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


2006/2007 ARMADA Master Teachers

My name is Kate Baugher. I teach eleventh grade chemistry and zoology at Norman North High School in Norman, OK. This is my 23rd year of teaching. My outside interests include traveling, sailing, scuba diving, backpacking, reading, sports, and just about anything that comes my way. As a mother of five, I've had the opportunities to experience the many different activities of my children as well. I attend workshops and professional development seminars every summer as I am always looking for something new and exciting to add to my classroom. When I discovered the ARMADA Project, I was ecstatic about such an opportunity! I look forward to bringing the ocean to my land-locked classroom and being able to help my students relate to authentic science.

I will be working with the South Florida Ecosystem Research and Monitoring program. In this program, scientists measure physical, chemical, and biological paramenters and collect biological and chemical samples in the South Florida Coastal Ecosystem. I plan to have my students compare the data from the ocean to that of the data we collect from a freshwater lake for the Oklahoma Water Watch program. I hope to bring the real world uses of chemistry into the classroom and to unite various branches of sciences so many teachers can benefit from my experiences. I look forward to networking with teachers and first-class scientists from around the country. I hope as I grow personally and professionally, I will be able to inspire my colleagues to become involved with marine studies and my students to become life-long learners and maybe scientists themselves! See Research Experience.

Howdy, my name is Kirk Beckendorf. Currently I am an eighth grade science teacher at Blanco Middle School in Blanco, Texas. I have been teaching middle school science for fifteen years, in both Texas and Oregon. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my wife relaxing in our backyard, canoeing or hiking. I also enjoy whitewater kayaking, biking, fly-fishing, and blacksmithing.

I am thrilled to be part of the ARMADA Project and hope that my experience in Alaska will help instill in my students an excitement for learning by providing an example that learning is an adventure. I am sure that the Bowhead whale research project on which I will participate, will provide me with many opportunities to help students understand the interconnectedness of biotic, abiotic, and human cultural systems. See Research Experience.

My name is Tamara Browning and I work in Tenafly Middle School. Tenafly is a suburban school district in northern New Jersey, just a few miles from New York City. I have been teaching Earth Science to Tenafly's 8th graders for six years. Teaching is a second career for me. During my previous career in the UK I was involved in various aspects of scientific research and administration. My interest in the ARMADA Project is two fold. I am eager to experience the challenge of ocean going research, as up to this point my only direct experience of the ocean was a ferry boat ride across the Irish Sea, many years ago. I am also interested in the mentoring component of the program as I would like to work more closely with new teachers in my school district. In my free time I attempt to stay fit, mainly by swimming laps at the local pool. I am also an armchair traveler, as I like to read books about adventurous people who journey to far-flung regions of the planet. See Research Experience

"On life's vast ocean diversely we sail, reason the card, but passion is the gale", Alexander Pope. As teachers we are commissioned to inspire a diverse group of young people to appreciate the rewards of education. To guide others in reaping these rewards, and helping them find reason in the mass of information at a keyboard's click, we must first possess our own passion for learning. My name is Joe Catron. I am a science teacher from Billings, Montana. Billings lies in central Montana where golden wheat fields meet snow capped peaks. I have taught a variety of science classes over the last seven years, including chemistry, earth science, and biology. I teach a range of students from exuberant freshman, to maturated seniors. I also advise Academic Club and supervise intramurals. When I am not teaching, I enjoy trail running, as well as biking Montana's back roads.

I am participating in the ARMADA Project to experience the ocean first hand, and to rejuvenate my interest in teaching. Living in Montana, very few teachers, and students have experienced life on the open sea. I hope to bring this real world experience back to the classroom. Additionally, I would like to set the ground work for establishing a mentor program in our school that brings new teachers into our profession with guided support; rather than being nudged out of the nest.

My ARMADA research experience will take place aboard the R/V Ron H. Brown, one of the largest and newest ships in the NOAA fleet. We will sail to the Sargasso Sea to collect zooplankton samples from the deep ocean. The project I will be working on is called the Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), and is being lead by Dr. Peter Wiebe from Woods Hole Oceanographic, and Dr. Ann Bucklin from the University of Connecticut, Avery Point. The research team will include taxonomists and molecular biologists from 14 countries. The goal is to collect, and identify as many marine zooplankton species as possible. Additionally, DNA samples from each identified organism will be archived. Some of the DNA will be used to sequence a gene called COI, to be used in future zooplankton studies as a species marker. This will be one of the first times Multiple Opening and Closing Nets (MOCNESS) will be used to collect specimens from depths greater than 4000m and that DNA sequencing will take place at sea.

