ARMADA logo ARMADA Project -- Research and Mentoring Experiences for Teachers National Science Foundation logo


2005/2006 ARMADA Master Teachers

My name is Maureen Barrett. I teach 8th grade life science at Harrington Middle School in Mt. Laurel, NJ. I enjoy studying nature, whether it is through birdwatching, scuba diving, or observing butterflies in my garden. In the past seven years, I have participated in a variety of scientific studies and educational experiences that have taken me all over the world. Most recently I participated in a moose and wolves study on Isle Royale in Lake Superior. Other expeditions have taken me to Costa Rica, Ecuador, New Zealand, Japan, and Mexico. I cannot wait for this summer's adventure with the ARMADA Project! My assignment aboard the CSCAPE 2005 cruise to survey cetaceans and study the pelagic ecosystem in Pacific Ocean is something I have always wanted to do. I am fascinated with the sea and look forward to spending three weeks on it! My students will become "experts" as I take them on the cruise through lessons and activities I create from my ARMADA experience. See Research Experience or Journal.

Hey there, ya'll! I'm Michelle Brand-Buchanan, and I teach eighth grade earth/space and physical sciences (for high school credit) at Alexandria Middle Magnet in Alexandria, Louisiana. I am an energetic person and enjoy adventure, which correlates well with teaching middle school age students and cheering on my husband's football players - Yay! Go Wildcats! The ARMADA Project will allow me to relate with and learn from science professionals to enhance my teaching and help me continue to grow professionally. This opportunity will challenge me to explore all sciences so that I may reciprocate the challenge to my students through inquiry and problem-solving activities; I believe this will help my students become science-literate adults (fingers crossed!).

I anticipate an adventure in Antarctica working with Antarctic Drilling Program ( We will use floating sea-ice as a platform to deploy an air-gun through holes drilled in the ice, use sound energy produced by the gun to survey beneath the ice and water, and create images of the layers of rocks below the seafloor; my grandmother is freaking out, but I am still going! We will also evaluate biological contents and physical characteristics of seafloor samples. ANDRILL's main initiative is to investigate Antarctica's role in Cenozoic-Recent global environmental change through stratigraphic drilling for Antarctic climatic, volcanic, and tectonic history. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Denis Costello and I teach Chemistry and Marine Science at North High School in Torrance, California. I also serve as North's science department chair. My personal interests include scuba diving, baseball and traveling.

In the summer of 2004, I spent six weeks at sea aboard the R/V Kilo Moana, working on SEEDS-II, a project focused on carbon sequestration by the addition of acidified iron to the sub-arctic waters of the western North Pacific. As a result of my experiences, I have been able to use data and other resources to supplement my lessons on climatic change and the possible ramifications of altering the affected ecosystems.

Through the ARMADA Project, I will spend July 2005 aboard the R/V Atlantis, participating in the ECOHAB project, studying the physiology, toxicology, ecology and oceanography of toxic Pseudo-nitzschia species off the Pacific Northwest coast. I hope to bring my experience to my classes and to investigate Harmful Algal Blooms off the coast of Southern California.

This opportunity will allow me to grow personally and professionally, as I will get to experience real life science with world-class scientists. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is James Dornicik. I live on Long Island and teach at the Ward Melville High School located in East Setauket New York. Currently I teach chemistry and forensic science. I enjoy the outdoors and just about anything they have to offer. I am an avid skier and biker. When I have time I also enjoy hiking, running, kayaking, fishing and brewing beer. The ARMADA project offers me an opportunity to bring my research on ocean currents into my chemistry class. I expect to be able to discuss the role of the dyes we used and how we were able to track them with my chemistry students. I have always felt that research helps keep the students attention and give them some real world uses of chemistry. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is J. Rebecca Gould Calabro and I instruct sixth, seventh, and eighth grade special education students in science at the Grover Cleveland Middle School in the Boston Public Schools in Boston, Massachusetts. I also teach sixth grade mathematics there. I am always looking for ways to link our science curriculum to the world outside the classroom. In the past, I have done that by getting myself and my students involved in research projects in the biologically diverse Boston Harbor area. I have also studied the ultra-high tides and amazing sea life of New Brunswick's Bay of Fundy and brought that information back to my students. I was very happy in those efforts to connect my students to the larger world beyond their school and thus am very excited about the chance to participate in the ARMADA Project.

I have been invited to join the Beringia 2005 Artic ecology project in Abisko, Sweden. I will journey 200 kilometers north of the Artic Circle to experience the frozen tundra firsthand. I will learn how the Artic impacts climate, animal migrations, and geology worldwide. The knowledge I gain in Sweden and my experiences there will be a major boost to teaching classes in Weather and Water, Earth History, and Populations and Ecosystem. I am especially looking forward to getting up with the barely setting Artic Sun at 3:00 a.m.! See Research Experience or Journal.

I'm Greer Harvell and have been teaching at Elliott Point Elementary for the past nine years, eight of them in fourth grade. Prior to teaching, I worked at our Emerald Coast Science Center, a hands on science museum as both an instructor and as acting outreach representative. Science has been my favorite subject ever since college where I was blessed to have a WONDERFUL professor who lit a fire in me that is still burning brightly. I recently was hired at Meigs Middle School. I look forward to my ARMADA experience and the mentoring training it will provide as I am also mentoring through the National Board of Professional Teachers program, and I really need some pointers. I also am a firm believer of life long learning- and look forward to learning a lot from everyone. See Research Experience or Journal.

