Teacher At Sea

The 'teacher at sea' program provides both formal and informal educators a unique opportunity to participate in real-world, interdisciplinary research alongside scientists from the California Current Ecosystem LTER. This experience intends to promote a greater awareness towards understanding and protecting the world's oceans and its resources. Participants will be studying a pelagic coastal upwelling biome off the coast of Southern California, consisting of measuring changes in the ocean planktonic food web in response to ocean temperature and nutrient supply. Diverse shipboard sampling and experimental procedures will be used. This 'at-sea', science and educational experience is for individuals interested in broadening their scientific knowledge, participating in state-of-the-art, hands-on, oceanic research, communicating interdisciplinary educational experiences in the classroom and beyond.

Criteria for Selection

While educators can take advantage of CCE LTER's Teacher at Sea program during the summer, cruises do become available throughout the year on a space-available basis. Most cruises range from one week to one month depending on the nature and duration of the research. Participants may be offered a small stipend to assist with travel expenses, and substitute teacher costs. NOTE: The ability to cope with uncertain and unpredictable changes is crucial to being selected. Applicants should realize that ship arrival and departures sometimes change. Ship working shifts and the level of work intensity can vary also and one should remain flexible.

How to Apply

To be considered for becoming a CCE LTER Teacher at Sea, you will be expected to: Provide evidence of good health as determined by a completed medical history.Many cruises require high-intensity work that demands physical adeptness and endurance. Work shifts may be 6 hours on/6 hours off and can go through the night.

Be currently involved/employed as:

  • a K-12 teacher or administrator
  • a community college, college or university teacher
  • a museum or aquarium educator
  • an adult education teacher
  • have school or department support

Once selected, teachers will be assigned to a vessel on a space-available basis only. They will work with the scientific team under the direction of the Chief Scientist and the ships Commanding officer. Additional coordination may be necessary with CCE LTER's Education/Outreach coordinator.


Participants must be willing to fulfill several program requirements during and upon completion of their cruise. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Participating in scientific research while on the cruise.
  • Submitting a unit of lessons (at least 2) based on your experiences. Creative approaches may include products like podcasts, website pages, or written stories for young kids.
  • Submitting a journal and taking photographs while at sea for Picture-of-the-Day.
  • Submitting a post-cruise evaluation.
  • Submitting travel voucher for reimbursement.
  • Possibly presenting their experience to the public by speaking with reporters or in other venues deemed appropriate (e.g., newspapers and general media).



Past Teacher At Sea Cruises


CCE LTER Process Cruise P0810

Process Cruise # 3 R/V Melville Sep 30 - Oct 29 2008

Teacher Cruise blog



R/V New Horizon August 9th - August 21st, 2009


CCE LTER Process Cruise P1106

R/V Melville: June 18th - July 17th 2011

Teacher Cruise blog
We invite educators this summer to investigate contemporary issues surrounding direct and indirect links among our ocean, atmosphere and global climate change. Aboard the R/V Melville June 18th - July 17th, you will join site scientists, graduate students and educational professionals researching the ecological evidence of climate change appearing across marine food chains and food webs within the California Current Ecosystem. This eight week experience will have you gathering and sharing photographs, and video clips on our cruise blog and collecting evidence to build activities for your classroom explaining both the science and potential research surrounding the issues of climate change within this coastal upwelling ecosystem.


CCE LTER Process Cruise P1208

R/V Melville: July 29th - August 27th 2012

Teacher Cruise Blog


CCE LTER Process Cruise P1408

R/V Melville: August 6th - September 4th 2014

Teacher Cruise Blog