Roy Moffitt, AUNE Science Teacher Cert grad, was selected out of over 400 applicants for the Teacher At Sea program through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He currently teaches Science at Maple Street Elementary School in Contoocook, NH. Roy will sail aboard USCGC HEALY while scientists conduct an Arctic Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO).
Remarking on this opportunity, Roy shared, “It is a unique opportunity to sail to the Arctic Ocean this August aboard the icebreaker USCGC HEALY. We will be sailing out of Nome Alaska into the Bering Strait into the northern portion of the Bering Sea, the Chukchi Sea to the Barrow Canyons north of Barrow Alaska on the border of the Beaufort Sea.” DBO scientists use instruments deployed off the side of the USCG HEALY to take oceanographic samplings. It can operate in conditions of -50⁰F, while supporting up to 50 scientists. Shedding more light on their route, he shares, “The area we will be sailing through will be clear of ice by August. One of the main goals of the trip would be to detect changes in the Arctic through an annual survey called the Distributed Biological Observatory. Other tasks will be to conduct seabird and Marine mammal observations, sediment grabs, atmospheric measurements, and measurements of Arctic Ocean currents and salinity.” The DBO has designated eight “hot spots” areas that have been chosen because of their high concentrations of ecosystem productivity, biodiversity, and overall rates of change. The DBO is collaboration between multiple U.S. federal agencies and academic institutions as well as from other Arctic nations.
Talking about the NOAA Teachers At Sea mission, Roy says, “The mission of the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program is to provide teachers hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with world-renowned NOAA scientists, thereby giving them unique insight into oceanic and atmospheric research crucial to the nation. The program provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through college-level teachers to sail aboard NOAA research ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew.” Adding further about his plans to incorporate the field experience into his classrooms, he shares, “Many of these research topics are covered at an introductory level in my 6th-grade classroom. I am excited to gain some real-world experience on the topics and bring it back to my classroom and colleagues.”
Summing up his thirst for on-field experience, Roy shares, “I am a strong believer in hands-on experiential learning and look forward to learning through my Arctic experience. Part of the Teachers at Sea opportunity is to share my adventure in real time with students and public.” The plan would also be to incorporate the experience and NOAA data into his classroom and to share the information with others. You can follow Roy’s Teachers at Sea blog at: https://teacheratsea.noaa.gov/#/2018/Roy*Moffitt/blogs