James Monroe Elementary Fourth-Graders Investigate Sharks in Everett, Washington

On May 10, 2016, NOAA Teacher at Sea Program Support Specialist and Fisheries Biologist, Emily Susko, visited James Monroe Elementary School in Everett, Washington, to speak to Barney Peterson’s (TAS 2006 and 2016) fourth-grade students. Ms. Peterson sailed on NOAA Ship Rainier in 2006 and will sail on the Oregon II during a Shark/Red Snapper Longline survey in August 2016.  

In preparation for Ms. Peterson’s upcoming research cruise, her students researched sharks independently and had many questions for Ms. Susko during her visit. This allowed for an engaging discussion about shark biology, shark surveys, commercial fishing, and NOAA’s mission. Ms. Peterson said Emily’s background in marine biology enabled her to take them to a new level of understanding and challenge them with new words and ideas. Ms. Peterson said it was great to see students making connections and asking questions about things she would not have even considered.  

After the presentation, students wrote thank you notes to Ms. Susko and expressed their appreciation for her visit. In June, Ms. Peterson worked to set up a Skype meeting so that one of her students could interview Ms. Susko about becoming a marine biologist!

A woman is standing at the front of a stairway going up with five rows of children on each step going up the stairway.
Emily Susko (bottom left) with James Monroe Elementary Fourth-Graders