sea Program for allowing me to participate once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and thank you NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson crew for hosting me with great hospitality, and allowing me to learn more about marine science. 

Did you know?

Sometimes NOAA’s ships are open to the public for tours. In fact, I am planning to take my students to NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson sometime in September while it is still in Great Lakes.

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