Maronda Hastie: Preparing for Teacher at Sea Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II, August 28, 2022

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Maronda Hastie

Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II

August 29, 2022 to September 14, 2022

Date: August 28, 2022

Mission: Shark/Red Snapper Bottom Longline Survey

Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico

Introduction

Greetings from Atlanta, Georgia. Join me during my research on the NOAA Ship Oregon II in an expedition studying shark and red snapper. I am excited to board the ship in Cape Canaveral, Florida and head to the Gulf of Mexico for about 14 days. Be a part of my journey and interact through my blog.

I first learned about NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program while at the Georgia Aquarium for a workshop two years ago. I immediately looked up more information & started the application process. Although I was accepted & thrilled to participate, Covid-19 delayed my departure. Please understand how frustrated I was as the world’s plans changed before my eyes! Normally I delete spam emails, but I did several searches to make sure I didn’t miss out on the email contacting me back to the original plan. I was so excited to finally get the news I’ve been waiting for that I did a happy dance.

In 2017 I was fortunate to participate in the Georgia Aquarium “Rivers to Reefs” program where educators spent one week testing water in the Altamaha River Watershed. We started in Atlanta and worked our way to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. Our field experiences included a behind the scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium, testing water in Shoals Creek on Glenwood Avenue, High Falls State Park in Jackson Georgia, canoe the Ocmulgee River where it meets the Oconee River, Sapelo Island Marine Institute, and Skidaway Island Marine Science Center. This experience opened my eyes to more opportunities for my students and enlightened me on how humans effect the environment. I immediately worked on developing student project presentations and fieldtrips the next school year. I love seeing the “Aha” moments and taking my students to Skidaway Island and other places around the world. I get just as excited as them when they figure out things work.

a slide Maronda created about her experience at the Georgia Aquarium's Rivers to Reefs Workshop. Title: Shoals Creek on Glenwood Avenue. "Our 1st data collection stop was Shoals Creek on Glenwood Avenue in Dekalb County. We observed our surroundings, discussed the difference between invasive and nonnative species, described watersheds and environmental concerns, completed projects to share with our students, and collected water samples."
Georgia Aquarium Rivers to Reefs Program in 2017 Shoals Creek
a slide Maronda created about her experience at the Georgia Aquarium's Rivers to Reefs Workshop.
GA Aquarium Rivers to Reefs Program 2017 High Falls Park
a slide Maronda created about her experience at the Georgia Aquarium's Rivers to Reefs Workshop.
Georgia Aquarium Rivers to Reefs Program 2017 Sapelo Island
a slide Maronda created about her experience at the Georgia Aquarium's Rivers to Reefs Workshop.
Georgia Aquarium Rivers to Reefs Program 2017 Gray’s Reef

While studying Math & Computer Science at Savannah State University, I spent a lot of time in the Marine Biology building working on projects, catching small crabs at the school’s dock, walking to the docks at Thunderbolt, and Tybee Island collecting samples. This allowed me to relax, rejuvenate, learn about the environment and be creative. Now I challenge my students and people around me to do the same. Currently I teach Algebra, Geometry & Pre-Calculus and would like to incorporate more cross-curricular projects with my students.

a collage of photos of students visiting the Georga Aquarium.
Field trip with McNair High Students 2022
a student stands at a black table near a sample tray and laminated instruction sheets. She smiles down a small fish she holds in her gloved right hand.
Mariah was all smiles while she examined the fish at Skidaway Island Marine Science Center 2019
a group of students stands around a specimen bin in a lab setting. several of them hold containers of water and reach in to remove specimens.
Students Examine Samples at Skidaway Island Marine Science Center 2019

Upcoming Surveys in the Gulf of Mexico

My work hours will be from 12pm – 12am leaving from Cape Canaveral & headed to the Gulf of Mexico aboard the NOAA Ship Oregon II. I am excited to work with all types of sharks & red snapper along the way. Listen, if I pull a shark from the tail will it try to bite me? How close do I need to be? How long can the fish be out of water while I carefully examine it & put back in the ocean? What will I use all this information for? Are you trying to make me shark meat? Which statistic will I increase? What if a hurricane approaches, do I need to record that too or leave town? Soon I will find out. Let’s get started!

What did the faculty & students have to say before I depart?

Last week students & faculty members had something to say about this exciting journey I will participate in with NOAA. I am honored to carry the torch for the Teacher at Sea Program this year and proudly immerse myself in the entire experience. Check out what a few people had to say.

Student Da’Vaughn T. : “I would like field trips such as helping the marine life and be able to visit underwater animals.”

Math Instructional Coach Eboni Arnold: “Science research can help students at McNair High School by enhancing their critical thinking skills, mathematical competency as well as gain an in-depth knowledge of science based real life practical skills to enhance their learning. ​Environmental issues are related to STEAM because the more students and educators know about the environment, they are able to raise awareness of the importance of being environmentally safe and protecting our society through learned experiences. ​Everyone can benefit from this amazing experience through Ms. Hastie sharing her blogs, notes, her own experiences, and the connections she will make with her students, colleagues, and within McNair High School. ​ Ms. Hastie is an excellent choice for this opportunity because she always connects real-life opportunities to her classroom instruction. She provides opportunities for students to experience life outside the classroom through field trips and project-based learning.”

