Indiana School Welcomes Home NOAA ‘Teacher at Sea’ from Arctic Voyage of Discovery

multibeam sonar

Credit: NOAA
Illustration of a ship using multibeam sonar to map the seafloor.

Teacher Finds New Seamount


On Oct. 20, 2009, students from Carmel Middle School in Carmel, Ind., welcomed home Christine Hedge, a seventh-grade science teacher who spent six weeks in the Arctic Ocean on board the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy as part of a multi-year, multi-agency effort to collect seafloor mapping and oceanographic data along the North American Extended Continental Shelf.

Hedge’s experience, funded by NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program and co-sponsored by the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, gained international attention as she and the Healy crew, along with a second ship from Canada, collected data to update nautical charts and better understand seafloor processes and habitats.

On August 25, Hedge discovered a large seamount, or underwater mountain protruding 1,100 meters from the ocean floor, using multi-beam sonar.

“The discovery of this seamount is a prime example of how little we know about the Arctic Ocean,” said retired NOAA Capt. Andy Armstrong, the mission’s co-chief scientist and co-director of the NOAA-University of New Hampshire Joint Hydrographic Center. “Christine’s keen observations allowed to us to react in time to turn the ship and explore this important seafloor feature in closer detail.”

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