2007 School of Rock patch
23 July - 28 July 2007
Gulf Coast Repository, College Station, Texas
2007 School of Rock patch

School of Rock 2007

Exploring Ocean Cores at the Gulf Coast Repository

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program United States Implementing Organization (IODP-USIO) has organized a teacher workshop at the IODP Gulf Coast Core Repository. During this workshop, teachers will be mentored and taught by scientists who are actively engaged in IODP research, the USIO Education Director, and staff. In addition, technical staff will provide guidance and content related to hands-on laboratory activities.



Leslie Peart became Education Director for the Joint Oceanographic Institutions in August 2004, adding another twist to her diverse career as a science teacher and marine educator. In her most recent position, as the Director of Interpretive Education at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, she directed thirty to forty staff in developing and implementing a wide array of daily learning activities for the Aquarium’s 2.1 million yearly guests. Before Shedd, Leslie held positions as the first education director for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska and as education specialist at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, expanding on thirteen years in south Texas secondary science classrooms. Her experience ranges from educational television production, museum theatre and curriculum development to teacher education, undergraduate teaching and field guiding experiences in Texas, Mexico and Alaska’s Inside Passage. An avid sailor, Leslie has raced and explored the waters of the western Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi Bay, the Gulf of Alaska, Resurrection Bay and Lake Michigan. Ask her about the Wombat!


Sharon Katz-Cooper started at JOI in March 2007. Prior to joining JOI, Sharon was the educator on the core team developing the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall, a large new exhibit set to open in September 2008. She has also worked as a contractor doing education work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and has a background in informal and conservation education. She learned about JOI through collaborations for the Ocean Hall and sailed on the first School of Rock expedition in November 2005.

In between projects (and making dinner), she writes children’s books and magazine articles on science and social studies topics. She has written on such diverse subjects as ocean life, hats, France, the periodic table, and Aristotle. She loves to cook and bake, dance, travel and hang out with her boys: husband Jason and sons Reuven and Judah. She has traveled, both for work and play, to Madagascar, China, Israel, Venezuela, Japan, Europe, and many parts of Canada and the U.S.

Sharon is a native to this area, having grown up in Washington, DC and Silver Spring, MD. After 18 years here, she was lured away by the Ivy League; Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a Masters in Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is also pursuing a graduate certificate in early childhood education from George Mason University.


Buck feels learning never stops. To him it is a continuous circle of self learning and new experiences that can then be shared with his colleagues and his students. It comes back around to him as he peaks interest in varying areas of the world of science for all those around him. This past summer he attended a Physics of Music workshop in California; he experienced weightlessness at the Educators Space Camp in Alabama; he operated (moved) the new Hobby-Eberly Telescope at the McDonald Observatory as part of a Tufts University Seminar and presented at the ESET (Empowering Science Education through Technology) in Texas. Calvin is a life long resident of San Antonio, Texas. He has taught at John Jay High School for 34 years and has taught summer classes in geology at St. Mary’s University. He received his degree in geology at St. Mary’s University, and with his composite teaching certification, he has taught marine biology, geology, astronomy, meteorology, conceptual physics, and IPC. His leadership skills are evident in the numerous workshops he conducts for students and teachers. He has been the Director of Summer Leadership Workshops for the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and Student Councils. He is the anchor for the school campus as he coordinates the school wide calendar. He is on hand to assist the John Jay staff and students along with the staff and students of the Science and Engineering Academy. This multi-faceted educator still has time to devote to public television as one of the cameramen for special events.

Buck was a participant in the first School of Rock in 2005, and helped staff the Joint Oceanographic Institutions booth at the 2007 National Science Teachers Association meeting.


