Friday, July 20, 2012

Stan Cutler's Research Experiences for Teachers - Summer 2012 - Part 5

Week 6 (July 16-20) 

Today is my final day in Tallahassee, so this is my last blog entry of the RET program! It has been a pretty quiet week, with many of the scientists at seminars or on vacation, but testing of the drifters has continued. It is very interesting to see the instruments on their “missions,” with the bladders filling up with oil as they think they are coming up to the surface (even though they are on land the whole time!). I also had time to share lesson plans and good conversation with Dr. Sophie Wacongne-Speer, the educational director of a local school, and to attend a wave seminar in the Dirac Science Library. I was able to finish my research paper/article on Drifters and Floats, and hope that it is decent enough to be published in the near future!
Testing telemetry of the drifters.
This morning, the Magnet Lab RETs held their “poster session,” which summarizes their summer research, and I displayed my fluid demonstration kit/lesson plans and research paper. We’ve all had a great summer and even managed to win some prizes during Trivia Night at a local establishment! I want to thank many people for going out of their way to make me comfortable this summer, and for providing such a tremendous learning experience: my two mentors, Nico and Kevin; Dan, Ruby and Cathrine in the GFDI lab; all the hard-working graduate students who were happy to share their knowledge and ideas; Roxanne and Jose in the Magnet Lab; and, of course, Tracy and Meredith, who are on the Deep-C outreach team and are continuously striving to make programs like the RET even better in the future. Goodbye Tallahassee, but I’ll see you again at Doak Campbell Stadium in the fall!

Sharing what I've learned with other teachers at the Mag Lab RET poster session.
Saying goodbye to some of the good folks I've worked with, including Tracy (Deep-C) and Jose (Mag Lab).
Post Author:
Stan Cutler


  1. Hi Stan,
    Chris Gillard is a friend of mine and sent me the link to your blog.

    I just accepted a position as a science teacher at the Renzulli Academy, a gifted talented school in Hartford Connecticut. This year I will be developing the science curriculum for 7,8 and 9th grade students. We are a small school, with the possibility of doing some great things as students will be able to individualize their program along with their interests. (11-20 students per grade). I am wondering if there is a possibility of students using simplified data sets to learn more about fluid dynamics in the ocean. Also if there is a posibility of doing some remote learning by interacting with undergraduate and graduate researchers. My research background is in the benthic realm, as well as large marine mammals. As we develop our program from 7-12th grades, my plan is to offer in depth opportunities to students in a different realm each year--space, sea, geology, human biology, and climatology.
    Jennifer Reed

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Congratulations on your appointment! I will be emailing you with some other information and a contact, but I wanted to share three sites that might help you in the area of simplified data sets.
      The following link gives wave height data from an offshore location (K tower)in the Gulf:

      The second site was sent to me by Deep-C and might be just what you are looking for. They will be running workshops in Florida, but also have trained teachers in the Potsdam area (close to you? I think that is very close to Chris' home town!).

      I have been searching for a site I used with my Environmental Science students a few years ago concerning estuaries, but I haven't found it yet (and don't have access yet to my school computer). I believe it may have been a NOAA site, and involved analyzing real-time tide data on various marshes/swamps/estuaries in California. Check the NOAA web site, and I will keep looking too!

      I will be answering your other questions by email...hope it helps, and thanks for writing!