Originally from Tennessee, my name is Susan Holt and I am now at Arcadia High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is my 10th year in the Scottsdale district teaching sciences including chemistry, biology, International Baccalaureate Biology and Environmental Biology. My interests are broad but include spoiling my nieces and nephews as much as possible, jumping at opportunities to learn new things, scuba diving, exploring new places, reading and horses. As a result of my application, The ARMADA Project invited me to participate in a May research project in the Indian Ocean called SEATOS, which stands for Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami Offshore Survey. I accompanied an international team of scientists to Thailand and boarded the M/V The Performer, for 17 days of Remotely Operated Vehicle data and seismic data gathering. Throughout the trip, I felt like a little kid in a candy store because of the opportunity provided to me, the wonderful group of people with whom I was working, the research being conducted to which I had never been exposed, and the environment of complete beauty. Some of my goals of the experience are to take the information that I learned and design a unit for Middle School to meet Arizona's newly adopted science standards and to set up a time for video conferencing in the classroom with participating scientists during the unit I will teach in environmental biology class. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Christine Leavor, but I prefer to go by Chris. I life in Franklinville, NY and teach 5th grade at the Seneca Elementary School in Salamanca, NY. I am in my second year of teaching 5th grade after spending 15 years at the 4th grade level. I have a self-contained class and am responsible for teaching all areas of the curriculum.

Salamanca is located on the Allegany Indian Reservation in Southwestern New York state. Our location provides us with a unique perspective on two cultures.

My personal interests include bowling, reading and crochet. I think the ARMADA Project will be an exciting adventure. I look forward to thinking and acting like a scientist and returning to share my experiences with my students, my "batteries charged" bringing with me a sense of renewal and enthusiasm. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Julie Long and I am an 8th grade science teacher at Farnsworth Middle School in Guilderland, NY. When not at school, I enjoy hiking and mountain biking the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, coaching and playing soccer, and relaxing at the beach. I'm excited to participate in the ARMADA project. I'm excited about acquiring knowledge and information that I can use in my classroom to get my kids excited about "real-world" science. On a personal level, I'm also looking forward to getting back into the research aspect of marine biology, if only for a couple of weeks. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Jeff Manker. I teach Marine Science and AP Biology to 10th, 11th and 12th graders at Gilroy High School in Gilroy, California. Some of my strongest interests include international travel, bird watching and outdoor adventures (mountain biking, mountaineering, kayaking and most recently, canyoneering and adventure racing). I believe that the ARMADA experience will give me new insight into how modern science answers questions and what it takes to work in the field. It will give my students, through my experience, more up-to-date and relevant information to guide their career choices. I believe ARMADA will allow me to help my students bridge the gap between their textbooks, the classroom and real world science. See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Sarah Mitchell and I am currently an 8th grade science teacher at Johnson Middle which is a public school located in Bradenton, Florida. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch, I worked in several outdoor centers and then the National Park Service. This brought me to Florida where I worked at DeSoto National Memorial. I then returned to school and received a graduate degree in special education and entered the teaching profession. After several years in special education, I was asked to teach science which I have done ever since. I love the opportunity to help open students' eyes to the wonders of our world and to try to help inspire them to be curious and caring. To help me stay current and excited about my job, I am always seeking extension experiences. I am looking forward to the ARMADA project as it helps network me with teachers from around the country as well as scientists who are currently exploring the mysteries of our world. See Research Experience or Journal.

Hi, y'all! I'm Judy Reeves from Daphne, Alabama, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. I teach at Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette, a rural school of about 1200 students 25 miles north of my home. My subjects are Aquascience, Marine Science, Environmental Science, and Earth Science (this year). I'm project director for our new Environmental Academy, and so will add co-ordinating our work-based study program and maybe Zoology next year. I love everything to do with the ocean, traveling, reading, and cross-stitch (although there's NO time for that anymore!) My ARMADA research will be in the tidal creeks of South Carolina, which fits right into my program-- we've just started a project to grow wetland plants for restoration areas. My kids built the "pond" installed the irrigation and timers, plumbed it, planted the plants, and will care for them over the summer. In the fall, we'll divide them again, and plant some of the larger ones. We're so excited! I'm thrilled to be part of ARMADA! See Research Experience or Journal.

My name is Debra Slade-Redden. I have taught at New Caney High School in Texas for 22 years. I teach 10th grade biology and 11th-12th grade aquatic science. I have the opportunity to provide my students with hands on experiences because we live 1 1/2 hours from the Gulf of Mexico. We meet several weekends to collect specimens to maintain in classroom tanks however, more can be taught on a field trip than in several classroom lessons. I have coached a National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) team for one year and hope my experiences will add to my coaching abilities. I am expecting my ARMADA research experience to add to my classroom lectures and experiences. I look forward to my research experience in the Gulf of Maine Area Program, Census of Marine Life - Platts Bank Study, to provide me with an enriched knowledge beyond the observed organisms in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) has partnered with the ARMADA Project to provide research and mentoring experiences for NOSB coaches. Debra is the 2005 award recipient. See Research Experience or Journal.

old ships