John Firth is the IODP-USIO Curator and has been with the Program since 1989. He has served as ODP/IODP’s Curator since 1997, overseeing four core repositories in Texas, California, New York, and Germany, and has sailed as Staff Scientist on ODP Legs 131, 136, 143, 151, 157, 159T, 168, and 169S. John received his PhD in Geology from Florida State University in 1989. While still a PhD student, John sailed as shipboard paleontologist on ODP Legs 105 and 126. John’s interests include biostratigraphy, paleoecology and evolution of late Mesozoic to Cenozoic calcareous nannofossils and dinoflagellates, and their application towards geologic problems; palynofacies and thermal alteration analysis of kerogen; biostratigraphy and paleoecology of ichthyoliths and other marine vertebrate fossils; and Arctic and North Atlantic Cretaceous and Paleogene paleoceanography.


I am an Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and I have sailed as a logging scientist on ODP and IODP since I started working on my PhD at Columbia University. My work onboard is to make continuous measurements of physical properties inside the borehole after completion of coring. These data (logs) can then be correlated with the measurements made on the recovered core in the laboratory. While logs can be used for many applications, my research has been focused on how to use them to characterize gas hydrate, a widespread unstable ice-like structure forming in deep-sea sediments, which can be the origin of geological hazards and greenhouse gases – but is also a potential energy resource for the future. Before coming to Lamont, I graduated in Ocean Sciences and Offshore Engineering from the University of Marseille, France. Born in Brittany at the westernmost tip of France, sailing on as many sea- going expeditions as possible was a natural thing to do… but whenever I can, I also run through the streets of New York, around the Resolution’s helideck, or wherever my knees can carry me.


I’ve been teaching at UMass-Amherst since 1985. I grew up in the Midwest (Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) where I developed a boyhood interest in fossils. That interest has never faded; I’m still an avid rock hound to this day. Pursuing a geology degree at Northern Illinois University seemed like a no-brainer after high school even though I never had an Earth science course. I had the opportunity to do field work in Antarctica as an undergrad and stayed on at NIU for a Masters degree and two more trips “to the ice”. I did a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado where I really got into the geology of the Colorado Plateau; about half of my research still deals with Cretaceous age strata and microfossils from the west. As a first-year Ph.D. student I had the opportunity to sail on the Glomar Challenger with Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 79. After Colorado, my wife and I moved to Cape Cod Massachusetts for a year-long stint as a post-doc at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution before moving on to the University of Massachusetts. I have participated in 5 Ocean Drilling Program legs between 1985 and 2003 (101, 130, 165, 198, and 210). My research focuses on biostratigraphy, paleoceanography, tectonics and climate, and the evolutionary history of planktic foraminifera.

In the last ten years, I have become keenly interested in pedagogy and how we teach Earth science. My teaching, research, and service are all interconnected. In collaboration with Richard Yuretich, I have been exploring new interactive techniques to teach and engage students in large, non-laboratory introductory science courses. For example, we’ve instituted daily in-class problem-solving exercises and have successfully utilized two-stage multiple-choice exams. We published an in-class book entitled “Investigating the Ocean, An Interactive Guide to the Science of Oceanography”. I’ve also introduced student-active learning into my smaller, advanced geology courses and seminars. I teach a broad spectrum of courses ranging from “Introductory Oceanography”, to geology core courses such as “History of the Earth” and “Introductory Field Geology”, to advanced courses and seminars in the areas of micropaleontology, paleoceanography, and paleoclimatology. I look forward to learning more about innovative teaching from School of Rock shipmates!


I serve as an Associate Professor of Science Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture and the ODASES Science Education Specialist at Texas A&M. I have been a practicing scientist and junior high science teacher as well as teaching science content and science education course at the university level. My first job out of college was at a Creosote plant. We used three main preservatives – creosote, pentachlorophenol, and Copper Chromated Arsenic (CCA). I was fairly happy as the guy responsible for all areas of quality control, until I was promoted to the environmental safety officer where I found out that I was routinely working with over 100 different hazardous chemicals. I decided that teaching junior high science couldn’t be that dangerous, so I quit and went back to school. I found out two things, one I paid more attention when I paid for school and I really liked learning. I ultimately ended up with a B.S.F. in Forest Management with an emphasis in Wood Technology from Stephen F. Austin State University; Science Composite Teaching Certification, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education, and a M.S. in Chemistry from Sam Houston State University; and an Ed.D. in Science Education from the University of Houston. As a university faculty member, my research interests include a general interest in technology-supported learning in math and science; science content learning; Project-Based Learning (PBL), and program evaluation. I am married to a high school science teacher and former librarian and we have a daughter in the ninth grade. We travel/camp when we can. Recent trips include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, four corners region, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Smokies. My favorite sports are golf – participatory – and baseball – observatory (Go Astros!) – and my favorite food is cooked by someone else!


