Hamline News

July 17, 2013

Hamline Professor and Alumna Chosen for Teacher-at-Sea Program

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Bill Lindquist, professor in Hamline’s School of Education, spent the spring with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) research vessel Rainier as a part of the Teacher-at-Sea Program.

The program aims to offset a recent trend in education that has resulted in fewer students interested in joining the science fields. Teachers on the ship team up with scientists on roughly two dozen research cruises.

“There is a recognition in the American science community that our new crop of scientists and engineers are fading fast,” Lindquist said. “We need to do something to propel a new generation of scientists and engineers to enter the field.”

NOAA works directly with teachers to improve their science competency and their engagement in the field with the intention of bringing that back to the classroom.

“We’re getting to a point where scientific enterprises cannot find U.S. citizens that are qualified for positions,” Lindquist said. “Increasingly, there have been efforts to look overseas for trained candidates.”

The Teacher-at-Sea program had about 150 applicants this year and only 25 of them were placed, including Lindquist and a Hamline alumna.

Julie Karre, who received her bachelor of arts in English and political science at Hamline, is now a seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher in Baltimore, Maryland. She is hoping to see first hand the effects of climate change that she helps teach in the classroom. Her Teacher-at-Sea experience aboard the the NOAA ship Oregon II will begin on July 26 and can be followed on her blog.

“For the last few years I have been teaching a semester-long unit on human impact. We study water, land, plastic, and oil,” Karre said. “I am looking forward to getting the hands on experience with the climate science that I have been teaching.”

Lindquist’s ship, the Rainier, does hydrographic survey work with sonar to get a clearer picture of the ocean floor. That information is used to create nautical charts to create safer navigation for ships.

Lindquist's at-sea experience had him immersed in the scientific community by exploring the “Last Frontier,” Alaska.

“I’ve never been to Alaska,” Lindquist said. “They told me to bring a camera because I will be exploring the most wild, beautiful place in America.”

The Rainier began in Ketchikan, Alaska and ended in Petersburg after an 11 day trip.

“Looking at the map, you cannot get much further from the ocean than Minnesota,” Lindquist said referring to his few encounters with being at sea.

When Lindquist returned to his work as a professor in Hamline’s Master of Arts in Teaching program, he brought back lessons to share with the educational community in hopes of improving teaching strategies and increasing student interest in the sciences.

Throughout his trip, Lindquist blogged about his personal and professional experience. Click here to read his blog.

For more information on NOAA and the Teacher-at-Sea program, click here.

Photo Credit: NOAA