JOIDES Resolution Education Officers
JR Education Officers
Hess Deep Rift: Expedition 345: 12 December 2012 - 12 February, 2013
Susan Gebbels, Nicole Kurtz, Jean-Luc Berenguer (in that order in photo below)
Susan Gebbels works for Newcastle University in the School of Marine Science and Technology as a marine biologist. She is based at the Dove Marine Laboratory on the NE coast, where her office looks out over the North Sea. Susan’s research interests center around methods that allow communities to become involved in developing management plans for their local coastal environments. She also develops and delivers projects to schools that focus on inspiring a sense of responsibility for marine and coastal issues in young people. These themes were developed in her PhD thesis which she submitted the day before sailing on the JR!
Nicole Kurtz recently obtained her BFA in Medical Illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Minor in Fiber and Material Studies. Upon completion of her degree, she developed a thesis focused on the necessity of art in scientific discovery. She created a curriculum concentrated on the multiple learning strategies present in the classroom and the need for unconventional, dynamic, and innovative interactive learning tools. The curriculum contained a series of games and activities to benefit the multiple ways that students learn, as well as benefiting the teachers and school systems as a whole. By catering to the diverse learning strategies, she was able to create activities that are cross-disciplinary allowing teachers to share between subjects and lesson plans. Needing to prove the games were actually improving the comprehension of scientific materials, she organizes and led groups of students (young and old) in a series of play-tests. Her techniques utilize skills of authoring, communicating, leading and designing scientific content and translating it for the lay audiences as well as the science community.
Nicole continues to develop curricula, activities and lesson plans by working with the camps and classes departments at the Great Lakes Science Center, Children’s Museum of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. She is also expanding her exhibit design skills by assisting in the redesign of current exhibits with the International Woman’s Air and Space Museum located in downtown Cleveland.
Jean-Luc Berenguer teaches biology and geology at International School in Valbonne Sophia Antipolis, on the French Riviera near Nice. In the past, he also worked in a few French schools in Canada, Germany and Portugal before coming back to France.
When not in the classroom, he is a coordinator for an educational seismological network in France called Sismometers at school. Indeed, working on seismometers in schools gives students (12-17 years old) more motivation and a better opportunity to focus on natural hazards knowledge as well as the use of real time databases. He also supervises the teachers’ training program in geosciences.
Jean-Luc enjoys hiking, traveling, taking photos and collecting rocks as his favorite hobbies. He sailed on the JR before during the School of Rock 2009.
Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project Phase 2: Expedition 344: 23 October - 11 December 2012
Dena has been teaching science at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, California, for 22 years. She teaches Chemistry, Honors Chemistry, and AP Environmental Science. Lakeside is a rural suburb in the East County area of San Diego, where agriculture and a rodeo are part of the city! In East County, you can be in the playing in the snow in the mountains or playing in the waves at the beach within an hour! Working as a research assistant for the Navy before she started teaching gave her a love of research, where sometimes you may encounter something that has never been studied before. Dena enjoys blending teaching science with being a part of scientific research so that she can share the excitement of discovery with students.
Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts: Expedition 342, 2 June - 1 August, 2012
Caitlin has a passion for communicating science. She particularly loves geology and whales, which is a great combination for Expedition 342: Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts. Caitlin recently completed her masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. While at Scripps she created interpretive materials focusing on geology and paleoclimate for national park visitors and staff. These materials discuss the use of ocean drilling records to date the charismatic geologic features of Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park.
After receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of San Diego in Environmental Studies with a minor in International Relations, Caitlin worked as an educator and naturalist for the Birch Aquarium. The aquarium challenged her with varied teaching environments, including classroom fish dissections, snorkeling with sharks, and working on whale watching boats. She also wrote for the Birch Aquarium Onboard Blog and managed the whale watching twitter feed. Caitlin has studied killer whale bioacoustics at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, recorded dusky dolphin behavior in New Zealand, and has worked as an environmental advocate for the non-profit I Love A Clean San Diego.
When not promoting ocean literacy, Caitlin’s favorite pastime is going on “epic” camping trips through the American West with her german shepherd, Charlie.
Lesser Antilles Volcanism and Landslides: Expedition 340, 3 March - 17 April, 2012
Teresa is thrilled to be on the JOIDES Resolution as your education officer, exploring the ocean floor with fellow scientists, and sharing the adventure with countless virtual explorers. It is her hope to inspire and educate the next generation of scientists and educators, while encouraging the 'citizen scientist' in everyone. Teresa’s job as a scientist and educator has been very rewarding. She grew up in Michigan and knew at 8 years old she wanted to be an oceanographer thanks to Jacque Cousteau. She started her professional career as a marine biologist studying how fishes are adapted to live where they live in the ocean and their contribution to global carbon cycling. Research has taken her around the globe to study fishes from the Gulf of Mexico to the Southern Ocean to hydrothermal vents at the mid-Atlantic Ridge. For fun she listens to music, dances, hikes, paddles, fellowships, cycles, and enjoys lots of time with friends and family.