Kristen St. John is an Associate Professor in the Geology and Environmental Science Department at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. She came to JMU from Appalachian State University in January 2005 after accepting a new position in Geoscience Education. Towards her education charge, Kristen is involved in a state-wide funded program to endorse more earth science teachers through a series of summer short courses. This semester she is teaching undergraduate courses in Earth Science for pre-service teachers and Oceanography. However, through the tremendous support from department colleagues, she will step out of those two courses mid stream to be one of the instructors for the JOI School of Rock. Kristen also interacts with the geoscience education community as an associate editor of the Journal of Geoscience Education. In addition to her teacher education charge, Kristen maintains an active research program in marine sedimentology and paleoceanography. Her work primarily focuses on reconstructing Pleistocene ice-rafted debris histories. She sailed as a sedimentologist on ODP Legs 163 and 173 and has worked on samples or data sets from Legs 145, 152, 178. Most recently she served as a sedimentologist for the IODP Arctic Coring Expedition 302 (ACEX). Through her post-expedition research she is reconstructing the Cenozoic ice-rafting history of the central Arctic. Following undergraduate studies in Geology at Furman University (1992), Kristen received her MS (1995) and PhD (1998) in Geological Sciences from Ohio State University. She met her husband, electronic technician Larry St. John, while on board Leg 173, and they have two children Helen (age 5), who is a kindergarten ring leader and part-time princess, and Will (age 1), a charmer, comedian, and champion eater.


My oceanography career began at the age of 10 through participation in my elementary school gifted program. We were assigned the 4th grade equivalent of a thesis project, and I selected Oceanography (although I’m still not sure how a kid born and raised in Cincinnati, a 10-hour drive from the nearest coast, even knew the word oceanography). Within a few days I was a card-carrying member of the Cousteau Society and subscriber to Oceanus. And I had declared my future career to be oceanography. Later I fell in love with geology after taking Earth Science during the 8th grade, and chose to major in Geological Sciences in college. I attended Brown University, then went on to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill for a M.S. in Marine Science (1998), and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences (2002).

I have been an Assistant Professor of Oceanography at Texas A&M for nearly 4 years. My field of specialty within Oceanography is Paleoceanography, which makes me largely a geologist. As a Paleoceanographer, I use the chemical and fossil content of deep-sea sediments to investigate ancient climate. This research has enabled me to become involved with the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP; www-odp.tamu.edu/) and the new Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP; www.iodp-usio.org/). I have had the spectacular opportunity to sail on two ODP expeditions aboard the JOIDES Resolution already, one to the northwestern Pacific Ocean and the other to the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. In addition, I sailed in the South Pacific aboard the R/V Melville during the spring of 2005 as part of a survey cruise for a prospective IODP expedition.

However, research isn’t the only exciting aspect of academic oceanography. I truly value my role as an educator, whether in the classroom, in the lab, or in the field. And I am thrilled to be part of the School of Rock 2007! Clearly my science teachers played a tremendous role in shaping my perceptions of science and now I have the opportunity to work with science educators on the cutting edge of curriculum development.


Jessica Sharoff is the Education Program Assistant for JOI Learning. She has always loved exploring and experiencing new adventures. This excitement for the unknown has manifested itself in her interest in outdoor activities, rock climbing, traveling and science research.

