Suzanne Acord Receives NOAA Teacher at Sea Program Excellence in Science Education Award

Dr. Suzanne Acord (TAS 2014) received the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program Excellence in Science Education Award in July 2015. She was presented with the award by Mr. Carlos Santana, Constituent Services Representative from the Office of U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono, on January 22, 2016. The award was given to Dr. Acord during the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center “Science at Sea Day” at the NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island O’ahu, Hawai’i. Teachers selected for this distinguished award demonstrate their commitment and dedication to science education by:  

Educating students and the public by writing engaging and scientifically accurate blog posts while at sea.  

Creating quality products that are tested in the classroom: lesson plans and units based on NOAA scientific research and NOAA careers.  

Engaging schools and communities about the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, NOAA policies, scientific research, careers and personal experience as a NOAA Teacher at Sea.  

Collaborating with NOAA scientists and crew to enhance marine science curricula through NOAA scientists visits to the classroom, videoconferences, and field trips to NOAA ships and facilities.  

Representing NOAA Teacher at Sea and NOAA Education at regional and national education and science conferences.  

“Hands-on experiences in marine mammal observation, acoustics monitoring, and trawling operations are just a few highlights from my 12 days at sea. My relationship with our Hawaiian Islands is now stronger because of the many hours I spent studying our vast ocean. My time on NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette was a game-changer. As a history teacher, I can no longer ignore the impact of history, war, nuclear testing, and humans on our ocean. My time at sea impacts the way I think about and teach history. I’m thankful for a meaningful experience on the Sette. The scientists and crew’s patience, compassion, and expertise were appreciated every moment of the journey. Their willingness to bring a Teacher at Sea on board has opened up a wealth of knowledge for my students and for me. Scientists were eager to share their experiences, knowledge, and concerns about the importance of our ocean.”  

– Dr. Suzanne Acord  

Dr. Acord’s Mid-Pacific Institute eleventh grade students from Honolulu, Hawai’i attended the award presentation and participated in NOAA’s Science at Sea Day. Students learned about the NOAA Corps, NOAA career opportunities, NOAA’s advanced technology and data, and NOAA’s Science Fair Summer Internships from Christopher Lindsay—a NOAA Science Fair Internship recipient. They also toured NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai 

“Thank you all for an incredibly meaningful day at NOAA. I am so happy that my students were able to learn from Chris (Lindsay) and the NOAA crew throughout the day. The talks were informative, the knowledge stations were engaging, and the ship tour was eye-opening.” – Dr. Suzanne Acord  

We sincerely appreciate the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation for their support of this event and our Alumni Association. Read more about the event here. 

Two women and a man stand in front of NOAA signage. The center woman is holding an award while the man on the right is holding an art piece.
(L-R) Alexandra Bayless, NOAA PIFSC Protected Species Division, Cetacean Research Specialist; Suzanne Acord, NOAA Teacher at Sea Alumna; and Donald Kobayashi, NOAA PIFSC Research Fisheries Biologist. Dr. Acord is holding her Excellence in Science Education Award and Dr. Kobayashi is holding a painting that was created by one of Dr. Acord's students from Mid-Pacific Institute who was inspired during a visit from Dr. Kobayashi and PIFSC scientists.