1 Introduction to My Voyage on the Pisces


Laughing Gull flying over ocean as viewed from our ferry

Laughing Gull

I have a rare opportunity and a responsibility to teach others about our world.  Having been selected as a NOAA Teacher at Sea, I will be sailing aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Pisces as a scientist.  Andy David, the chief scientist on our expedition, who works for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, has assigned and will be assigning me duties.  Already I’ve participated in editing press materials, setting up a blog, pre-cruise meetings, and finding groups to Skype with from the ship.  On board ship some of my duties will include photographing and videotaping our activities.  Yeah!  My students will have lots of material from which to create projects.  I will be able to teach them about public access to information and my role in that from my blogging responsibilities.  Having raised service dogs, I am already familiar with many aspects of public access, but it has usually been wheelchair access to buildings.  Internet access for the blind hadn’t occurred to me.  Learning, always learning.

I teach grades 3-5 in a pull-out program for the gifted and talented.  Last week my 3rd grade students got to Skype with Andy David and asked him questions about the purpose of our cruise, what we would find there, how we would solve problems, how the ship is powered, and so much more.   The students seem very interested in sharks, dolphins, whales, and turtles.   Those species aren’t exactly what we are focusing on in our study of the deep water coral, Lophelia.   Andy said that we would probably see all those marine creatures. That hadn’t occurred to me; they weren’t on my radar since these species haven’t been mentioned in other blogs or information pages from this study.  They will be serendipitous meetings, and, although I didn’t think it possible,  my excitement level has increased.  I found a great web site about Lophelia.  Check it out.  It has easy reading, maps, pictures, and games.

Keep checking back for more on this exciting adventure.  I will post my blog entries as often as bandwidth will allow after we depart on May 31, 2011 to help you better understand about our mission and what we found.  We will return  June 11, 2011.  Until then, I will talk about things I plan to take and why.

14 responses to “1 Introduction to My Voyage on the Pisces

  1. Hi Mrs. Zupko! Hope you have a good time, and can’t wait to hear more about it. :D

  2. Good luck and have a great time! Hopefully, you will find some interesting things to write about! We hope you see many different kinds of fish! We wish you the best finding Lophelia. We hope you have great sailing weather!
    Sincerely,
    Mrs. Zupko’s Class (in New York)

  3. Ahoy, Mrs. Zupko! I hope you’re doing great, and that you spot many amazing things! Stay safe! :-)

  4. Hi Mrs Zupko, I can’t wait until the blog!! I hope you have a wonderful time on the cruise. P.S tell us if anyone gets sick :P

  5. Hope you are having an enlightening experience with memories that will stay with you forever. You can share them with your students when you return.

  6. Am having a fabulous experience. I am sharing with my students now through the blog, and I will be preparing lessons for them upon my return. Actually am doing an ActivBoard workshop where we will go home with a lesson ready to go. I have pictures from the trip that I can add. That will be a lot of fun and will make it available for others to use.

  7. Hi, Nicole. Safety is a huge thing out here. Today they practiced Man Overboard and my first day we did a Fire Drill. We must keep doors shut, floors dry, and wear hard hats and life preservers whenever working on deck with something over the side. I even saw the cook check the temperature of the soup on the buffet so it would not grow bacteria. We’re even supposed to report cuts and scrapes so they can make sure we’re ok. Safety is big out here.

  8. I have enjoyed sharing information with you all. As I learn, I get to share, which helps me learn more. It’s wonderful being out with scientists who love to share.

  9. I should have some new posts up soon. Every post must be approved by the chief scientist and NOAA to ensure I’m not telling you things which are incorrect. I try to verify my information before sending it on for approval. Andy David did find I had misspelled a word. It’s good to have people edit your work. They see things you miss.

  10. Bon Voyage! Congrats Mrs. Zupko! Hope you have a wonderful time and I can’t wait to see what you encounter!

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