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Early College teacher to study water in Alaska

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Tom Savage, a science teacher at Henderson County Early College High School, will sail on June 4 to assist scientists on an 18-day hydrographic survey in Southeast Alaska as part of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program, which bridges science and education through real-world research experiences.

“Through my experience with NOAA, my students will not only be able to learn first-hand about exciting research projects at sea, they will be witnesses to them, and on some level, participants in them,“ says Savage. “Making their learning relevant through my own hands-on experiences is vital to getting students excited about science.”

Savage will board NOAA Ship Fairweather in Juneau, Alaska, and will work with scientists daily as they conduct an ongoing hydrographic survey in Southeast Alaska. Savage is writing a blog detailing his experience—photos from the blog are free and available for use by media with proper credit.

"NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program gives teachers the professional opportunity of a lifetime with a chance to participate in cutting edge science, on the ocean, working side-by-side with world-renowned scientists,” says Jennifer Hammond, the program’s director. “Teachers describe this authentic research experience as transformative and one that allows them to bring new knowledge and excitement back to their classrooms.”

Now in its 28th year, the program has provided nearly 750 teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience participating in science at sea. This year, NOAA received applications from nearly 300 teachers, and chose 35 to participate in research cruises. These educators are able to enrich their curricula with the depth of understanding they gain by living and working side-by-side with scientists studying the marine environment.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.