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Hoven Teacher To Survey Ocean Near Alaska

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One South Dakota teacher is stepping outside the classroom to set sail on a scientific voyage. Spencer Cody participates in his second tour to study marine science.

Hoven High School teacher Spencer Cody is embarking on a scientific journey to chart the ocean floor near Alaska. He sets sail on June 5 for two weeks. Cody says the program, under the same organization as the National Weather Service, provides teachers the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working and living alongside marine scientists. He will utilize hydrographic surveying to collect data used for mapping tide patterns and creating nautical charts.

Cody is an alumni participant in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Teacher at Sea program. He previously sailed in 2014 on a reef fish survey in the Gulf of Mexico. He says he is thankful to be selected again for this alumni-only trip, applying through a very selective and competitive process.

“The whole point of Teacher at Sea program is to bring NOAA’s work that they’re doing with fishery and hydrographic study into the classroom and also make that relationship to science careers. It’s really kind of a recruitment tool for them to train students and get them interested in the sciences specifically for NOAA in the future," says Cody.

Cody hopes to use this experience to help teach his students about marine science. He also thinks the school and community can see benefits from this enrichment, especially living in a landlocked area with limited marine science curricula.

“Really just kind of getting people to point where they understand that NOAA’s more than just about weather and understanding there’s this whole area of careers out there and opportunities for students that if you have an interest in marine sciences or maybe you just don’t know that this is actually a possibility out there for you," says Cody.

Cody says he will routinely update a blog before, during and after his trip.