While attending college at Cornell University, Jessica pursued her desire to explain the dynamic Earth by majoring in Science of Earth Systems, in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Studying this field shed a new light on the world she lived in while allowing for exploration during field trips and hands-on science. Her interest in the Earth sciences has also provided her with the opportunity to travel; studying abroad her junior year in Edinburgh, Scotland — home to some of the original founders of geology — and assisting in seismology fieldwork in Costa Rica.

After Jessica graduated with a B.S. from Cornell University in 2006 she wanted to continue to further study the planet while at the same time bringing the excitement of science to other people. With this goal in mind, she joined JOI as the Education Program Assistant for JOI Learning during the summer of 2006. This position has allowed her to remain in the field of science while having the chance to interest others in discovering the world around them.


My interest in the Earth sciences started when I was growing up in Greece with its mountains, volcanic islands, and occasional earthquakes. I have worked for ODP/IODP since 1995 as graphics designer, prime data coordinator, editor, yeoperson (Exp. 311), and Web Administrator. Before joining ODP, I worked as a researcher at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia; at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM; and at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, where I got my Ph.D. in Geophysics in 1991. While in graduate school, I met my husband Gary Acton (also a geophysicist) and have been moving ever since. For the time being, Gary, our son Alex, our hamster George, and our two cats Aragon & Anakin call College Station home.



Maggie Dalthorp (B.S. Geology, MBA) is a petroleum geologist and natural resource planner with a broad background in energy, economics, public policy and environmental issues. Maggie is a certified professional geologist with the Society for Independent Earth Scientists (SIPES) and the State of Texas as well as a Certified Petroleum Geologist with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). After working ten years for a major oil company as a prospect geologist, supervisor and on the management staff, Maggie started her own natural resource planning firm with clients that included numerous oil and gas groups, ranchers, states (Texas, New Mexico and Alabama), and the International Boundary and Water Commission. As a resource planner Maggie facilitated the extension of two segments of the Rio Grande River Canal Extension, provided stakeholder involvement and public participation for the State of Texas fifty year water plan, provided outreach and education on nonpoint source pollution, conducted numerous land use and watershed surveys and performed environmental assessments on over 300,000 acres of oil and gas producing properties. Maggie is the author of the AAPG publication “Environmental Issues in the Oil and Gas Industry” and teaches an online internet course on the same topic for continuing education credits. Her teaching experience also includes six years as a visiting professor with a University of Texas at Brownsville outreach program where she conducted water studies in the El Cielo Biosphere in Mexico and teaching Environmental Geology as an adjunct professor at Texas A&M in Corpus Christi Texas. Maggie was recently recognized by the State of Texas for her “outstanding outreach and education” abilities while contracted to perform nonpoint source pollution education.

Maggie is currently working on her PhD in Coastal and Marine System Science from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi. Her research focus is on natural hydrocarbon seeps, their expression in the subsurface through the water column and as surface slicks, and how natural seeps contribute to the global carbon cycle. Maggie continues to work as a consulting geologist in the petroleum industry and plans to continue researching and teaching about natural resource systems and the policies that impact them.


I have been teaching 5th graders for the past six years in the Christina School District. I teach all subjects but am most excited about math and science. Before and while earning my masters in education I was a Teacher/Naturalist for the Delaware Nature Society, teaching nature field trips and summer camps as well as planning and coordinating a weekend-long harvest festival.

In addition to teaching I’m also a photographer having earned my BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology. I stubbornly still enjoy black and white photography. Current projects include photo documentaries of a local watershed currently being considered for national wild and scenic designation and the area of Texas, west of the Pecos’.

When not teaching I enjoy visiting contemporary art spaces, camping, and cooking. I’m also very excited about my upcoming participation in Andrill’s ARISE Program. I’ll be part of the Mackay Valley survey team.


