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2004/2005 ARMADA Master Teachers

My name is Laurelynn Brooks and I am a ninth and tenth grade science teacher at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Washington.  Our science department is exploring a collaborative model to connect our students to the curriculum through Active Physics and Active Biology programs. We are fortunate to live in a diverse cultural community that stretches from the Cascade Mountains to the coastal waterways.  I love to study how people learn, and have taught science students in grades kindergarten through college.  I believe all people love to learn, and my role as a teacher is to bring out the natural scientist in each student.

For my research experience I am embarking on a three-week expedition to the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez.   I will be aboard the Scripps oceanographic research vessel New Horizon.  I will work with an international team of scientists from Oregon State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Hawaii, the University of Sonora, Mexico, and the University of Milan, Italy.  We are all interested in researching oceanic topics that ultimately relate to the process of global climate change. I am drawn to the Sea of Cortez, like John Steinbeck, because I am curious.  I hope to share the joy of learning with many students, and turn my classroom into a learning laboratory, taking them on a scientific discovery cruise! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Kathy Couchon and I am a seventh grade science teacher at Narragansett Pier Middle School in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Our curriculum is life science with a marine science focus as much as possible. We are fortunate to have Narragansett Bay and a local estuary as back-yard laboratories. I have worked with the URI Office of Marine Programs in the past as a Mentor Teacher in the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education program. For 3 years I hosted Marine Science graduate students in my classroom to share their research experiences and conduct activities with the students. This summer I am excited to be a part of the ARMADA project.

For my research experience I am embarking on a six-week expedition to the Lomonosov Ridge area of the Arctic Ocean as part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Project's Arctic Coring Expedition. I will be aboard a Swedish Icebreaker, the Oden, which will be part of a 3-ship armada taking part in this exciting project. An international team will be drilling sediment cores in waters 1-4 km deep. Microfossils from these cores, taken from 480 m of sediments, will be used to look back at 50 million years of global climate change. Each time I read about this project or try to explain it to someone, I am overwhelmed by this unbelievable opportunity to be part of such "ground-breaking" science. What could be a better way to excite my middle-school students about scientific exploration than to bring back my experiences and show them first-hand! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Aimee Gauthier and I teach at Brockton High School, Brockton Massachusetts. In my seven years at BHS, I have taught all levels of biology and physical science. Through the ARMADA project, I have been invited to join a research team that will be traveling during late August through the slope waters of Southern New England and the Mid Atlantic Bight region of the Atlantic Ocean. During the two-week excursion, I will be monitoring ecosystems in this area. I am very excited to participate in this research and share this REAL science with my students! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Elizabeth Gibbs and I teach life science to seventh grade students at Thompson Middle School in Newport, Rhode Island, where I am in my seventh year of classroom teaching. Growing up on the Rhode Island coast, I have always loved being in, on, or around the ocean and enjoy scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and just splashing around in the water and poking around in tidepools. With a background in environmental education, I have taught outdoors for Boston University Sargent Camp in Peterborough, New Hampshire, Save The Bay in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Office of Marine Programs at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. I emphasize learning in the field as much as possible. I have taken my students on field study trips to Rose Island, Fort Getty, and the Newport waterfront. In 2002, I participated in an Earthwatch program, Caring for Chimpanzees, in which I taught live from the field while volunteering at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute in Ellensburg, Washington. I was thrilled at the opportunity to participate in the ARMADA project to involve my students in real-world research, allow them to conduct field study of their own, and learn firsthand about the fascinating dusky dolphins of New Zealand.

I will be working at McMurdo Station, Antarctica with researcher Stacy Kim from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California. She is a benthic ecologist - meaning she studies communities of living things on the sea floor and learns how they interact with their environment and with each other. In this case, she and her research team will be working on the ASPIRE project - Antarctic Sewage Pollution Impact and Recovery Experiments. Over 1100 people live at McMurdo Station in the summer. Until last year, the sewage from the toilets at the station went out a pipe and was dumped, untreated, into the ocean. In January 2003, however, a new sewage treatment plant was completed, so the waste is now cleaned before it goes out the pipe. The major goal of the ASPIRE research is to study how sea floor communities near the outfall (where the treated sewage enters the ocean) will recover now that the sewage is being treated. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Eric Goff and I teach chemistry I, II, III, and AP chemistry at Hedgesville High School in Hedgesville, West Virginia. We are part of the ever expanding Washington, DC metro area. As a teacher in a landlocked state, I viewed the ARMADA Project as an invaluable method to empower my students to broaden their horizon to learn about a discipline of science rarely taught in our schools via general science classes.

I will be spending the first week of August 2004 with scientists from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission researching the algal blooms and the red tide phenomenon they are causing in the Gulf of Mexico. We will be using probes to detect the specific species of algae involved in the algal blooms. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Linda Hoffman and I have been teaching science for over thirty years. At present, I am teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science to special education students at Palms Middle School in Los Angeles, California. I am also the vice president of the Greater Los Angeles Teachers Science Association (G.L.A.T.S.A.).

