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Teachers Tour Woods Hole Field Center

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core cutting
Mike Bothner and Michael Casso demonstrate core cutting of Boston Harbor samples.
On the afternoons of July 12th and 14th, the WHFC played host to 40 Massachusetts public and private school teachers, kindergarten through high school, who were attending a two-week conference on bringing science and resources into the classroom. The credit-granting seminar, funded by the Museum Institute in Teaching Science, was held at Green Brier Nature Center, East Sandwich, MA. Robbin Kozlowski, their leader and an environmental scientist and fan of Cape Cod geology, offered the group a visit to Falmouth beaches or a tour of USGS. The USGS was chosen enthusiastically. By dividing the group in two, they were able to view activities in labs at the Quissett Campus and learn how the data being processed and analyzed were collected by our acquisition systems, housed at the Marine Operations Facility (MOF).

sediment lab
Larry Poppe shows visitors around the sediment laboratory.
At MOF Jessica Cote of the Sediment Transport Lab described assemblage and deployment of tripods and moorings, the data they collect and the hazards to our equipment. Kathy Konicki and Andrew Fox outlined capabilities of the SWASH ATVs with their cargo of precise DGPS positioning systems for measuring storm-related shoreline changes. Greg Miller demonstrated the assembly of Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) spheres and earthquake data recently recorded during an early summer deployment off the western shore of Puerto Rico. The teachers were ushered through the Data Library where they received outreach materials including "Land and People" teacher packets (these outline local environmental issues, particularly land-use impact on potable water quality). The teachers then visited the shipboard seismic vans where sidescan sonar and seismic data are acquired and processed at sea. Tom O'Brien demonstrated how the tow fish emitted and received a signal and then how topside acquisition systems digitized the signal for processing and mosaic construction.

striking quartz
Teachers striking quartz pebbles together to give off light.
Later, the teachers visited the GHASTLI Lab at Quissett Campus where Bill Winters demonstrated the analysis of bottom samples and explained our nation's interest in gas hydrates.

The visitors then moved on to the Sediment Texture Lab where Larry Poppe explained how the equipment sized the samples as his technicians continued to process samples. He also gathered them all into his office where, after turning off all lights, he showed them how atoms in quartz pebbles give off light when you strike them together. A great demonstration to take back to their classrooms!

Barb Seekins describes how GIS is used to analyze and display data.
Both Tammie Middleton and Barb Seekins described how they use GIS to analyze and display various Center data giving examples of work they have done. Tammie described layering bathymetry, sidescan sonar, sample data and bottom photos from Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary while Barb presented a poster depicting historic and ongoing shoreline changes in West Falmouth, MA, resulting from property owners' attempts to stabilize their shorefronts with massive boulder revetments.

Last stop for the groups was the Geochemistry Lab with Mike Bothner and Michael Casso, who demonstrated core cutting of Boston Harbor samples and our decade-long monitoring input into the Boston Harbor outfall pipe relocation with predicted pollution dispersion. Time ran out before interest flagged and the group left pleased to be bringing excitement and new resources to their fall curricula. With a USGS bag of URLs to explore, each teacher has a wealth of new material to stimulate their students' interest in geology and their world.

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Biscayne Nat'l Park Corals

Santa Monica Bay

Salvage for Science

Joint USGS—Monterey Aquarium Cruise

Outreach Teachers Tour WHFC

Students Tour WHFC

West Falmouth Harbor Water Sampling

Meetings World's Largest GIS Conference

Modeling Workshop

SC/GA Coastal Erosion Project

NOAA Data Integration

Staff & Center News Talk at WHFC

New Babies in Western Region

Publications New Coastal & Marine Geology Circular

August Publications List

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Updated December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM (THF)