OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - An Ocean Springs science teacher will be representing our state on a two-week adventure with NOAA. Dana Kosztur is about to embark on the experience of a lifetime.
"Oh, I'm very excited! The people in this building are tired of hearing me talk about it," said Dana Kosztur. "I'm actually going to be on a reef fish survey. I'll get to weigh and measure and look at fish populations in the Gulf of Mexico."
Kosztur is the only teacher in the state of Mississippi selected for NOAA's 'Teachers at Sea' program. It's a 14-day adventure at sea.
"Little nervous. I've never even been on a cruise," she said. "The worth I guess outweighs the negative."
Kosztur has been a teacher for 17 years; the last five spent as a Yellow Jacket at Saint Martin Middle School. She said she's most excited to bring back research for her students.
"I will get to do real-world research with NOAA scientists. To be able to bring that back and show my students the actual research process and the data from that, be able to analyze it and see what types of fish populations there are out there and you know what is actually out in the Gulf of Mexico that they see every day," she said.
"We've learned a lot about the ocean and stuff in here," said student Lily Skelton. "She loves the ocean so this is going to be a really good experience for her.
Kosztur joins 32 other educators from across the nation.
"It's just something about getting to do what I love in the classroom and what I love to do on a personal level," she said.
She said her administration at the school has been supportive and will be sure her students are well taken care of while she's away.
"I've been teaching middle school science for four years and this is absolutely what I love," Kosztur added.
NOAA's 'Teachers at Sea' program takes off April 5. You can follow Kosztur's adventures online in a blog set up through NOAA.