The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has begun the first of three expeditions to learn more about the deep-sea habitats in the Gulf of Mexico. Shortly after traveling through the Panama Canal, in transit to the Gulf of Mexico, crewmembers took time to speak with educators during Discovery Hall Programs’ educator workhop, Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA. The workshop gave educators valuable resources, lesson plans, and activities to teach their students about ocean acidification, deep-sea exploration, ocean-floor mapping, and more.
During the ship-to-shore call, crewmembers from NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, including Education Program Manager Susan Haynes and Physical Scientist Derek Sowers, shared the Okeanos Explorer's recent and upcoming expedition plans with more than twenty educators from Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.Teachers then had the chance to ask questions of the crew, ranging from how to encourage students to pursue STEM careers, the depth of their exploration expeditions,to the highlights of their work aboard the Okeanos Explorer. 
"Every day we're seeing new things we've never seen before," Haynes said. “We've found a white octopus with one row of suction cups on his arm."
"The last three years have been a highlight to explore remote areas, and be able to share it with the rest of the world," Sowers added.
"It's fascinating for all of us here," remarked Sherri Kraeft, a teacher from Arnold High School in Florida.
Discovery Hall Programs will host the “Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA” educator workshop again on Saturday, February 10, 2018. To learn more about this workshop, or to register, visit