Karen Grady, Gifted and Talented teacher with Lavaca School District and NOAA Teacher at Sea Alum traveled to Washington DC in June to participate in the “Expert Is In…Sharks In Our Ocean” at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Q?rius Basecamp. Grady sailed in April on the NOAA Ship Oregon II as a Teacher at Sea where she assisted in the second leg of an experimental longline survey of reef fish and sharks. NOAA Fisheries Biologist, Kristin Hannan, who served as the field party chief on the Oregon II was also present at the event. Visitors to the Expert Is In were able to explore shark jaws, vertebrae, and other specimens while asking questions. Grady and Hannan were invited by the NOAA Teacher at Sea Alumni Association to share photographs and stories from their time on the Oregon II. They answered questions from over 150 individuals as they shared how the work being done helps us to better understand where and how sharks live and why these predators are important for a healthy ocean.

Jordan Garcia, Legislative Correspondent with Congressman Bruce Westerman’s office, made time in her busy schedule to attend the event along with Interns Emily Mace and George Iverson. “As an educator representing the state of Arkansas, I was honored that members of Congressman Westerman’s staff attended the event and took time to learn about the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program. The excitement his staff expressed about my experiences and my efforts to share with students and educators around the state was extremely uplifting,” stated Grady.