NOAA 2001-R815
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani


Students at Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Mass., may learn about marine science in an exciting new way this school year through the eyes and perceptions of teacher Chris Brothers, who recently participated in the Teacher at Sea program of the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Brothers, who teaches marine ecology and AP biology, went aboard the NOAA fisheries research ship Miller Freeman for 11 days to help conduct a pollock fishery stock assessment survey and to study Stellar sea lion interactions. The Miller Freeman is the largest fishery research ship in the nation and operates primarily off the coast of Alaska.
"I had a great research experience as a NOAA Teacher at Sea in the Gulf of Alaska," Brothers said. "I learned a lot and look forward to sharing what I learned with my students."

The enthusiasm for learning generated between teachers and students is the biggest payoff of NOAA's Teacher at Sea program, where teachers from kindergarten through college go aboard NOAA hydrographic, oceanographic and fisheries research vessels to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew. Now in its 11th year, the program has enabled more than 325 teachers to gain first hand experience in science at sea. Teachers can enrich their classroom 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.

"The Teacher at Sea program has been extremely successful for several reasons," said Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields, NOAA Corps, director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which administers the program. "It addresses the strong desire of teachers to gain ‘real world' experience to bring back to their classrooms and to update their skills in scientific research. It also provides NOAA with eager and talented volunteers for their field projects. In addition, by giving teachers an up-close view of the fascinating world of marine science, we hope they'll pass along their enthusiasm to students and spark enough interest to bring NOAA new recruits down the road. It's a win-win situation."

Applicants are rated by a review panel on how they intend to incorporate their experiences into their classroom curricula. They must also submit an article for publication or conduct a presentation at an educators' conference for colleagues.

Successful applicants can choose from research or survey missions on 13 participating ships ranging from one week to several months on the East, West or Gulf coasts. Although the program is free, participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the ship.

Teacher at Sea is administered by the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations at its Marine Operations Center-Pacific in Seattle, Wash. OMAO is responsible for operating, managing and maintaining NOAA's fleet of research and survey ships and aircraft, and is composed both of civilians and officers of the NOAA Commissioned Corps, the nation's seventh and smallest uniformed service.

For more information about the Teacher at Sea program, please visit: