LBCC instructor participates in Teacher at Sea Project

Linda Hobson, adult basic skills/GED instructor at Linn-Benton Community College’s Lebanon Center, participated in the Teacher at Sea project this past December, joining a team of scientists from Oregon State University along with several other OSU undergrad and grad students and community college instructors to study the sea waters off the coast of Mexico.

Dr. Marta Torres and Dr. Bob Collier, chemical oceanographers and associate professors at OSU, headed up the team studying chemicals and solid material in the ocean water and sediment on the ocean floor.

According to the Literacy Works website, one of the most important activities of this cruise was the retrieval of instruments moored in the San Clemente Basin during the December 2003 outing. The recovery was a process that lasted most of the day and involved the entire crew.

On December 3, Hobson participated in lowering a CTD, an instrument that measures conductivity, temperature, and depth as it collects water samples. The water samples are used to measure barite, a mineral that serves as a record of changes in the ocean, helping scientist predict how climate changes affect the ocean and ocean productivity.

Hobson’s students participated in the research by writing on foam cups to be sent down to the ocean floor with the CTD. According to

Hobson, the cups started out at four inches tall, but came back at 1 1/2 inches tall.

“When we pulled them up, the pressure from being on the ocean floor pushed all the air out of the foam,” said Hobson. “The cups shrank, but you could still read everything on them.”

Hobson will use the data from the experiment in math problems using percentages and fractions and in classroom discussion. Hobson said she learned a lot of interesting things on the trip and hopes the information will be useful in future teaching.

Hobson went to sea on the ship (R/V) New Horizon, which departed from San Diego, California on December 3, 2004. The ship proceeded south from San Diego to the San Clemente Basin, offshore of Tijuana, Mexico. The group returned to San Diego nine days later, on December 12.

Scientists and crew worked in an area of the Pacific Ocean between 31degrees north latitude, 117 degrees west longitude and 33 degrees north latitude, 119 degrees west longitude. To learn more, visit