Teresa is a teaching faculty at the University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science She coordinates four community engagement programs and teaches a series of courses including oceanography and ways to communicate about the ocean sciences. To prepare for her career Dr. Greely completed a bachelor's degree (B.A.) in the Natural Sciences, a Master's degree in the Marine Sciences and a PhD in Science Education.
Mediterranean Outflow: Expedition 339, 17 November - 17 January, 2012
Helder was born in Lisbon, but moved south, to the Algarve region, to attend University. He became a teacher in 1996, after receiving his degree in Biology and Geology. He also has a Masters Degree from the University of Algarve in Nature Conservation and Management. He has worked in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, doing environmental education and coastal management, for a couple of years. He went back to school in 2003 and has been teaching at Escola Secundária de Loulé since then. At his school he is also in charge of the Earth and Space Sciences Club, where they have the opportunity to organize and participate in science fairs and national contests.
Helder loves basketball! As a young boy he played it in Clube Atlético de Queluz. His favorite NBA team is the Boston Celtics and his favorite player of all time is the amazing Larry Bird. He also likes to cook and spend hours in the kitchen to have a nice sit-down family meal. His favorite hobbies are listening to music and hiking.
Mid-Atlantic Microbiology: Expedition 336, 15 September 2011 - 17 November, 2011
Jennifer is a teacher (4th Grade, Bellingham, WA), marine biologist (Deep-sea Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 1998), web developer and graphic designer and could not be more thrilled to serve as the education officer onboard Expedition 336! She has been interested in marine science since the 6th grade, whensheI had a fabulous, inspiring teacher, and she hopes to inspire other students to pursue careers in science and the sea.
Louisville Seamount Trail: Expedition 330, 13 December 2010 - 12 February 2011
Kevin Kurtz - Education Officer
Kevin Kurtz grew up in Homer, New York, one of the many small towns in New York's very rural upstate. He has a bachelors in English literature and a masters in elementary education and started his professional career working in a marine biology laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent 40 hours a week looking under a microscope at plankton samples to find shrimp larvae.
Not too long after starting the plankton job, Kevin was able to combine all of these experiences by becoming an environmental educator and curriculum writer, a field he has been involved with for over a decade. He has worked for the South Carolina Aquarium, the Center for Birds of Prey and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, all in the Charleston area.
He has written and edited the South Carolina Aquarium's award winning K-8 curriculum, as well as curriculum activities for NOAA, the College of Charleston's COASTeam project and the Center for Birds of Prey. He also helped develop and was the first coordinator of the South Carolina Aquarium's High School Intern Program, which recently won AZA's Diversity award.
In 2007, Kevin was lucky enough to have a children's book he wrote published, titled A Day in the Salt Marsh. A second children's book he wrote titled A Day on the Mountain was published in 2010. T learn more about his books, visit his website.
Kevin currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Louisville Seamount Trail: Expedition 330, 13 December 2010 - 12 February 2011
Lisa Strong - Outreach Officer, Videographer
Lisa Strong is a multimedia storyteller and science journalist. She's a writer, producer, cinematographer, video editor, and still photographer. She runs Strong Mountain Productions, a small media production company specializing in nature, science, and history stories for museum exhibits, science outreach and other web multimedia. Recently, Lisa worked for San Francisco’s hands-on science museum, the Exploratorium. She was a video producer for Ice Stories, a special project where she helped cover polar research from the field – in Greenland and Antarctica – during International Polar Year. Other clients have included Yosemite National Park, National Geographic's Crittercam, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, and the Petersburg Marine Mammal Center. Lisa also teaches her craft. She helped develop the multimedia class at the UCSC Science Communication program. She’s also taught photography and visual storytelling techniques in Yosemite, SE Alaska, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lisa has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology from UC Santa Barbara, and a graduate degree from the UCSC Science Communication Program. AND, she sings in a blues/rock band in San Francisco.
South Pacific Gyre Microbiology: Expedition 329, 9 October - 13 December, 2010
Joe taught Earth Science for 35 years and is recently retired. The first 17 of those years he taught in Massachusetts and the rest in California. Joe has a B.A. in Earth Science and an M.S. in Environmental Studies. During his teaching career he has also coached track, run science fairs, coached the Science Olympiad Team and the Environthon Team. His teaching career was enhanced by participating in many workshops along the way. In 2007 he was a School of Rocker in Texas and in 2009 he was a School of Rocker on the JR! In addition to these activities, he often presents workshops at state science teachers conferences.
