After two years, teachers return to sea

In 2020, health and safety restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic placed the NOAA Teacher at Sea (TAS) Program on hold. Now, teachers are setting sail once more to work with world-renowned NOAA scientists and bring what they learn to their classrooms.

 A side view of NOAA Ship Pisces at port.
NOAA Ship Pisces, shown here at port in Galveston, Texas, hosted the first Teacher at Sea from the 2022 Field Season. (Jordan Findley, Teacher at Sea)

The TAS Program offers educators a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get hands-on experience and a unique look into oceanic and atmospheric research. This year, the program welcomed a cohort of six teachers from across the country for the new 2022 field season.

"We are thrilled to be sailing teachers once more on NOAA research surveys for this unique research experience," says director Jennifer Hammond. "Our program was just one of so many things that were disrupted by the pandemic, and we wanted the teachers originally selected to sail that year to count this as a delayed opportunity, not a lost one."

Educators from different backgrounds and areas of expertise joined NOAA scientists to learn how to collect data that contribute to our understanding of the ocean and Great Lakes. This year’s cohort included two teachers from Ohio who sailed as the first and second TAS on Lake Erie, a teacher from Puerto Rico who shared his experiences on a Pacific hake survey in both English and Spanish, and a high school physics teacher from Texas with more than two decades of classroom experience who surveyed groundfish in the Gulf of Mexico. You can read more about their expeditions in the summaries below.