Local educators joined teachers from five states at The University
of Southern Mississippi's Scott Aquarium in Biloxi Wednesday, Oct.
1, to learn about the latest research by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration on strange environments in the Gulf of
event was the first of two workshops at the Scott Aquarium that
focus on recent NOAA expeditions to investigate unexplored deepwater
habitats and living organisms of the Gulf of Mexico.
trying to get ahead of the textbooks to find out what researchers
are discovering and how they are going about learning about the
deep sea communities," Hancock High School teacher Shani Bourn
said. "If I wait for the textbooks, it will be five years before
my students see this information. And this (workshop) is about the
Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is our own backyard!"
Brown, workshop organizer for the Scott Aquarium, said teachers
learned about deep continental margin communities, including cold
seeps where cold water rich in gas and oil comes out slowly from
also release hydrogen sulfide, a compound toxic to most animal life
but essential to the life of these communities," Brown said.
"The teachers became acquainted with the geology as well as
the living organisms."
marine sciences teacher at Pascagoula High School, said she found
the up-close look at the chemosynthetic organisms of the gulf fascinating.
"I teach basic concepts, but the new teaching activities and
knowledge allow me to illustrate those concepts with the latest
technology and cutting-edge research results," Price said.
Price and other
workshop participants also become Ocean Exploration educators.
schools will be designated Ocean Exploration schools, and their
students will be able to interact via the Internet with researchers
aboard NOAA vessels on the different expeditions," Brown said.
Brown will be on board the upcoming NOAA expedition, helping log
data that can be accessed by students at Ocean Exploration schools.
resident and a former research scientist in oceanography and marine
microbiology, Gesa M.B. Capers has high hopes that such interaction
with working scientists will spark interest among her honors marine
science students in Mobile.
act like they live 1,000 miles from the ocean," Capers said.
"I want to get them interested in oceans and in research."
gulf coast participants were Edith L. Flores, Picayune Junior High
School; Ocean Springs resident Susan Lewis, Gulfport Central Middle
School; Kimberly Wittmann-Necaise, St. Paul Catholic School, Pass
Christian; and Noel Lamey, Trent Lott Middle School, Pascagoula.
NOAA Ocean Exploration workshop is scheduled for Nov. 13 for teachers
of grades 5-12 and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information
or to register, contact Dr. Shelia Brown or Kay Baggett at (228)
374-5550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The J.L. Scott
Marine Education Center and Aquarium is part of the Gulf Coast Research
Laboratory, a Southern Miss marine research, education and outreach
enterprise in Ocean Springs.