Grades 6-12 Gulf of Mexico Exploration Teacher Workshops and Teacher-At-Sea Opportunities


The Gulf of Mexico Exploration Teacher Workshops are designed to introduce teachers to the science of the deep ocean and the organisms that life in it. Workshops provide content and inquiry-based lessons (aligned to standards) that are appropriate for grades 6-12 relating to the DEEPEND projects.    Those that participate in the 1-day workshop have the opportunity to join the DEEPEND Team on 1 of 2 research cruises/year.  Through an application process, teachers will be selected to participate on a cruise during April/May or August of that year.  The Teacher-at-Sea will be posting their experience through the DEEPEND Blog while we are out at sea, fielding questions from land,  and creating curricula that relates to the activities onboard to share with the DEEPEND Education community.

Tentative locations and dates for workshops:
Year 1:  April 18, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL
Year 2:  February 20,2016; Dania Beach, Fl
Year 3:  2017; location TBA

Featured Teacher at Sea

As a Miami native, Christopher Valdes grew up in and around the pristine waters of South Florida.  Learning to fish and enjoy water activities at an early age, he grew fond of Florida’s very unique ecosystems.  The grandson of a successful, retired teacher, he always had an appreciation and passion for teaching. After accepting a full academic scholarship as a scholar athlete from The Florida State University, he decided to study education.  He graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor's of Science in Education with a dual track degree- in both Community and School Health education.

After a successful internship with the Florida Department of Health, he returned to Miami and was quickly hired as a high school biology teacher for Miami Dade County Public Schools. For the next 10 years, he taught both biology and anatomy/physiology as a prerequisite for nursing magnet students.  In 2013, he became the COAST magnet instructor at Cutler Bay Middle School, located in the heart of Cutler Bay, Florida. He immediately initiated the development  and implementation of a stellar and innovative marine biology magnet program. The program allows students the opportunity to interact with Florida's unique coastal environments through several different mediums designed to spark the students’ curiosity. Along with his teaching assignments at Cutler Bay Middle, Christopher is also the 6th grade team lead, Read 2 Succeed lead, and a member of the curriculum council.


Previous Teachers at Sea