Contoocook teacher spending weeks near Arctic aboard research vessel

  • Roy Moffitt aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy. He’ll be aboard the vessel until Aug. 25. Courtesy

  • View of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy anchored off of Nome, Alaska. courtesy

  • Roy Moffitt courtesy—courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 8/13/2018 11:53:47 PM

When Roy Moffitt of Keene applied to this year’s NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program, his expectations were low. If accepted, he would have been satisfied with a fisheries research cruise. Instead, he is going on the expedition of a lifetime.

“When’s the next time you get to go to the Arctic? You can’t just book a trip there,” he said the night before he left for Nome, Alaska, to begin the journey. “I always dreamed of going to Antarctica where the science stations are ... so this was a pretty good deal.”

From Aug. 7 to 25, Moffitt, a sixth-grade science teacher at Maple Street School in Contoocook, is living and working aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy with scientists as the group collects a variety of data during this research cruise through the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas of the Arctic Ocean.

“I can actually go there and see what’s being measured and what scientists do to get a scientific answer about what’s going on,” he said.

Of the hundreds of applications received, Moffitt is among only 35 educators selected for research cruises this year. Almost 750 teachers have participated since the program was started in 1990.

Upon his return, Moffitt will share his experiences with his classroom.

He looks forward to looking at the data that will be collected with his students and talking about what that data tells scientists about non-living and living parts of the ocean ecosystem, food chains, changing currents, water temperatures and salinity.

In the meantime, Moffitt will be contributing to a blog on the Teacher at Sea website as often as internet access allows.

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