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My name is Michele Adams and I live in the beautiful state of West Virginia. I came to this state and the science teaching professsion by luck.

I was born in Columbus, Ohio and attended school there. I found that I loved being a learner, so I pursued a degree in education at Bowling Green State University. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education, and I decided to look for an elementary level teaching job in West Virginia, where I had heard that they were recruiting new teachers. I took a chance on Berkeley County, WV, and was offered a job in middle school science. My life forever changed.

Never did I imagine that I could or would end up teaching science at the middle school level (I wanted to be a 2nd grade teacher), but once there, I fell in love with the subject. It was such an exciting subject to teach. I soon became motivated to earn a Master's in Secondary Science Education from West Virginia University, and to become highly involved at the state level with many aspects of science education. After several moves to the elementary level and one move to teach in Brazil, I couldn't deny my passion for teaching science all day. So, I returned to where I began-- middle school science.

I am currently teaching 7th grade integrated science at Musselman Middle School. My husband Todd and I are newlyweds who enjoy traveling and all aspects of the outdoors. I am very much looking forward to learning and sharing in the TEA program.

Forming Ocean Crust at Gakkel Ridge
Dr. Peter Michael, University of Tulsa
I am most excited to be traveling to the top of the world! From July 29 to October 3, I will be traveling aboard the USCGC Healy. We will depart from Tromsų, Norway and travel to our ultimate destination of Gakkel Ridge at approximately 87 degrees north latitude. Gakkel Ridge is a very special part of the global mid-ocean ridge system, which is the plate tectonic boundary where ocean crust is created. It is the slowest spreading mid-ocean ridge, its basaltic crust is extremely thin, and it has an exceptionally deep and straight rift axis. We may find mantle rocks widely exposed at the surface! There is recent volcanic activity at 90°E on Gakkel Ridge, and there may be hydrothermal vents there. With all of these unique features, it is quite a special place in the global spectrum of mid-ocean ridges! It remains the last geologically unsampled mid-ocean ridge only because it is so difficult to get there. The mission I will be involved with is a joint effort between the United States and Germany. A main goal of Healy and of the accompanying German icebreaker "Polarstern" will be collecting rock samples from Gakkel Ridge's axis. Dr. Peter Michael from the University of Tulsa will be the principal investigator on Healy for this task. For part of the cruise, Healy will be breaking the ice and leading the way for Polarstern, who will be shooting an airgun and towing a seismic streamer to make an image of the rock layers beneath the seafloor. Together, the scientists on both icebreakers will collect data and samples that will lead to a better understanding of how spreading rates influence the melting of mantle, the production of new ocean crust, and the tectonics of sea floor spreading. I am most excited to be taking part in this mission to explore the last unsampled ridge of the ocean. I hope to inspire and inform you as I travel north to Earth's unique Gakkel Ridge.

Appreciation is extended to Casio, who has provided Michele with scientific equipment she will use while she is in the field.

Be sure to check out the images in the journal entries!

October 2001

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July 2001

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