I look forward to enjoying the tropical breeze, and I am excited to see what strange creatures we will capture from the abyss. There is a good chance that many species new to science will be collected. ". . . these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang." , Herman Melville. See Research Experience.

I'm Peggy Deichstetter. I have taught biology to ninth and tenth graders at St. Edward High School in Elgin, Illinois for the last 30 years. I also teach microbiology and genetics to eleventh and twelfth graders. This coming year I will be teaching AP Biology to twelfth graders. During my free time I love to travel. Last summer I enjoyed a wonderful trip to China. Other interests include canoeing, camping, and scuba diving with my husband, Tom. On the domestic front I enjoy cooking, baking and cake decorating. My greatest cake decorating challenge was making an anniversary cake for over 500 people.

I believe the ARMADA experience will give me an opportunity to do real, hands-on science. This is the essence of real science that needs to be incorporated into the classroom. I visualize my students vicariously experiencing the Arctic circle through my work with the ARMADA Project. See Research Experience.

My name is Gioya DeSouza-Fennelly. I have a M.S. Biophysical Chemistry from Fordham University and hail from Goa, India where my interest in the global environment was nurtured before immigrating to the United States to pursue various personal and professional objectives. I became a science educator with the New York City Department of Education 24 years ago and currently serve in that capacity at Intermediate School 143 in the Washington Heights community of Northern Manhattan. In an effort to cultivate a new generation of "eco-techies" I obtained certification as a Horticultural Therapist and Landscape Designer at the New York Botanical Gardens to strengthen the integration of environmental education into the entire science curriculum. I pioneered the development of the Penny Harvest Garden a handicapped-accessible organic school garden funded by donations ( and the Junior Master Gardener program involving scores of pupils engaged in service learning projects at school and the local community. I hope that my real-life research experience with the ARMADA Project studying the effects of black carbon and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) in the air and water aboard the R/V Endeavor as it makes an East-West Atlantic transect will stimulate a deeper scientific understanding of environmental issues and provide me with greater influence over curriculum design and professional development opportunities for science educators. See Research Experience.

My name is William (Bill) Griffith and I teach at Carroll High School in Southlake, Texas. I am currently teaching integrated physics and chemistry at the tenth grade level but will be teaching upper level physics, chemistry and maybe biology next year. I have taught AP/PAP level chemistry, physics and biology courses in the past and hope to finish up a PhD in Chemistry within the next few years. My hobbies include oil painting, backpacking, and fly-fishing.

I am extremely excited about all areas of science and science education. The ARMADA Project will bring experiences and educational enhancements to several schools, my students and myself. I find it hard to wait and am looking forward to my planned research experience upon the R/V Roger Revelle in December of 2006. As I understand the experience, I will be conducting chemical and biological analysis upon deep water core samples taken at several locations within the South Pacific. I plan to directly involve students from Carroll High and two other districts. Student projects and classroom application planning is underway at this time. Students, from schools not typically having the resources or educational access to marine science, will encounter new horizons and opportunities within the program as we learn together. See Research Experience.

Hi, I am Mark Harris. I teach high school biology at Layton High School located in Layton, Utah. I have many interests such as scuba diving, sailing, and white water rafting. I also team rope on the rodeo circuit.

My new passion has been summer expeditions. Last summer I was able to participate on a Jamaican coral reef scuba diving expedition. This summer I am extremely excited to be a part of the Stenella Dolphin Research Project. I have a 25 foot sailboat in San Carlos, Mexico which is on the Sea of Cortez. The project that I will get to be a part will partly be in the Sea of Cortez, what an amazing opportunity for me.

Every trip I make down to Mexico I am able to bring back some incredible student experiences. I was able to bring back to the classroom a Humboldt squid that had beached himself and died. This enormous squid was a once in a lifetime opportunity for my students. I can't wait to share my summer Dolphin expedition with them. This type of experience opens up the world to my students and shows them they also can make a difference. See Research Experience.

Hello! Anna Hilton here at the end of my first year of teaching fourth grade science and math at Jennie Moore, a technology magnet elementary school in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. I have previously taught first, second, and third grade at Jennie Moore. I have served as both the science and social studies liaison at my school. My husband and I enjoy contra dancing, kayaking, and dining.

