Palmetto Senior High School biology and marine science teacher Jamie Morris has embarked on 13-day sailing mission to assist scientists on a survey of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia. Morris is participating as part of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program, which bridges science and education through real-world research experiences.
“Through my experience with NOAA, my students will not only be able to learn first-hand about exciting research projects at sea, they will be witnesses to them and, on some level, participants in them,” said Morris. “Making their learning relevant through my own hands-on experiences is vital to getting students excited about science.”
Morris boarded the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster on April 19 in Savannah and will spend 13 days at sea before coming to an end in Charleston, SC. Morris will assist scientists daily as they survey different ecosystem components in the sanctuary. Science conducted in the sanctuary is intended to help make informed decisions to ensure the protection of the sanctuary’s resources. Morris is writing a blog about her experience, accessible at: http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/2014/morris.html.
“NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program gives teachers the professional opportunity of a lifetime with a chance to participate in cutting edge science, on the ocean working side by side with worldrenowned scientists,” said program director Jennifer Hammond. “Teachers describe this authentic research experience as transformative and one that allows them to bring new knowledge and excitement back to their classrooms.”
Over 24 years, the program has provided almost 700 teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience participating in science at sea. This year, NOAA received applications from about 200 teachers and chose 25 to participate in research cruises.
NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. For information, go to http://graysreef.noaa.gov/welcome.html. Or go to the NOAA Teacher at Sea Homepage at http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/ and Jamie Morris’ blog: http://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/2014/morris. html.