Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary
Baby Sea Turtle Education

NOAA Teacher At Sea

Each spring a NOAA research ship calls on Savannah and therefore Gray's Reef to conduct various projects in ocean exploration and research. Ocean floor mapping, fish counts, invertebrate surveys, fish tagging and marine debris surveys are conducted. The NOAA ship serves as both home and lab for these scientists and the ship's permanent crew. Typically several berths are reserved for educators to gain invaluable experience working along side the research team and ship's crew.

The education team is tasked with writing daily logs of the operations and taking images for posting on the website. They also field questions from students who follow along via the website and interview various members of the crew and research team. At the end of the cruise the educators are required to create a lesson plan and preferably a teaching unit that is posted on the website for others to use.

Teachers have been enthusiastic and grateful for the opportunity to be an active participant in the research and exploration operations conducted on these state of the art floating labs and research facilities.

Deborah Campbell participating in an abandon ship drill aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster.

Deborah Campbell participating in an "abandon ship" drill aboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster
Photo: Debbie Meeks

Deborah Campbell was selected by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to participate in their 2012 Teacher At Sea program. Campbell, a seventh grade science teacher at Locke Elementary School in Chicago, IL, spent two weeks onboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster during the Gray's Reef Expedition 2012 - Leg I.

To read Campbell's logs posted during her 2012 Teacher At Sea experience, click here, then scroll down to view each day's activities.

Following her experience as a NOAA TAS, Campbell applied for and was awarded a grant from ECOLAB in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, via a program called "Visions For Learning". She will be using the grant to provide oceanography materials for her 7th grade students to do oceanography labs, study the ocean floor using a 3D map, participate in activities that allow them to role play, write, do artwork, and create a newsletter. Students will also dissect a shark to learn about the anatomy and physiology of this ocean creature.

Click here to view the NOAA Teacher At Sea website and learn about the call for applications that will be issued early each year when plans are finalized for each season's cruise.


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