NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard R/V Tommy Munro
July 19 – 27, 2022
Mission: Gulf of Mexico Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Date: August 10, 2022
Long time no hear from, right? The explanation is quite simple…there was no Wifi on my research vessel. I was definitely writing about my experience and taking pictures of my observations but I had no way to share the information with you in a blog post. Now that I have been home for several weeks, I have been working hard to complete my blog (6 posts in particular) which are in the process of being completed and am now ready to begin posting.
In a prior post, I described my participation in the Teacher at Sea program and how I plan to translate my experience and observations into classroom activities and projects for my students. In fact. As I prepared for my upcoming cruise assignment, I developed a Google Site that not only provides more detail about my upcoming experience as a Teacher at Sea educator, but also instructional resources and project ideas related to ocean sciences. What I would like to do in this post is talk about the opportunity presented to me and all other educators in the Teacher at Sea program.
Teacher at Sea Program
The Teacher at Sea program is a unique Teacher Research Experience (TRE) opportunity managed by NOAA that allows teachers to learn by doing rather than by reading about it. In these types of experiences, the teacher is placed with a team of research scientists and immersed into their scientific work, serving as an honorary member of the team. The TRE provides the teacher with an opportunity to not only conduct the research, but to also ask questions, engage in detailed investigations about aspects of the research, and most importantly, distill these experiences into lessons, activities and projects for classroom implementation to the benefit of my students. I would strongly encourage my educator colleagues to explore the Teacher at Sea program
and should you qualify, please consider applying for this unique educator experience.
I would like to now speak about the research I would be involved in during my assigned cruise. I was assigned to participate in Leg 1 of the Summer Groundfish Survey conducted in the Gulf of Mexico in collaboration with NOAA Fisheries as part of SEAMAP (Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program)
The survey consists of a series of collected samples of marine life at positions determined by SEAMAP to make decisions about damaged marine ecosystems, depleted populations and destruction of habitats. Exactly what was entailed in the collected samplings will be described in an upcoming post.
Cruises designed to engage in SEAMAP Surveys are seasonal (generally occurring in the Summer and Fall from April to November) and are typically executed aboard NOAA vessels in legs or segments consisting of 2 – 3 weeks with cruises occurring over 3 – 4 legs per survey. My assigned cruise underwent a change in schedule and vessel from my initial assignment. My original assigned cruise was scheduled as Leg 2 of the Summer Groundfish Survey aboard the NOAA Ship Oregon II from June 20, 2022 departing from Galveston, TX to July 3, 2022 arriving in Pascagoula, MS for a 15-day cruise. However, due to maintenance issues, the Oregon II was not seaworthy for the scheduled cruise which required a replacement vessel. The replacement vessel was the R/V Tommy Munro. There is a lot to say and pictures to show about the R/V Tommy Munro which will be the subject of the next blog post.
In this installment of my exercise of the Ocean Literacy Framework, I would like to ask you to respond to three questions about the second essential principle:
The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
presented in a Padlet accessed by the following link:
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers – the questions serve not as an opportunity to answer yes or no, or to get answers right or wrong; rather, these questions serve as an opportunity not only to assess what you know or think about the scope of the principle but also to learn, explore, and investigate the demonstrated principle. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please indicate so in the blog and I would be glad to answer your questions and initiate a discussion.