Maywood Middle School teacher heads to sea

June 9, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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NEW — 10:30 a.m. June 9, 2013

The last time Maywood Middle School science teacher Marla Crouch traveled Alaskan waters, she was on a cruise ship. She headed north once again June 8, but this time she will be living aboard a different vessel.

Crouch joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Teacher at Sea program, allowing her to spend about three weeks aboard the Oscar Dyson, where she will study Pollock, a type of fish, alongside NOAA scientists.

“Just living and working with these scientists, I expect to get a great deal of information I can share with my students when I return,” she said.

Crouch will assist the crew as it completes a survey of the Alaskan Pollock. The Pollock, a member of the cod family, is the most valuable fish crop in the world. Products made from the fish were valued at $1 billion in 2010, she said.

On the web

Maywood Middle School teacher Marla Crouch is in Alaska to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Teacher at Sea Program.

Her journey began June 8 and is set to end June 26.

Crouch will post updates from her travels at

The team of scientists will look at the population, age and gender of the fish, and monitor equipment used to find schools of Pollock.

While the Oscar Dyson is out at sea, Crouch will stay connected to her community of students through an online blog where she will post updates, promote discussion and answer questions from the comment section.

“I want it to be very interactive,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and make things more memorable for my students.”

Crouch lives in Issaquah and teaches earth science at Maywood, where she is also the Robotics Club adviser.

“Looking forward into our workforce, we need folks that are interested in our ocean,” she said. “The ocean impacts us greatly and the general public doesn’t necessarily realize that.”

The Maywood teacher’s exploration ends June 26.

“It’s a floating laboratory that works 24/7, so I’m excited about going, but nervous, too,” she said. “This is the first time that I will be working as a member of a crew on a working vessel, so that’s a new experience.”

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