Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sleepless in Seattle, no wonder, it is an amazing place!

Last month I had the most amazing trip to the Northwest. This wasn't a family vacation, but it some ways it felt like it.

NOAA asked me to be part of a symposium on Education Outreach at the American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. It was very exciting to be asked to join fellow teachers, professionals from NOAA, and biologists in the field to showcase our projects at the convention.

As I went to register at the convention, in my zip dry pants and NOAA Oregon II vessel T-shirt, I saw many people in suits and ties walking through the convention center. I thought to myself, "I brought the wrong wardrobe!". But then I was re-directed to the south end of the convention center for the AFS registration. As I got closer, I saw more khaki's, blue jeans, outdoor wear, hats, and T's walking through the corridor. Yes, I was now in the right place! In fact, I was overdressed at times! But don't let the attire fool you as the talks I attended were very technical in nature. There were fascinating speakers from all levels of education.

Orlay Johnson, our symposium's coordinator, was like a distant cousin that I just met at a family reunion. The entire group was very nice. Everyone in my symposium had a deep love for the education of children as their number one goal.

Photo: Here I am with Orlay and two associates from the local university.

Melinda Storey, a wonderful and recently retired TAG (Talented and Gifted) teacher and also a former Teacher At Sea, was my companion for most of the week. Not to mention a truly amazing educator and public speaker. She would be a wonderful person to co-teach with or shadow.
Photo: Melinda and I at the Market.

On my field trip day to the Yakima River and Dam I was with a very small group of people. I was the only teacher, but I felt very comfortable with the other 10 people in my group. One of the best stops was at the Salmon Recovery Station that is co-run by the Washington Dept of Natural Resources and the Yakima Nation. The state biologist along with members of the Yakima nation co-facilitates the Salmon Recovery efforts.

Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board
consists of representatives of the Yakama Nation and local governments in the Yakima River basin. The Mission of the Board is to: Restore sustainable and harvestable populations of salmon, steelhead, bull trout and other at-risk fish and wildlife species through the collaborative, economically sensitive efforts, combined resources, and wise resource management of the Yakima River Basin.

This first week in September showed to be the most beautiful weather of the summer. Sailing on the Puget Sound, visiting the aquarium and seeing the neon colors of wildlife living off the coast, friendly people, 75-85 degree sun shining days and the best Seattle had to offer was enough to sell me on this city.

Photo: Here I am buying sustainable seafood from the Seattle Fish Market

Collaborating with educators and professionals is a great way for teachers to get re-energized.

1 comment:

  1. I like the "distant cousin that you just met at a family reunion" comment b/c I know what you mean by that! I've never been able to put that feeling into words, but what a great way to describe it! Enjoyed this post!