Teacher Research Experiences - 03.23.2009

The COSEE Coastal Trends Scientist-Educator Partnership immerses middle school and high school teachers in ocean science research experiences. Scientists and teachers conduct research and develop classroom resources based on the partnering work. Our program includes:

  • A residential week-long orientation that introduces teacher fellows to team members and provides background on conducting science research
  • A six-week research experience in a science research facility
  • Extensive follow-up and support during the academic year
  • Comprehensive dissemination of fellowship products via the web and through hands-on workshops and conferences
  • Stipend, classroom supplies, and travel expenses

Collaborative teamwork is a key component of the research experience. Successful applicants work closely with a research scientist, a graduate student, and an undergraduate student to collectively create web-based educational resources focusing on their area of study (see Scientist-Educator Teams for more details).

The summer 2009 projects are:

Light, Microbes, and the Carbon Cycle
Dr. David Kirchman, University of Delaware College of Marine and Earth Studies
Lewes, DE

Bacteria are abundant in natural environments and play important roles in ecosystem processes. The classic understanding of microbes is that some, like plants, use light for energy and carbon fixation (photoautotrophs) while others use organic carbon sources (heterotrophs). Recent discoveries have shown that the line is not that clear. Some bacteria, called photoheterotrophs, use light for energy in addition to organic carbon sources. The ability to use this alternative energy source may make photoheterophs more competitive, and therefore more productive in certain environments. Since 2006, we have been conducting a long-term observation of two sites in and just outside the Delaware Bay, to monitor the total bacterial community in coastal waters. COSEE Coastal Trends is seeking one teacher to join our scientist-educator team to characterize photoheterotrophic bacteria in the mid-Atlantic Bight. The project will include field work to collect new samples and the opportunity to use tools including microscopy and molecular techniques to study photoheterotrophs in a coastal marine environment.

Physics and Fish Larvae
Dr. Elizabeth North, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Horn Point Laboratory, Cambridge, MD

This interdisciplinary research program focuses on complex processes controlling structure, dynamics, and productivity of estuarine turbidity maxima (ETMs). ETMs are physical features located at the heads of estuaries where freshwater from rivers meets salt water from the sea. They trap sediment, detritus, zooplankton, and fish eggs and larvae, and influence survival of fish like striped bass and white perch. Our integrated research program incorporates field, laboratory, and numerical modeling efforts in the ETM region of upper Chesapeake Bay. COSEE Coastal Trends is seeking one teacher to join our science-educator research team to study the ETM in the upper Chesapeake Bay. The team will use computer modeling approaches and field data to learn how climate variability influences the upper Bay ecosystem and the survival of striped bass and white perch.

Apply online.

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