Exploring Nautilus: Local teacher shares live ocean exploration experience from sea

Exploring Nautilus: Local teacher shares live ocean exploration experience from sea
(Source: KPLC)

Citgo along with the Calcasieu Parish Public Library hosted a live "ship to shore" interactive interview with Barbe Elementary teacher Terri Miller.

Miller is currently exploring the Pacific Ocean aboard the exploration vessel "Nautilus" and is just one of a chosen few selected to board the ship.

A fourth-grade science and math teacher at Barbe Elementary School and Citgo's STEM Teacher of the Year, Miller is one of four ambassadors chosen from communities across the country.

Students from around the parish were able to ask Miller questions about her experience aboard "Nautilus" as well as partake in a number of ocean-themed activities.

Last year's ambassador, Katherine Gertz, a third-grade teacher at E.K. Key Elementary, was on hand to help facilitate the interview. She says this event helps open up a whole new world for students, exposing them to technology and ocean life that they may not know about.

"I think it really invigorates students to love the ocean more, to learn more about the ocean and that there are all kinds of animals and wildlife in the ocean that they don't even know," Gertz said. "Cause it's not something that we normally teach in third grade, so you get a lot of students here who get to be exposed to the ocean and all it has to offer."

Gertz says her experience aboard the ship last year is something that she will never forget.

"It was so much fun, we got to work with scientists from NASA and Harvard, I was able to assist a professor in the wet lab and I worked on video production and sighting different animals. It was invaluable for a science teacher to bring back to the classroom."

The current Nautilus expedition that Miller and others are taking part in explores and maps out ocean waters near Southern California.

This expedition will map near the site of a recent earthquake south of Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the Channel Islands, where there may also be significant slides underwater.

The short mapping expedition will transit from San Pedro to San Francisco, with seafloor mapping focused on completing gaps from previous mapping expeditions. Three areas have been identified for mapping with the Nautilus multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom profiler in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and adjacent waters. The purpose of these surveying efforts is for general bathymetric data collection, seafloor characterization, and as a secondary goal, seep detection.

The expedition is set to sail through June 9.

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