SAINT PAUL, MN – Dr. Jonathan Rice is a high school science teacher from Chester, VT who in 2004 had a first-hand experience as a Teacher at Sea onboard an international scientific expedition that is part of an oceanographic and undersea geologic research program that has transformed what we know about our planet. Earlier this month he addressed a gathering of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) during their 2005 National Congress on Science Education in Saint Paul, MN. During the school year, Dr. Rice provides a bridge between his students and the scientific exploration of his ocean-going endeavor. At the educators’ gathering, he served as that bridge for the science teachers.
Dr. Rice spent seven weeks on board the research vessel JOIDES Resolution as part of a science team that studied hydrogeology and biology on the east flank of Juan de Fuca ridge.
” It was an honor to be invited to address the NTSA and to be recognized for my participation in the Teacher at Sea program,” said Rice. The NSTA’s annual Congress is a summit of delegates from each of the Association’s 94 chapters and associated groups. Dr. Rice introduced special event keynote speaker Dr. Paul J. Fox, director of science operations at the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) at Texas A&M University, who gave a presentation on IODP’s work titled “History of Our Planet Revealed: Stories Only Rocks Can Tell.”
Among Dr. Rice’s many goals for his Teacher at Sea experience has been to complete a series of shipboard laboratory briefs designed to describe the various areas of scientific research conducted on his expedition. The laboratory briefs, recently posted online at http://www.iodp-usio.org/Education/lab_briefs.html, are now a valuable resource for all science teachers, their students, and scientists preparing to set sail on upcoming research expeditions.
Expeditions under the IODP and its predecessor programs have validated the theory of plate tectonics, provided virtually everything we know about the Earth’s climate older than 500,000 years ago and recovered evidence of the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
The U.S. sponsored Teacher at Sea program provides educators an opportunity to participate in IODP expeditions. Teachers work side-by-side with scientists using state-of-the-art approaches to solve scientific problems of global interest and gain first-hand knowledge of the results of seagoing science expeditions.
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research drilling program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring and sampling subseafloor environments. Through multiple platforms, scientists explore IODP’s principal themes: the deep biosphere, environmental change, and solid earth cycles. IODP drilling platforms are operated by the Joint Oceanographic Institutions Alliance (JOI, Texas A&M University, and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University), Japan’s Center for Deep Earth Exploration, and the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling. IODP’s initial 10-year, $1.5 billion program is supported by two lead agencies, the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; by ECORD, and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.