Mount Pleasant is one bridge away from the historic city of Charleston. I love to involve my students with the conservation and cultural programs offered by the state parks and historical sites in our area. I developed a summer workshop for third grade social studies teachers in our school district. I have worked with teachers from all over South Carolina as Educational Leadership Partners to design curricula for the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston.

My ARMADA research will be based at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston. I am so excited for this opportunity to connect our coastal school community to the vital conservation research partnership at the Hollings Marine Laboratory. See Research Experience.

Hi everyone, my name is Michael Lampert and I teach grades 9-12 physics and electronics at West Salem High School in beautiful Salem, Oregon. I enjoy riding my bike, juggling, hiking, and skiing. I especially enjoy science and its application to the outdoors. As a teacher I spent several months in Antarctica launching weather balloons and measuring the ozone profile through the stratosphere. My students have launched balloons here at our school and I hope to integrate this assignment into new student research projects.

I am very excited to be part of the ARMADA Project. My research appointment will be in the area of infrasound, measuring sub-audible sound waves that propagate through the atmosphere. I will work with scientists who are establishing a new listening post on the Cape Verde Islands. I look forward to the positive impact this experience will have reinvigorating my science teaching and my students learning.

National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) has partnered with the ARMADA Project to provide research and mentoring experiences for NOSB coaches. Mike is the 2006 award recipient. See Research Experience.

My name is Cyndy Martin and I teach all levels of biology (including ESL) to sophomores, as well as marine and environmental science to juniors and seniors at Portland High School, Portland, Maine. My personal interests include: sailing, wooden boats, telemark skiing, cycling, beach combing, and finding fun ways to use the "stuff" I collect. I believe the ARMADA project will be a genuine inspiration to me personally, and provide opportunities for me to pass that along to my students. It's so important for us as educators, to be knowledgeable and aware of current research related to our disciplines. We are then better able to assist and make students aware of the many career opportunities that await them. As a lifelong learner, and a true advocate of experiential education, I believe most importantly that this experience will serve to make me a better educator. See Research Experience.

I am Elaine Paulishak. Currently, I am teaching on diverse levels. At my "day" job, I teach and learn from my 8th grade physical science students at Mid Valley Secondary Center in Throop (pronounced Troop), Pennsylvania. Over the past 30 years, I have facilitated the learning of students in grades 7 to 11 in biology, Earth/space science, life science, and general science. On another level, there are the graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Scranton who participate in my Curriculum Development or Science Methods courses.

My personal interests include: going to science fiction movies and discussing world events with my husband, George, reading science fiction and traveling around the world with our daughter, Melody.

The ARMADA Project is a dynamic program, giving me the opportunity to do science and continue to learn. It is quite a prospect to boldly go where I have not been before; to interact with new people and to see and do actual current research with scientists. I look forward with great anticipation to Alaska and the knowledge that I can bring back to my colleagues and students. I look forward to hearing my 8th graders ask: "Are you a Scientist, too?" See Research Experience.

I'm Miriam Sutton and I teach 8th grade science at Newport Middle School which is located in the coastal region of North Carolina. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy triathlons, SCUBA diving, surfing, and sea kayaking. I also love to travel and learn about new places. I transfer my travel experiences back to my students using slide shows and classroom activities that are inspired by my traveling adventures. Some of my previous adventures have included Alaska's Inside Passage, Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, Bonaire (W.D.I.), Hawaii, Palau, and Chuuk. In the summer of 2005, I participated in the NOAA Teacher at Sea research program where I assisted a group of scientists as they surveyed and scanned the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary for maritime artifacts using remote sensing equipment.

I am very excited about participating in the ARMADA Project research experience. The opportunity to travel aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Hudson to the Labrador Sea brings anticipation of the new experiences and adventures that await me in August. The research expedition will leave from Newfoundland outfitted with investigation tools including seismic reflection geophysics, bottom photography and bottom sampling with shallow sediment cores. This equipment will be used to investigate the near surface geology of offshore potential development areas in order to provide advice on regional issues of offshore hazards, environment, and constraints to development. The month-long research cruise will also provide another distance learning opportunity for Newport Middle School students as the new school year will begin while I am still at sea. I achieved tremendous success with my students through a distance learning curriculum I developed for my Palau/Chuuk adventure last spring and I am thrilled that my school system is allowing me another opportunity to make such a positive impact on the students this fall. See Research Experience.

old ships