April 16, 2009
NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette.
High resolution (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA has selected California educator Taylor Parker to join scientists aboard the 224-foot research vessel, NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette, as part of its Teacher at Sea program to bridge science and education.
“The NOAA Teacher at Sea program continues to be a great way to introduce educators to NOAA science in an ‘up close and personal’ way, that helps them bring science alive for their students and people they interact with on a daily basis,” said Ryan Nichols, chief scientist for the upcoming cruise.
For two weeks aboard the ship in Honolulu, Parker will help scientists with two missions—studying juvenile Hawaiian bottomfish biology and habitat, and improving knowledge of billfish spawning activities. He will write logs that include information about important research of the day and life at sea, interviews with scientists, and photos. The logs will be posted on NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Web site.
Parker runs the education program for Friends of the Colorado Lagoon, which organizes public nature walks and field trips at the lagoon for students from kindergarten through college.
“I am very excited to have been given this opportunity,” Parker said. “We work in a back bay lagoon, and bringing in the marine element has been a challenge. If I can provide our visitors information about the marine environment through my first-hand experience, it will help make that connection and encourage marine conservation.”
Now in its 19th year, the program has provided more than 500 teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in science at sea. This year NOAA received more than 170 applications. They selected 30 individuals to participate in cruises. According to Nichols, educators can enrich their curricula with a depth of understanding made possible by living and working side-by-side, day and night, with those who contribute to the world’s body of scientific knowledge.