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