Jan was born and raised in New Jersey, just outside New York City, where she was the youngest of 5 girls. They spent their summers at the Jersey Shore, and it was there that she fell in love with the ocean. Years later this love translated into degrees in Marine Science and Biology (BS and BA, 1976) from Southampton College of Long Island University. Following college Jan was hired by North Carolina State University to be part of an environmental monitoring team at a nuclear power plant in Southport, North Carolina. She spent a lot of time on the Cape Fear River in small boats collecting larval fish and shrimp, and then even more hours sitting at a microscope trying to identify them!

In 1979 Jan and her husband moved to Texas to attend Texas A&M University. In 1981, she received her Masters Degree from A&M, where her thesis involved the systematics and taxonomy of a small electric ray found in the ocean off the coast of South America. Following that, she worked for a variety of projects, mostly involving the identification of fish or marine organisms. After the birth of her two daughters in 1982 and 1985, she continued working on projects both at A&M as well as at a local environmental consulting company. She teamed up with a faculty member at A&M to begin work on a book of fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, she began to volunteer at her daughter’s elementary school and it was then that she realized how much she loved sharing her enthusiasm and interest in science with children. So she returned to A&M to get her teaching certification. She has now completed her 17th year of teaching 6th grade Science, and still loves it as much as she did her first year! In addition, Jan has stayed involved in “real science”; twice she has had the opportunity to spend 2 months in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska studying the movement of Arctic fish along the North Shore of Alaska.

Jan also coaches student academic teams (National Junior Science Bowl, UIL Science, UIL Math, UIL Oral Reading); and has facilitated numerous professional development workshops for teachers. She has 7 scientific articles published in peer reviewed journals, 1 article in “Science Scope” (NSTA’s Middle School journal), and is the co-author of 2 books, “Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Vol. 1” (UT Press, 1998) and “Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Vol. 2” (UT Press, 2006).


Dave Grant is the director of Brookdale College’s Ocean Institute.He began his tenure at Sandy Hook as an Army brat at Fort Hancock, worked his way through several organizations there; taught oceanography, marine biology, earth science, environmental science, botany, ornithology, human biology, evolution and geology and physical oceanography at a number of colleges and universities. He has also taught 7th-8th grade science in public and private schools and ESL and Adult Basic Skills at Brookdale College. He is a USEPA Environmental Quality Award recipient, is published in Natural History Magazine and elsewhere, wrote the New Jersey version of the National Audubon Society’s Saving Wetlands, and among other things, is interested in horseshoe crabs.


Jenelle Hopkins is an Earth Science, Geology Honors, and Environmental Science teacher at Centennial High School, Las Vegas, Nevada. She is very excited to be a part of the School of Rock. Summer adventures have been her passion since she entered teaching 14 years ago from the mining industry where she worked as an underground mine geologist – so she is very familiar with drilling cores and the types of information they can reveal. She has previously been involved in several different types of professional development, including the Brandwein Leadership Institute, Woodrow Wilson Costa Rica Summer Field Camp, N-STEP (a Nevada Science Teachers Field Workshop), and GIS training in Boulder, Colorado. She was also privileged to be chosen as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator in 2004, serving a one-year fellowship with the National Science Foundation’s Geoscience Directorate in Arlington, Virginia. She is married to a geologist and they have three sons, who all love to hike and camp, and collect fossils and mineral samples for her classroom.


Although now living in Illinois, Louise Huffman was born and raised in Florida. Growing up walking the beaches and exploring ocean eco-systems has always been where she most feels at home. “Think South” means a warm day on the beach or sailing in the Caribbean, but for Louise it also means a bit farther south.

In the 2002-03 Antarctic research season, Louise spent eight weeks in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, studying the streams that flow for about six weeks off the glaciers into the perennially frozen lakes at the bottom of the valleys. She worked with Dr. Diane McKnight’s Stream Team through NSF’s TEA (Teachers Experiencing the Arctic and Antarctic) program. In 2007, she retired after 34 years of public school education, and is now working as the Education Outreach Coordinator for ANDRILL (Antarctic Geologic Drilling). She will return to Antarctica in October to supervise and facilitate the ARISE (Antarctic Research Immersion for Science Educators) program on Ice.