Principal Dr. Loukisha Walker:

Principal Dr. Loukisha Walker

Hello, my name is Dr. Loukisha Walker and I am a proud principal of Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School in Atlanta, Georgia. I would like to speak on why Ms. Hastie is the perfect choice for the Teacher at Sea Program. 

For Ms. Hastie, this opportunity is simply an extension of prior and current activities that she has used to expose students to opportunities and programs that would otherwise be out of reach for our students. This allows students to broaden their scope of possibilities for careers and even travel. Ms. Hastie, in addition to all of these things, is an avid blogger, project creator, and loves to communicate what she has learned to students to give them wisdom and insight, though they did not experience it first hand. For this reason and others, Ms. Hastie is simply the perfect choice for the Teacher at Sea Program. I know that Ms. Hastie, and her work ethic, and the way she pays attention to detail, she will take all of that information and bring it back to our students and make sure that she relays that information to them. She’s gonna talk about how exciting it is for them. She’s going to even speak on just her experience for being at sea for so many days. So with all of those things in mind, Ms. Hastie is going to not only do an amazing job while she’s at sea for 15 days, but she’s going to record, she’s going to continue to blog while she’s there, she’s gonna take a ton of photos and she’s going to come back and make sure our students experience it as if they were there with her.

This is Ms. Hastie, this is her work ethic, and we’re so proud of her and we know she’s going to do an amazing job with the Teacher at Sea Program. Congratulations once again, Go Mustangs, and we are proud of you.

Assistant Principal of Attendance & Testing, Dr. Barbara Long:

Assistant Principal of Attendance & Testing, Dr. Barbara Long

“Good afternoon, my name is Dr. Barbara Long. I serve as the assistant principal of attendance and testing at the fantastic Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School. We are so proud of Ms. Maronda Hastie and all that she is going to learn, do, and share when she returns from this amazing adventure. Science research can benefit our students at Dr. Ronald E. McNair High School in multiple ways. Number 1, it will surely help to develop our students’ problem solving, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Hopefully students will engage in actionable research projects following this pursuit and partner and collaborate with others to devise solutions to these real life problems and ultimately benefit the communities in which we live. So I’m looking forward to the engagement, activities, and application of the real science for our students. Proud to be a leader here.”

Art Teacher Debra Jeter:

Art Teacher Debra Jeter

“There’s something that’s universal about science research that could not only benefit the students at McNair, but benefit anyone to know what’s going on around us. How else can we, you know, contribute or help or even understand and live in this world if we don’t have some understanding of, you know, what’s going on around us. And the ocean is so important to us. And I think Ms. Hastie is a great choice for this, because not only has she been well traveled, but she has a great interest in science research and the environment.

And not only that, but she does the most, you know? Like, she’ll be in there, following them and asking questions and writing it down and making sure she bring it back and share with McNair. And so many of these environmental issues are related to STEAM, too, which is a big concern for all the teachers at McNair, because environmental issues, as global warming continues, is gonna be vital for us all to understand how we can contribute to making our environment more peaceful. And not so hostile, and, you know, so many species are going extinct, if we just let this continue, we might be extinct too. And I’m sure that she’s gonna benefit… We’ll all benefit from her experience of being out there. I can’t wait to hear her stories and see her photos. I’ve been on journeys with her before she’s a marvelous… She know how to find places and go places and do things, she’s very capable. It’s gonna be fascinating just to hear her second-hand stories of what she found and how we can help make the world a better place.”

Business & Technology Teacher Wanda Charles-Henley

Business & Technology Teacher Wanda Charles-Henley

“Hello, my name is Wanda Charles-Henley and I’m a business teacher here at McNair High School. And I’d like to answer question number two: how and why is Ms. Hastie a good choice for this opportunity? I think Ms. Hastie is a perfect candidate for this opportunity because she’s always willing to go above and beyond for not only the students here at McNair, but also the staff members. She’s always willing to lend a helping hand. As a new teacher here, she was the first one to come and say she would teach me some of the new programs ’cause I’d been out of education for a while. She’s always one of the last teachers to leave the building. So she has a number of programs that she has coordinated for the students, exposing them to a lot of the opportunities outside of school. She also has the Chick-fil-A Leadership Program. She’ll coordinate activities for the students such as skating, coordinate activities such as environmentally cleaning up the Chattahoochee River. She’s always coming up with innovative ways to get the students involved. And I just think she will be an excellent candidate, and she is an outstanding teacher, and I can’t wait to see what she brings back to McNair High School and all the information she’s gonna share with us. Go Ms. Hastie!”

Culinary Arts Teacher Chef Leslie Gordon-Hudson:

Culinary Arts Teacher Chef Leslie Gordon-Hudson

“Okay, my question that I will be answering is how and why is Ms. Hastie a good choice for this opportunity… Ms. Hastie is a good choice for this opportunity, ’cause she is one teacher, I know, that will go out and get the resources and the information and bring it back not just to her math class, but in the entire school and engage the entire school, and whatever the idea is or the project or the learn resource or whatever the systems that she learned, that’s why I think she’s a great choice for this program.”

