Kimberly Scantlebury: Getting Ready to Ship Out. April 26, 2017

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Kimberly Scantlebury

Aboard NOAA Ship Pisces

May 1-May 12, 2017

Mission: SEAMAP Reef Fish Survey

Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico

Date: April 26, 2017

Weather Data from the Bridge

At home in New England, where you can enjoy the mountains and the sea all in a day.

Greetings from New Hampshire! Our variable spring weather is getting me ready for the coolness at sea compared to hot Galveston, Texas, where I will ship off in a few days.

It is currently 50 F and raining with a light wind, the perfect weather to reflect on this upcoming adventure.

Science and Technology Log

I am excited to soon be a part of the 2017 SEAMAP Reef Survey. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) writes the objective of these surveys is, “ to provide an index of the relative abundances of fish species associated with topographic features (banks, ledges) located on the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico in the area from Brownsville, Texas to Dry Tortugas, Florida.” The health of the Gulf is important from an ecological and economic perspective. Good science demands good research.

We will be working 12 hour shifts aboard the NOAA Ship Pisces. I expect to work hard and learn a lot about the science using cameras, fish traps, and vertical long lines. I also look forward to learning more about life aboard a fisheries research vessel and the career opportunities available to my students as they think about their own futures.

Personal Log

I’ve been teaching science in Maine and New Hampshire for eight years and always strive to stay connected to science research. I aim to keep my students directly connected through citizen science opportunities and my own continuing professional development. Living in coastal states, it is easier to remember the ocean plays a large role in our lives. The culture of lobster, fried clams, and beach days requires a healthy ocean.

I love adventure and have always wanted to “go out to sea.” This was the perfect opportunity! I was fortunate to take a Fisheries Science & Techniques class with Dave Potter while attending Unity College and look forward to revisiting some of that work, like measuring otoliths (ear bones, used to age fish). I have also benefited from professional development with The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and other ocean science experiences. One of the best parts of science teaching is you are always learning!

Science teachers benefit from quality professional development to stay informed in their content areas.

There was a lot of preparation involved since I am missing two weeks of school. I work at The Founders Academy, a public charter school in Manchester, New Hampshire. We serve students from 30 towns, but about a third come from Manchester. The school’s Vision is to: prepare wise, principled leaders by offering a classical education and providing a wide array of opportunities to lead:

  • Preparing students to be productive citizens.
  • Teaching students how to apply the American experience and adapt to become leaders in today’s and tomorrow’s global economy.
  • Emphasis on building ethical and responsible leaders in society.

I look forward to bringing my experiences with NOAA Teacher at Sea Program back to school! It is difficult to leave my students for two weeks, but so worth it. It is exciting to connect with middle and high school students all of the lessons we can learn from the work NOAA does. My school community has been very supportive, especially another science teacher who generously volunteered to teach my middle school classes while I am at sea.

I am grateful for the support at home for helping me participate in the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program.

My boyfriend too is holding down the fort at home and with Stone & Fire Pizza as I go off on another adventure. Our old guinea pigs, Montana & Macaroni, prefer staying at home, but put up with us taking them on vacation to Rangeley, Maine. I am grateful for the support and understanding of everyone and for the opportunity NOAA has offered me.

Did You Know?

NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

NOAA is the scientific agency of the Department of Commerce. The agency was founded in 1970 by consolidating different organizations that existed since the 1800’s, making NOAA’s scientific legacy the oldest in the U.S. government.

As a science teacher, it is funny that I really do have guinea pigs. Here is our rescue pig Montana, who is 7-8 years old.

Kim Gogan: Preparing to be a NOAA Teacher at Sea, March 26, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kim Gogan
(Soon to be aboard) NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter
April 6 – May 1, 2014

Mission: AMAPPS & Turtle Abundance Survey,  Ecosystem Monitoring
Geographical Area of Cruise:
North Atlantic Ocean
Date: March 26, 2014

Personal Log

Sunset and fishing on Chandlers Cove Wharf, Chebeague Island, Maine
Sunset and fishing on Chandlers Cove Wharf, Chebeague Island, Maine

My name is Kim Gogan. I was born and raised on Chebeague Island in Casco Bay, Maine. Chebeague Island is a small rural community of about 500 year round residents that blossoms with tourists in the spring. My father’s side of the family has lived there for many generations, so I have roots unlike many people can experience. It’s cool that I can visit the Chebeague Island Museum and learn all about the history and life of my ancestors.

I have always been around the oceans. As a young kid I spent much time on the beach and in the frigid Maine waters. I was lucky to have many people around me with motor boats and sailboats and I took any and every opportunity to be on one. When I was 10, I spent the summer in sailing school, and as I got older even spent some time crewing on racing sailboats. My love of being on the ocean continued into my teenage years where I worked on a lobster boat as a stern person for many summers. Lobstermen are not fair weather workers and I quickly learned what it meant to work hard and be tough. We were up before sunrise and worked long hard hours. Rain or shine, we were on the sea. In my college years I worked at a boatyard scraping barnacles off docks and painting and fixing boats. The ocean is in my blood and I feel a strong connection to it. I am so excited and looking forward to be spending a month on a ship at sea.  Even more importantly I am so excited to be learning some amazing science about the place I spent my childhood years.

Me at the 2013 New Hampshire Science Teachers Association Annual Teacher's Conference.
Me at the 2013 New Hampshire Science Teachers Association Annual Teacher’s Conference.