Louise has taught almost all grades from 1st through 12th, including gifted and special education. She was honored to receive the Illinois State Award for Excellence in Science teaching in 1992 and 1996, and became a Fellow in the Golden Apple Academy in 2002 for teaching excellence.


Carl teaches Geology, Oceanography, Meteorology, Astronomy, and Environmental Science and sponsors the Science Club. He has directed the District Science Fair, for which the Lion’s Club has generously donated awards, for the past 20 years! Previously, he taught elementary school in Pittsburgh for 8 years. In addition to being a teacher in the U.S., Carl worked in Japan for 3 1/2 years and served for two years in North Africa with the Peace Corps. He is a past President of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (2002-2004) and serves on several national committees on Science Education. Carl has traveled, hiked, and climbed on all of the continents except Antarctica and Australia. While in Africa in 2004, he traveled with a friend to Tanzania at the equator, and climbed the highest mountain there, Mt. Kilimanjaro. In 2006, he collaborated with science teachers in Uganda, and trekked with the mountain gorillas in the Congo.


Bob previously taught 25 years in the public school system in middle Tennessee. He currently teaches 8th and 10th grade physical science, Algebra I, and Precalculus at Friendship Christian School. Bob also coaches the Friendship Christian middle and high school “rocks and minerals”, and “oceanography” Science Olympiad teams. He and his wife, Tina, are very active with Tennessee Earth Science teachers in developing and presenting activities. He enjoys traveling, having adventures, and attending workshops with Tina. Last summer, they visited the brown bears and Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park in Alaska, where their youngest son is working as a park ranger. Their older son is finishing his Masters in geology at Ohio University. This summer the Kings will be TA’s and participating in geology and paleontology workshops in Shell, Wyoming, before participating in School of Rock.


Over the past twenty-six years, Tina has taught grades K through 6, including Title I Math and Reading with the Wilson County School District. Her husband, Bob, and she both love learning, and have tried to instill this love in their two sons and their students.

Tina’s love and passion for science began in 1997 when her family took a 55-day trip out west to learn about rocks, fossils, and minerals, and participate in two dinosaur digs. This was the moment in time that her life and learning changed, as well as her teaching.

One of Tina’s greatest learning experiences, which is still making an impact on her today, came about through the NSF’s Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program. She went to Antarctica for about two months in 2001, where she lived in a remote field camp on the continental coastline of Antarctica and worked with Dr. Sam Bowser and his team to learn about foraminifera.

She and husband Bob are also collaborating with Dr. Max Holmes and TREC teacher, Amy Clapp, which gives their students the opportunity to work with his authentic Arctic River Discharge data. This enables the students to learn more about the fresh water rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean, and how this might impact the climate and ocean circulation.


Heather Miller teaches 8th grade science and math at Greely Middle School in Cumberland, Maine.  Before getting her masters degree in teaching, Heather spent two years teaching 8th and 9th grade science at a junior boarding school in Massachusetts.  While the public school schedule affords her more planning time, she misses the flexibility of the private school schedule and is eager to learn strategies for integrating more earth science content into her already full curriculum.

As an undergraduate, Heather’s studies focused on biogeography, with a focus on climate research.  After college, before putting her degree to work, she spent several years working in marketing for small companies and non-profits.

When not teaching middle school, you’ll find Heather around sailboats, teaching beginners, training instructors on teaching strategies, or racing herself.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, running and cycling.


Since 2000, Vanessa Miller has been a teacher of 4th and 5th grades at Central Park East 2, located in East Harlem. Prior to this position she taught 2 and 3 year olds at ACE Early Childhood Center. In October 2006 she was one of six educators selected to participate in ARISE (ANDRILL Research Immersion for Science Educators, a multinational program), which took her to Antarctica where she spent two months working with a team of geoscientists recovering stratigraphic records from McMurdo Sound (www.andrill.org/iceberg). A graduate of Carson-Newman College, she earned her MS in Elementary Education from Hunter College, and has worked closely with Teachers College’s Reading and Writing Project, Bank Street College’s Kerlin Institute for Science Educators, and Leman College’s ETN Inquiry Based Learning Study.


