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Dalton teacher selected to set sail for research


DEMS STEAM teacher Laura Grimm has been selected as a NOAA Teacher at Sea for a research program to study the Great Lakes.


DALTON  A teacher who many may associate with the flourishing Elementary & Middle School Greenhouse is temporarily trading in her green thumbs for her sea legs.

Laura Grimm, DEMS STEAM teacher, has been selected to set sail for nearly three weeks in July on a research cruise.

In 2020, Grimm was selected by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration and had planned to go on a fisheries expedition in the North Atlantic. That trip and the 2021 season were delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maybe it was meant to be.

Last week, Grimm accepted another offer for this summer. And she’s excited.

According to information provided, she is the first NOAA Teacher at Sea to sail in the Great Lakes through the program.

Growing up in the Cleveland suburb of Middleburg Heights, Lake Erie has had a special place in her heart.

“As a kid, I spent a week each summer at Lake Erie,” she wrote in an email.

Grimm took an oceanography class on Gibraltar Island (Lake Erie), fished for walleye and perch, learned to swim off of Middle Bass Island, and she and her daughter went on a “Mama/Daughter vacation” to Kelleys Island each summer for 10 years.

“I am very excited to learn more about the lake of my childhood,” she wrote. “This is an awesome opportunity!”

Grimm is one of seven teachers in the United States to have this opportunity to go this summer. She said she will write two to four blog posts per week while out “at sea”.

Grimm said it has been exciting sharing the news with her students. She shared some of the frequent questions she has received from students, as well as her responses:

* Will you be living on the boat?
“Yes. For three weeks.”

* What will you eat?
“There is a ‘mess hall’. I hear that they have really good food.”

* Are you afraid of getting sea sick?
“A little. But, I’m tough. I’ll be okay.”

* What will you do each day?

“I’m not totally sure yet, however, I will be helping scientists use sonar equipment to map the flow of Lake Erie around South Bass Island, the Port of Cleveland, and near Erie, PA.”

* Will you see any ship wrecks? “I hope so!”

Grimm said the most common question she has received from adults is:
“Can you find me a new fishing hole?”

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