Currently, I  am a science teacher at Newport High School in Newport, New Hampshire. I teach General and Honors Biology to mostly 10th grade students. I have never been out of my classroom for more than a few days and I am going to miss seeing my students every day! I love sharing science with them and seeing how much they learn while in my Biology classes. Newport is a small high school with a lot to offer and where everyone is very close. Working in a small high school makes me feel right at home, much like my small island community.

My family and I live in Claremont, New Hampshire which is the next town over, only a short commute to work. I have been at Newport High School for 9 wonderful years. I work with 5 other incredible teachers in the Science Department as teacher and science department head. The thing I like most about the other science teachers I work with is that they also enjoy learning new skills and bringing new fun stuff into the classroom no matter how long they have been teaching. Our department regularly attends science conferences of all sorts. Last June, a whole group of us spend almost a week in Virginia at the Jason Learning Conference learning about Climate Change and Ecosystems. I am very lucky to work with such a supportive and collegial group of teachers.

Before we moved to Claremont, my family and I lived in Maine where I also taught 7th grade Life Science in Portland, Maine. I haven’t always taught science or been in the classroom. While in Maine, I also worked for a company called Jobs for Maine Graduates and ran a School to Work program for at-risk students. My degree is in Environmental Education with a minor in Adventure Education from Unity College, Unity, Maine. This degree gave me the flexibility to become a classroom teacher as well as an adventure trip leader. I have also been lucky enough to work for Maine Audubon Adventure Camps leading canoeing and hiking, as well as Maine Audubon Nature Day Camps, as a naturalist that takes kids on field trips to explore different habitats. I have a very diverse background that I try bring into teaching Biology to high school students as often as I can.

kids and I hiking
The kids and I hiking the hills near our summer campground.
Chris & kids skiing
The family skiing at Attitash Mountain on my birthday.

When I am not teaching or going to conferences, I spend as much times with my family as I possibly can. I have a wonderful husband, Chris Gogan, that I met at Unity College. We have been together since 1996! Chris and I have had many adventures since we first meet. We have traveled to many places including Bequai Island, St Lucia Island, Key West, Hawaii, West Virginia, New Orleans, & New Mexico just to name a few. Our most favorite place has to be here in New England.

Here in New England you have the water and the mountains. Chris and I have spent many hours and days hiking, ice climbing, skiing or camping the in the White Mountain National Forest. We are not just purely terrestrial either, we enjoy aquatic ecosystems as well. We love to canoe and kayak on the fun and fabulous rivers and lakes New England has to offer. We also enjoy boating on the ocean and spending time on Chebeague Island where I am from. Basically we love the outdoors and try to plan as much time and as many fun activities as we can in it.

My kids, Lilly & CJ Gogan
My kids, Lilly & CJ Gogan

I also have two fabulous young children; Lilly Rose Gogan who is 10 and CJ Gogan who is 6. I love my kids! They are great kids (but who doesn’t think their kids are great, right?)! Our kids love the outdoors too, but they are both also up and coming hockey stars. I do think they could agree that their favorite place would be our summer retreat at Loon Lake Campground. This will be our third year going to the campground and we couldn’t find a better place to spend our summers. My kids are real champs agreeing to let their mom go out on a ship for 30 days. I know we will miss each other, but I hope they think what their mom is doing is pretty cool too! Hopefully my adventures on the Gordon Gunter will give me plenty of stories to tell around the campfire this summer and make the time I was gone well worth it!


Kirk Beckendorf, July 27, 2004

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kirk Beckendorf
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown

July 4 – 23, 2004

Mission: New England Air Quality Study (NEAQS)
Geographical Area:
Northwest Atlantic Ocean
July 27, 2004

Daily Log

Jim Koermer invited me to come up today and “work” a session with him. Jim is a Professor of Meteorology at Plymouth State in Plymouth, New Hampshire. During NEAQS he is responsible for providing the scientist on the BROWN twice daily forecast of the weather conditions. Yesterday evening I drove the 2 hours to Plymouth and went to Jim’s house. After a short visit with Jim and his wife it was about 9:00 PM. It was time for a nap, only a nap because his work session today started at midnight.

One of Jim’s students had worked the previous session. After we arrived he gave Jim a brief summary of what he had been doing. Rachel, another of Jim’s students soon joined us and she went to work immediately gathering some of the data necessary to make the forecast.

Along one wall of the long room, where they build the forecast, is a bank of 34 displays each continually updating satellite images, radars, computer models, webcams and other global and local weather information. On the desk are four computers which are used to gather other weather data and computer models which give real time, delayed time and computer models which predict general weather patterns.

Rachel and Jim are writing a very specific forecast for the area of the Gulf of Maine in the location of the BROWN. Their predictions give details such as wind speed and direction, air temperature, rainfall, cloud cover and where pollution will be starting from and then will move to. Even though they send the BROWN these predictions twice a day the forecast are for the next 48 hours, at six hour intervals. Until 6:00AM the two of them analyze the information from all of the different sources and then they hand draw some of the predictions on maps and type the rest. The drawn maps are scanned and merged with the typed predictions and the entire file is loaded to a website for the BROWN to access when it connects to the web by satellite at 7:00. You can see one of the hand drawn predictions in one of the pictures I sent in earlier from the BROWN.

The scientists on the BROWN will then use the predictions to determine what will be the best place for them to sample pollution. The BROWN does not travel very fast so plans have to be made ahead of time to catch certain pollution events.

You can also use a lot of the tools that Jim uses. His website is at

Question of the Day

What is a vortex?