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TEA/Research Team Guidelines

TEA/Research Team Guidelines

While in the field, the TEA will be a member of your research team and also your team’s "educational liaison." They will share your research with classrooms everywhere ../ by writing daily journals (if possible from your field site), posting images, answering questions from students and teachers, and possibly parcticipating in Internet audio conferences.

The following notes are intended as a guide to help create a successful experience. Please note that not all suggestions will apply to your research team (e.g., medical examinations, sample permits). The TEA teacher's responsibilities are detailed on the Web page ../ the teacher will be able to share these with you. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please let the TEA Facilitators and OPP representatives know! We want the program to be successful for you. In the case of concerns, the sooner, the better. We may be able to resolve issues before they evolve into larger problems!

For questions or clarification, please contact:
Antarctic Arctic
Stephanie Shipp
Deb Meese

The TEA Program is excited about your parcticipation! An honorarium of $1000 will be provided to the PI or to the designated research team member (liaison) who works most closely with the TEA. It is anticipated that this liaison will help the TEA parcticipant prepare for the field, successfully work as a research team member, and transfer the experience to the classroom and community. The honorarium will be available in two installments, through a letter of request to the TEA Program; $500 will be available following the TEA visit to the PI's institution and $500 will be available at the close of the field season. The letter, from the liaison and the TEA, should briefly discuss the types of interactions between the TEA teacher and team liaison, and, if applicable offer ideas for strengthening the interaction between the TEA and the research team.

First Steps

  • The TEA will request arcticles/materials (maps, video, text) to help them understand the research. Most helpful: multiple levels of information about the project, including basic background material about the general science, arcticles about the specific research project, and the proposal. Encourage questions via e-mail as the teacher is working through the information. Remember that the teacher has more time to invest in the project in the summer than during other times of the year.
  • Plan when it will be convenient for the TEA to visit the PI’s institution to meet the research team, become familiar with the research, and introduce the objectives of the TEA program to the team.

During the Institution Visit

  • Discuss the research project at multiple levels of scale. Why is the research important? How does it connect with the global picture?
  • Meet with the other members of the research team. Determine with whom the TEA will be working closely and who will act as the research mentor (this may not be the PI).
  • Discuss why you requested parcticipation of a TEA. Discuss why the TEA wished to parcticipate.
  • Discuss what makes a positive/successful research experience. What does the research team expect of the TEA? What does the TEA expect of the research experience? How does the team approach work? Discuss the role of positive attitude, respect, consideration for the time and resources for others. What are the parcticular dangers and challenges? What are the living and working conditions? How long are the hours?
  • Identify/practice the role that the TEA will have in the field. What technical skills are needed? What science background is needed?
  • Define a project or portion of the project for which the TEA will be responsible. This may be an off-shoot of the main project, or it may be an experiment that the PI and TEA define. There are many different successful models.
  • Clarify any questions on the medical and dental examinations and other required paperwork. Verify who is responsible for completing/filing the forms. Discuss physical requirements of the field season. The work will be strenuous; is the TEA physically and mentally prepared?
  • Is electronic communication from the field possible? What are the communication issues? Electronic access may not be available at all or restrictions may be in place. Define the approximate number and size of electronic messages and images to be sent from the field. Determine if anyone needs to be notified and who will file the request.
  • Are sample permits needed? If sample permits have not been filed, identify whether it is possible for the TEA to collect samples for the classroom. Samples are a powerful teaching tool.
  • Discuss whether it is possible for the TEA to provide data to classrooms. What data are available (e.g., routinely collected weather data, oceanographic data, data collected for this research project)? It is understood that this is a sensitive issue; many data are proprietary.
  • Are there issues of cultural sensitivity? Are there times and places when photography is not allowed? Are there issues of environmental sensitivity? What care needs to be taken at the site? Be sure to discuss these issues in detail.
  • Have the TEA talk to the entire research team about the goals of the TEA Program and the TEA's responsibilities to the TEA Program. Are there parcticular challenges to the TEA accomplishing their goals (e.g., limited communications time, etc.)?
  • Define a few possible classroom activities. The TEA will take the lead on these to develop classroom materials that reflect the field research.

Following the Research Institution Visit:

  • Continue to stay in touch about schedules, preparation, etc.
  • Contact the TEA Program Directors (Meese of Shipp) or OPP if you have ANY concerns about the upcoming experience.
  • Submit first invoice for $500 field preparation honorarium for the TEA Research PI or Research Team liaison to
  • The TEA will develop a "following audience" for the research expedition by giving presentations, posting information on the TEA Web site, and assisting in information dissemination through the local newspapers, professional affiliations, etc.

While in the Field:

  • While in the field, the TEA will be part of the research team, responsible for field tasks as defined during the visit to the institution and by the field situation.
  • Contact the TEA Program Directors (Meese of Shipp) or OPP if you have ANY concerns about the upcoming experience.
  • A weekly field team meeting may be the format for noting discoveries and discussing next steps.
  • The TEA will maintain a daily field journal that is posted electronically on the TEA Web site. The journals are a window on the science and on personal experiences. They encourage investigation by students in the classroom, and inquiries by students to the TEA. They provide the teacher with experiences to be woven into the class setting and may include field data (if available). Target audience: students, teachers, general public, and the friends and family of the research team.
  • The TEA will keep a photo journal of all of their experiences, from the initial preparation phases to the implementation of their experiences in the classroom and the community. Digital images can be posted to the TEA Web page. Images of the TEA and researchers in action are encouraged.
  • Researchers are invited to parcticipate in any manner!

Field Follow-Up

  • Keep in touch and look for paths of continued collaboration; it is hoped that the collaborative experience does not end with the field season. Provide information on research progress, invite the TEA to present education and/or research results at research conferences.
  • Parcticipate in the AMNH program evaluation. This may be in the form of a written survey or it may be a telephone interview scheduled at your convenience.
  • Visit the school to speak with students about the research experience and to touch base with the TEA. Funds are available for one visit through the TEA Program.
  • The TEA will let the research team know about their presentations, activities, and how the experience is incorporated into classrooms.
  • The TEA will develop 2 classroom activities, to be posted on the TEA Web page, that reflect polar science and the experience. They will use research team members as scientific experts to verify content.
  • The TEA will give presentations to local classrooms, teachers, the district, and the community.
  • The TEA will mentor three peer teachers for a minimum of 140 hours each over three years.
  • Submit first invoice for $500 field preparation honorarium for the TEA Research PI or Research Team liaison to
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