NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Delaware II
July 25 — August 5, 2011
Mission: Clam and Quahog Survey
Geographical Area: North Atlantic
Date: August 8, 2011
I’m home now in Southern California but still reveling in the experience I had aboard NOAA Ship Delaware II. When people ask me what it was like, I tell them it was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. It was also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had since I left the biotech industry some 23 years ago. It reminded me of why I enjoy science in general and research in particular. I tell my students each year that I love science simply because it’s always new. I hope I can pass along my enthusiasm for learning to my students and share with them the importance of ongoing research.
One of the final thoughts I wanted to share was about the people who choose to do this kind of work on a daily basis. I met people who were into it for the science, people who just loved being at sea, and those people who had a real aptitude for mechanics and physics. There were people who could repair just about any piece of equipment on the ship — the mechanical and the electronic. There were people who had an excellent sense of the ocean and its movements, currents, and the life it holds. I was impressed by the friendliness of all the people on board the Delaware II and their willingness to answer all my questions and share with me about their daily jobs.
As promised, I’ve included here on my final blog the interview I had with one of the NOAA Commissioned Corps officers, ENS Hefferan. I intend to have my students do a project investigating the careers available through NOAA as soon as school begins. I realize not everyone is cut out to work in a lab doing experiments but maybe there is a student out there who will recognize that some of the best science, the most exciting science, is taking place on ships like the Delaware II.