Research Experiences for Teachers

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to join a marine science research expedition?

For the next thirteen days the Oregon Coast STEM Hub blog will be highlighting the experience of two coastal Oregon science teachers at sea: Calan Taylor and Andy Bedingfield. Calan and Andy are part of a Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The goal of the program is to improve science educators’ general knowledge and research skills by exposing them to research. This RET program is sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and the Hatfield Marine Science Center.

INTRODUCTION

The Ship

R/V Atlantis

From July 13-27, 2019, two RETs from the Oregon Coast will join researchers at sea on board the Research Vessel Atlantis. The R/V Atlantis is an oceanographic research vessel owned by the US Navy and operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet. Unique to the Atlantis is the fact that it is the only ship outfitted to launch Alvin –  the first deep-sea submersible capable of taking crew down to the ocean floor.

The Teachers

Calan Taylor – Bandon, OR

Calan Taylor

Mr. Calan Taylor

Calan Taylor teaches Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science at Bandon High School and assists with his school’s Surfrider club. He has been teaching high school science for 15 years in Oregon, first at Kalapuya High School in Eugene – where he taught Ecology and Natural Resource Management – and for the past 2 years at Bandon. He has a lifelong passion for Marine Ecology that started early, growing up living on sailboats, first in Massachusetts, and later in Port Townsend, WA. When he was ten years old his family attempted to sail around the world. Although they never made it past the Society Islands, he was able to spend over two years diving, fishing and sailing in some of the richest coral ecosystems on the planet. This included a month and a half on Palmyra Atoll.

After high school Calan became a commercial fisherman and spent eight years working on salmon seiners in Southeast Alaska. His skipper had a degree in Marine Biology so he was lucky enough to learn his perspective on balancing resource management and sustainable harvests. In addition to working and living on boats, Calan spends most of his free time and money traveling to explore the surf, giving Calan first-hand experience with an array of coastal marine conservation issues.

Andy Bedingfield – Lincoln City, OR

Man holding fish

Mr. Andy Bedingfield

Andy Bedingfield has two master’s degrees: One in chemistry, and one in education. Andy worked as a research and development chemist at the Willamette Valley Company for seven years before serving four years as the Director of Outreach, Education, and Diversity for the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry. Since 2014, he has taught high school science at Taft High School in Lincoln City.

What you may not know about Andy is that he was a professional freestyle whitewater kayaker from 1998-2003, winning the Whitewater Freestyle World Championships in Taupo, New Zealand in 1999 and in Sort, Spain in Squirt Boating in 2001.

Photos of 13 people posing with kayaks

Can you find Mr. Bedingfield in the kayak?

Coming up next…

Stay tuned for a post about the first day of the cruise… from a teacher’s perspective!

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