NOAA 2003-R808
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Students at Daniel Ortiz Middle School in Houston may learn about marine science in an exciting new way, through the eyes and perceptions of teacher Amanda Miller, who is participating in the Teacher at Sea program of the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Miller, a resident of Houston, teaches middle school science. She is sailing aboard the NOAA fisheries research ship Miller Freeman June 4-24 to participate in a pollock stock assessment and fishery evaluation in the Gulf of Alaska. The information is used to determine total allowable catches and other management strategies for the Alaska pollock fishery to ensure its future sustainability.

“I am extremely excited about getting research experience with NOAA, and giving my students an inside look at what it’s like to do science at sea,” Miller said.

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 13th year, the program has enabled more than 350 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.

Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields, NOAA Corps, director of NOAA 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 NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations. NMAO 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.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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