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ANGARI Foundation works with CARTHE and MetOcean Telematics to host its first Educator Professional Development Workshop on Ocean Currents and Drifter Technology

West Palm Beach, Florida
(April 19, 2018)

On March 31, 2018 ANGARI Foundation hosted a professional development program for South Florida educators onboard its vessel, R/V ANGARI. This educational program is the first of its kind for the Foundation and designed to bring the study of ocean currents and drifter technology to K-12 teachers and their classrooms.

The day was focused on giving eight teachers from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties a full research and education experience. It started with an overview of ongoing research and the application of drifters to topics like understanding the movement of oil and marine debris in surface waters provided by Dr. Tamay Özgökmen, Director of the Consortium for Advanced Research on Transport of Hydrocarbon in the Environment (CARTHE) at the University of Miami. The day then continued with hands-on experience deploying a SVP (Surface Velocity Program) drifter buoy supplied by MetOcean Telematics into the Gulf Stream, and concluded with a discussion on drifter data access, available resources, and lesson plan ideas led by ANGARI Foundation’s Director of Science Education & Advancement Dr. Amanda Waite. The day’s participants left enthusiastic to use this in their education programs. “Every aspect was exemplary – all components were organized and relevant to classroom instruction. I can’t wait to share the information with my environmental club and other educators,” said Jennifer Briceno of Palm Beach Central High School. Additionally, the educators were given the opportunity to share ideas and network with one another. Stephanie Killingsworth, a seasoned teacher from Conniston Middle School, noted “I got valuable lesson and field trip ideas from the other teachers. We certainly have made connections that I am hopeful we can endure and build upon.”

The deployed drifter is expected to follow the surface currents of the Gulf Stream system into the North Atlantic over the next year. The drifter is GPS-enabled and reports location and sea surface temperature data via satellite, which can be accessed online. This information will be used to complement classroom lessons and extracurricular activities in marine and environmental science within the classroom and clubs at participating schools.

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