Joe earned a BA in Earth Science from Salem State College, MA, and a Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Lowell, MA. He taught junior high Earth Science for 17 years in Massachusetts and junior high and high school Earth Science in California for 17 years. Joe is married with two grown children. Together with his wife, he enjoys traveling throughout California and nearby states to view the geologic formations, especially in the numerous National Parks. Joe greatly enjoys all of the earth sciences and has been fortunate to participate in a number of workshops, including NEWMAST workshops at Goddard Space Flight Center, a geologic mapping workshop at the USGS headquarters, AMS workshops in numerous states, and workshops at Space Camp in Alabama. He just recently participated in NASA’s Spaceward Bound Expedition in the Mojave Desert. Joe is an active member of the National Earth Science Teachers Association and the California Science Teachers Association.


Lynne’s eyes and curiosity were opened to Earth Science early in college, leading to a semester exchange to study geology at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ, and eventually to a Bachelor’s degree in Geology. Immediately following college she tried her hands in a variety of scientific and educational opportunities through an internship at Point Reyes National Seashore, CA, through the Student Conservation Association (SCA). She helped in monitoring amphibian populations, determining residual dry matter for range conservationist, providing interpretive programs for park visitors, and having a great time helping out at the summer camp. It was clear by the end of the internship that she was continually drawn to the educational angle of science. This led to a two year stint at Point Reyes Education Programs providing educational opportunities for school groups, adults and Elderhostel groups as well as running the summer camp programs. However, becoming a teacher was always in her cards and so she pursued her teaching credential while working part-time as a Park Ranger at Point Reyes N.S. Her first teaching position was as a sixth grade science and math teacher at a unique school in Berkeley, CA. M. L. King Jr. Middle School is known for having one of the first school-based garden and cooking programs, The Edible Schoolyard. Her two years at King M.S. were rich in opportunities to integrate hands-on science into both science and math curricula. Trying to avoid planting her own roots on the west coast, she moved east and has settled at North Bethesda Middle School in Bethesda, MD, for the past eight years. She has taught both seventh and eighth grade sciences, with a preference for the eighth grade for its emphasis on Earth Science. For the last two years she has enjoyed serving as a grade-level team leader. This year she embarks on a whole new challenge and adventure as the inaugural Teacher Fellow with the Joint Oceanographic Institutions educational team, JOI Learning. She is excited to tap into skills and interests that classroom teaching does not always allow to be developed, while bringing her ten years of experience and expertise of the needs to classroom teachers and their students to the JOI Learning team.


Mike Passow is completing his 37th year in science education, the last 22 as an 8th grade Earth Science teacher at White Plains (NY) Middle School. Mike takes very seriously his “National Catalyst Teacher Award” received from the American Chemistry Council in 2001, constantly seeking ways to connect students and colleagues with new ideas and skills. For ten years, Mike has organized the Earth2Class Workshops for Teachers (www.earth2class.org) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University to bring classroom teachers and research scientists together on a monthly basis to learn about cutting-edge investigations and develop classroom applications. His partner in this program is Dr. Gerry Iturrino of Lamont’s Borehole Research Group, key participants in the IODP. Mike is the current President-Elect of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (www.nestanet.org), and a Past-President of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers-Eastern Section and the Science Teachers Association of New York State. Mike also leads several of the American Meteorological Society’s DataStreme education programs. In his leisure time, he is an avid kayaker on the waters around New Jersey and New York.


As Tucker County’s teacher of gifted for 20 years, Eileen has been creating activities, units, and adventures for her students and colleagues for many years.

Eileen grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Indiana University of PA in 1974 with a BS in elementary education.< She ventured to West Virginia for her first teaching job and received her masters in elementary education from WVU in 1980. She received WV gifted certification from WVU in 1989. For six years, she taught grades one, four, five, and six. After several years as Mom, she was director and teacher of the Parsons Nursery School for four years.

