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Teachers at Sea (RET)

Hands-on Experiences for K-12 Teachers

Due to constraints caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA’s Teacher At Sea Program is not hosting any Teachers at Sea with the NGA LTER in 2022. Instead, the NGA LTER is offering an At-Sea Residence. This residence opportunity is open to educators, artists, culture bearers, and science communicators, with preference for those living and working within Alaska and especially the coastal communities of the Northern Gulf of Alaska.

Tiglax at Seward Marine Center
The R/V Tiglax docked at Seward Marine Center

Research Experience for Teachers (RET) opportunities consist of participating in NGA LTER science activities while sailing with researchers on our periodic cruises. Not only do teachers on our cruises actively participate in research activities, they also communicate the experience to their students and the general K-12 community via web-based logs (blogs) and videos.

Cruises last 2-3 weeks and occur in May, July, and September. We hope that most cruises in future years will include a berth for a teacher. We particularly welcome Alaska-based teachers.

NOAA Partnership

Since 2018, we’ve partnered with NOAA and offered our TAS positions through their application process. Early in 2020, a group of teachers was accepted. However, because of COVID-19, the 2020 season was postponed with hopes to sail these teachers in 2021. Then, of course, the 2021 season was also cancelled.

If you are interested in the 2022 season, please check the NOAA website in October 2021 for their call for applications. More information can be found at their FAQ.

Participating Teachers

Cara Nelson, Fall 2019
Cara Nelson was our NOAA Teacher at Sea for the Fall 2019 cruise. Ms. Nelson teaches oceanography and marine biology at Bartlett High School (BHS) in Anchorage School District. She has also lived and taught in Cordova, Alaska, in Prince William Sound, so she is familiar with our study environment.

Catherine Fuller, Summer 2019
Catherine Fuller was our NOAA Teacher at Sea for the Summer 2019 cruise. Ms. Fuller teaches 6th grade history at Iolani School in Honolulu, HI. As a crew member of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, she has voyaged on the Hokule’a, a replica of an ancient Hawaiian canoe. She ties really good knots.

Ceratium drawing
Ms. Gavenus created this drawing after viewing a number of microscopy photos of the mixotrophic dinoflagellate Ceratium under different lights and stains. It appears on her blog. (Drawing by Katie Gavenus)
Katie Gavenus, Spring 2019
Katie Gavenus was our NOAA Teacher at Sea for the Spring 2019 cruise. Ms. Gavenus coordinates education programs at the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies in Homer. CACS provides guided school field trips at their Peterson Bay Field Station and at the Kasitsna Bay Labs, as well as ship-based oceanography programs on Kachemak Bay. Ms. Gavenus has also been selected by the PolarTREC program to be the educator onboard a MOSAiC project cruise in Fall, 2019.

Mark Van Arsdale, Fall 2018
Mr. Van Arsdale joined us from Eagle River High School, Alaska, where he teaches AP Biology, Forensic Science, Oceanography, and Marine Biology. His participation was made possible though a new partnership with the NOAA Teacher at Sea program, which we hope will continue in the coming years.

Per Fosstveit, Summer 2018
Mr. Fosstveit joined us from Monroe Woodbury Middle School located in Central Valley, New York. He participated in Seward Line sampling, especially net tows, and kept a log for his class back home.

Michele Hoffman Trotter, Spring 2018
Michele Hoffman Trotter created an educational series of learning modules and interviews of scientists aboard R/V Sikuliaq. Schools in Alaska, California, Chicago, and Canada participated in her lessons.

Jennifer Duncan at sea
Jennifer Duncan with a CTD aboard the R/V Tiglax, 2009

Armada Program

In 2008 and 2009, teachers participated on Seward Line cruises via the ARMADA program at the University of Rhode Island (funded by the National Science Foundation). This program has since concluded. However, the at-sea logs of the teachers are still available.

Karen Rudio, 2008
Karen Rudio was a 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Read Ms. Rudio’s logs.
Jennifer Duncan, 2009
Jennifer Duncan joined us from from Madeira Beach Fundamental Middle School, a marine theme school in St. Petersburg, Florida. Read Ms. Duncan’s logs.