I will be studying the distribution of Humpback Whales with an international research team project called SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks) I will be at sea for a month off of Kodiak, Alaska and the Aleutian, Islands. See Research Experience or Journal.

Hi! I'm Charlene Mauro and I teach Marine Science I & II at Navarre High School in the Florida panhandle. I am excited to see NHS's Marine Science program grow from one section when I began teaching, to thirteen sections this year. I really enjoy sharing my summer and past experiences with my students and other teachers. This summer, I opted for a field-based research project tracking juvenile bull sharks in the Indian River Lagoon system. I will be working with Tobey Curtis and George Burgess from the Florida Program for Shark Research. Tobey and I will be tagging and recapturing young bull sharks to provide information on movements, population size, growth patterns, and residency programs. Yippee! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Debbie Quintero and I am a sixth grade earth science teacher at St. Lucie West Middle School in Port St. Lucie Florida. I am a native Floridian who is committed to the conservation, preservation, and restoration of our planet. I belief that education is the only way to achieve it. I have been fortunate over the years to immerse myself in institutions, workshops, and research experiences that have enabled me to convey my enthusiasm and love of science to my students. My professional interests extend beyond the classroom as evidenced by my involvement in The Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, Florida Fish and Wildlife, and Friends of the Everglades just to name a few. I sponsor a school site ecology club that is involved in countless projects from coastal clean-ups, to setting up monofilament recycling stations, to competing in Envirothon, a national environmental science competition for students.

This year I was able to attain several grants, which provided funding to implement innovative programs for my students. One of these programs involved every aspect of setting up and maintaining salt-water aquariums in the classroom. My philosophy is that in order for learning to take place the student must become a stakeholder in his/her own education. I am very excited about my involvement in the ARMADA Project. I am constantly looking for ways to improve my expertise in the teaching of science. Broadening my experiences enables me to connect curriculum to reality and carry that connection into my classroom. I believe that ARMADA will be the vessel that will allow me to achieve this. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Catherine Roberts. I have taught seventh grade Life Science for 29 years. This year I will be teaching eighth grade Physical Science at Western Branch Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. Our location at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Ocean makes ocean dynamics very important to us. The Gulf Stream also has a large affect on our weather. The ARMADA Project research that I will participate in will deal with the physical and chemical characteristics of the Gulf Stream and Shelf Break Current frontal zones. We will also be gathering data on the distribution of marine mammal and sea turtle populations in these zones. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Katie Roberts and I am a teacher of Life Science at the Hingham Middle School in Hingham, Massachusetts. My two greatest passions are marine biology and science education and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to forge these two interests on a daily basis in the most fulfilling career of teaching. My own interest in science, and marine biology in particular, stems from an experience in college where I participated in a semester-at-sea experience, spending time off-shore conducting research in the North Atlantic. I often draw on this experience to share with my students and interest them in field research and have now come full circle by participating in the ARMADA Project.

Through the ARMADA Project, I will be participating in SPLASH, which stands for Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks. The goals of this project are to understand the population structure of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the North Pacific. On my thirty day research cruise, which is only one leg of an extended four month cruise, I will be working with Dr. Jay Barlow of the South West Fisheries Science Center and University of California at San Diego. I will be assisting Dr. Barlow with photo identification and biopsy sampling while conducting line transects on a route beginning in Seattle, Washington and ending at Kodiak Island, off the southern coast of Alaska. I'm looking forward to a fantastic adventure! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Steve Schmidt and I teach 10th through 12th grade students chemistry and advanced biology at Newman High School in Wausau, Wisconsin. I also enjoy advising conservation club, coordinating our school forest activities, and coaching students for Envirothon and Ocean Sciences Bowl. I'm excited about getting to do some very important carbon cycle research related to climate change that I can share with my students and community. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Barbara Simon-Waters and I am from Morehead City, North Carolina. I teach biology, marine science, and earth science at East Carteret High School in Beaufort, North Carolina. I am the coach for the Ocean Science Bowl, the Science Bowl, and the coordinator for summer science programs at our school. My summer research project will involve the physiology of sea otters and elephant seals at Long Marine Lab and the UC-Santa Cruz. See Research Experience or Journal.

I'm Leesa Wingo, Science Department Chair, from South Anchorage High School, in Alaska. My classes in Biology and Marine Science will benefit from the ARMADA Project by having direct access to current scientific research being conducted near our area.

I'm excited to work with Lisa Etherington, of the U.S. Geological Survey on the interactions of physical and biological factors at frontal zones in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. The direct relationship of productivity and socio-economic resources in the area make this issue one of great importance. See Research Experience or Journal.

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