Since 1993, Eileen has taken space classes and attended and presented at numerous conferences and seminars. In November of 2003, she participated in the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. She traveled with teachers to Japan and learned about their culture. In 2005, she completed the NASA Explorer School application as lead teacher and was delighted when her school was selected as the second school in West Virginia to be a NASA Explorer School. In September, she attended two workshops at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville that were sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. In March, she participated in “Spaceward Bound” in the Mojave Desert.

Eileen’s husband of 32 years, Ed, is retired from construction work. Her daughter, Christine, is a 4th grade teacher here in Tucker County and her son, Eddie, is an industrial engineer for NAVAIR at Pax River in Lexington Park, MD. She has two cats — Rex is 18 years old and Nutmeg is almost 2 years old and ornery as she can be.


Barbara was born in Rome, New York and received her BS degree in biology and biology education at the State University of New York at Albany. She taught for three years in Oneida, New York before returning to school at North Carolina State University for her MS in Marine Science. She has a total of 22+ years of teaching experience and has been at East Carteret High School in Beaufort, North Carolina since December, 1994. She currently teaches earth science and marine science after having taught biology for many years. She is the coach of the Science Bowl and Ocean Science Bowl teams. Her Ocean Bowl teams have gone to the national competition three times! They have also competed twice in the MATE ROV competitions. Barbara has her National Board certification in science and has been active in many science workshops and conferences.

Barbara is married and has three sons; one a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill who will attend Duke Medical School, one a senior biology/environmental science major at UNC, and one a sophomore economics/pre-law major at UNC. Go CAROLINA! Barbara has traveled all over North Carolina for band, cross country, and track competitions. She is the only teacher in her department who appreciates and loves plants, weather, and rocks! She has a wonderful beach sand collection from all over the world. She likes to walk, exercise, travel, and explore.


John Sode currently teachers physical science and chemistry at Marshfield High School as well as dual enrollment chemistry through Drury University. John enjoys being actively involved in the world of science. He was involved in the 1999 search for JFK, Jr’s aircraft as part of NOAA’s teacher at sea program and worked on carbon and water cycling projects as part of NSF’s TREC program. John has also been a research consultant for Independent Stave Company in Lebanon, Missouri, where he served as the chief scientist on a project to reduce/eliminate mold growth in wine barrels. John enjoys connecting his students to the world of science research through hands on projects. His students have recently completed an erosion control project that has become a statewide demonstration project for rural/urban/suburban erosion control.


Miriam Sutton teaches 8th grade science at Newport Middle School, which is located in the coastal region of North Carolina. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys triathlons, SCUBA diving, surfing, and sea kayaking. She also loves to travel and learn about new places and then transfer her travel experiences back to her students through classroom activities inspired by her traveling adventures. Some of Miriam’s previous adventures have included Alaska’s Inside Passage, Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, Bonaire (W.D.I.), Hawaii, Palau, and Chuuk. She is a Teacher at Sea Alumni to the NOAA and ARMADA teacher research programs. Through these programs, she assisted scientists from NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Research Program in the Gulf of Maine and scientists from the Canadian Geologic Survey in the Labrador Sea. She has participated in NOAA’s Reef Fish Identification Program and assisted scientists from the Rutgers University Marine Field Station to launch AUVs off the coast of New Jersey. Miriam has also completed a 2-week oceanographic institute at the US Naval Academy with the Maury Project.

Miriam received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from East Carolina University. After nine years in private industry, she enrolled at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill to renew her teaching license and returned to public education in 1994. Miriam holds a North Carolina teaching license in middle grades science and a National Board Certificate for Teaching in Early Adolescence Science. In 2006, she received a Middle School Science Teacher of the Year Award from the North Carolina Science Teacher Association (NCSTA). She is also a member of the National Marine Educators Association and currently serves on the Education and Public Outreach Committee for the ANDRILL Polar Research program.

N Kurtz
Outreach Manager
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