Student Dieynabou D.:

Student Dieynabou D.

“I believe that everyone can benefit from this great experience because it will provide excellent exposure into many things, including careers into oceanography. As a student leader, and a member of the National Beta Club here at McNair High School, I’m looking forward to creating community service activities that are involved with the environment.”

And here’s what I have to say:

Teacher at Sea Maronda Hastie

Hi, my name is Maronda Hastie. I am a representative of McNair High School in DeKalb County, Georgia. I am so excited to have been selected to be a part of the Teacher at Sea Program. I first heard about it at the Georgia Aquarium, and it is a program from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. So I’m excited that I’m gonna be studying shark and red snapper (hope the shark doesn’t eat me!) but I’m excited about studying the shark, because once I do all of my research for a few weeks, I get to bring it all back and I will share it with my colleagues, I will share it with my students, and I will share it with the community. So I feel like my job is to just spread the information about oceanic opportunities, as well as opportunities for the students to know about more careers, more field trips, more hands-on activities in the classroom. So I’ll develop a few lessons, so although I teach math, we can do interdisciplinary projects, so I’ll be working with, say, the science teacher, I work with the art teacher, I work with any teacher who would like to create lessons with me, so that we can, you know, expose our children. So I’m excited.

Author

27 Replies to “Maronda Hastie: Preparing for Teacher at Sea Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II, August 28, 2022”

    1. Hey Chase, I agree that this is an amazing program! I will definitely work on a few fieldtrips like the GA Aquarium, Chattahoochee Nature Trail & Skidaway Island Marine Science Center. You know I’m checking your math work while I’m at sea so do you best!

    1. Thank you Mr. Duhart: I hope the chef can cook as good as you. Otherwise, I’ll place my order when I return with fresh fish on the menu.

  1. You are a great choice for this!!! I’m so happy you were selected and I’m excited for you. I can’t wait to hear all about it. Happy Research Ms. HASTIE 🥳💪🏽🙌🏾

    1. Thank you Tabatha! Be sure to get the hot comb ready when I return because you know it’s windy on the ship. So far one of the fishermen caught a large Wahoo & immediately turned it into sushi.

  2. Ms. Hastie, You are truly AMAZING!
    We here at club Village are ever soon PROUD of you! and the work you do for the community and at school, we are here to support you in any way we can. Be safe! We know you’ll give it all you got💗

    1. Hey Liz keep the hammocks warm for me & relax as much as possible. This experience is truly amazing with lots of cool shipmates. They have interesting lives & I will share more details soon. Thanks for the support!

  3. Maronda, you are a fantastic teacher! You are an example for others to follow. I’ll be looking forward to your blogs about your experiences out there. Yaya, Maronda!

    1. Thank you Sharon: I’ll be sure to harass your grandchildren & play in the dirt with them when I return.

  4. This is awesome Ms.Hastie! What a way to not only put Mcnair on the map, but to educate the community on environmental issues, research, and ethics.

    1. Hey Deionte: Thank you for your support as you learn horticulture at GA State University. You have taught me a few things about the environment too & hopefully you can come back to McNair High soon to share with my current students. Until then continue helping me improve our community. Much success with your studies!

  5. I am beyond proud of Ms. Maronda Hastie and all she has accomplished thus far. Her passion for learning and exploring is inspiring to both students and colleagues, who eagerly anticipate her next big adventure. This Teacher at Sea opportunity is going to be an amazing expedition…thanks for taking us along!

  6. What an exciting adventure you are on!!! I am thrilled to follow your vlobs and to read about your day to day experiences.

    1. Hey Mrs. Arnold: We are all excited about this experience! Yesterday someone caught a large Wahoo longer than my height & the view riding along the coastline is beautiful! I look forward to sharing with you & the math team when I return.

  7. Congratulations Maronda! I’m excited for you. Wishes of wellness, safety, and success in all of your endeavors.

    Sharon

  8. What a wonderful experience! Super excited for you, and always, always so proud of you! You always give your all to our beloved MHS community! I’m looking forward to reading your next post!

    1. Thank you Dr. Perkins: Now you have time to read all about it! We miss you at McNair & happy for your retirement experiences! You may have to proofread & revise my work soon 😉

    1. Thanks Denise, I’m sure we’ll exchange stories about our travel excursions soon. For now, let me play with the friendly shark 😉

    1. Thank you Helen: Maybe you can help me complete a quilt about this expedition like you did for Lewis & Clark highlighting Sacagawea & York. I can picture it now, sunsets, sunrises, flying fish, shark, red snapper, my shipmates, the ocean. Your quilts are beautiful & I will be contacting you soon!

  9. Congratulations Maronda! So excited and happy for you. This is so amazing and something great to add to your travel expenditures. Pls be safe and enjoy. Get that wisdom and knowledge to share with us.🥰

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