Juan de Fuca Hydrogeology: Expedition 327, 5 July - 5 September, 2010
We had a whole team of Education and Outreach Officers! Click here to learn about them.
Canterbury Basin Sea Level: Expedition 317, 4 November, 2009 - 4 January 2010
Julie Pollard - Education Officer
Julie Pollard is a middle school science teacher in Texas. She found out about the Teacher at Sea program through her involvement in the professional development program, TXESS Revolution, with which she worked during the expedition. She has a degree in geology, and loves unlocking a love of science in her students. She has been married for 25 years, and has a teenage son who is active in theater and drama. In her spare time, Julie likes to read, scrapbook and collect rock and mineral samples and watch her son act. She got her degree in geology at University of Texas at Arlington.
Julie worked as a field scientist for an environmental firm for two years before realizing that her gift and calling was to be in the classroom with the kids. She has been teaching middle school science for seven years now. Julie was thrilled to have the opportunity to show her kids that science is active and exciting, and that a career in the sciences doesn't mean sitting in a lab all day every day. They were very excited about following the expedition. Julie’s son said it was fine for her to go on the ship as long as they had email, which they did!
Bering Sea: Expedition 323, 5 July - 4 September, 2009
I am Doug LaVigne. I live in Acworth, GA, a suburb in the North Metro Atlanta area. I currently teach Physics at South Cobb High School in Austell, GA, but my first love in science is biology. South Cobb has around 2200 students in grades 9-12. I have also coached soccer at the school and have worked with the school’s Science and Robotics clubs. I also work with a club at school named Bogg’s Doggs that allows our students to assist in rescuing and finding homes for abandoned and abused pets.
I was born and raised in this area, and graduated from South Cobb’s rival, Osborne High School. It is an amazing place to grow up, because you are a half hour from Atlanta to the south or to the north, the North Georgia Mountains. It presents wonderful job opportunities, and I’ve done everything from computer programming for a Fortune 500 company to swinging a sword at a joust. In my spare time I love playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and I play guitar and sing in a couple of local rock bands.
I originally wanted to be an electrical engineer, like my father, when I graduated from high school and attended the Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Tech is an amazing school, but I soon found out that I was in the wrong place. I loved my science classes, and teaching science would mean I could share my passion. I transferred to Kennesaw State University, where I obtained a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education in Biology, and more recently my Masters in Education.
Teaching science is about more than learning facts and formulas. It is a process which helps us understand the natural world, and sometimes we lose sight of that process when we teach. I have made it a goal to get involved in doing science, and bring that to my students. By seeing how science and scientists work, I hope I can inspire my students to pursue a career in science or at least leave high school with a better understanding of what science does and can do for us. That is why it is such an incredible opportunity for me to have been selected as the Teacher as Sea on Expedition 323 of the JOIDES Resolution. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program – US Implementing Organization (IODP-USIO) presented an opportunity for me to work in the field with scientists looking at the sedimentary record to help investigate such things as the surface water conditions during the Pliocene–Pleistocene and interactions between the sea and the continents at that time. And it is also an incredible opportunity to share the many roles that make such a project possible.
Shatsky Rise Formation: Expedition 324, 4 September – 4 November, 2009
Nasseer is currently on the research faculty at the University of the Virgin Islands studying connectivity of larval stages of coral reef organisms among reefs and their distributional patterns. He received his Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq in 1984 in the field of Aquatic Biology. He received his Master’s of Science also from the University of Basrah in1989 in the field of marine biology, where his thesis was on the bioenergetics of the larval stages of the shrimp, Caridina babaulti basrensis. Nasseer received his Ph.D. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY in 1997 in Aquatic Ecology and the topic of his dissertation was the impact of zebra mussels on the pelagic food web in a lake ecosystem.
Nasseer then went on to do his post-doctorate at the University of Miami, in Miami, FL in biological oceanography studying zooplankton dynamics in the Arabian Sea, in the Indian Ocean. Concurrent with conducting research, Nasseer places high priority on the development and enrichment of students’ learning experiences alongside formal classwork, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is Nasseer’s belief that the learning experience at the college level should be an interactive process between students and the lecturer. In order to keep ideas fresh in the minds of students, active discussions need to take up an adequate amount of the lecture time. Nasseer’s main interests are in developing new ideas in ecology by building upon ideas developed in other disciplines. These approaches should be used to solve scientific problems.