Six educators voyaging to the land of the polar bear

5uFDxGgXHGC6BVor.JPGEndless days. Polar bears perched atop islands of ice. Not a speck of land in sight.  Blindingly bright sun. Sounds like an explorer’s dream come true, wouldn’t you agree?  Where might this highly exotic (and one could add the adjectives barren and frigid) place be located?  The 2011 Grosvenor Teacher Fellows will experience it firsthand this summer: This is Arctic Svalbard as only Lindblad Expeditions, in partnership with National Geographic’s Education Programs, can deliver.

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow program is an opportunity for current K-12 classroom teachers and informal educators from across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico to engage in professional development activities and learning experiences.  Applicants must exhibit dedication to geographic education (geography and related science and social studies disciplines) and show a promise of active engagement in the future. Awardees will depart on an 11-days/9-nights voyage aboard the Lindblad Expeditions’ flagship, the National Geographic Explorer, to Arctic Svalbard.  During the seven days at sea, Fellows will brainstorm ideas for how to incorporate their field experience into educational instruction, and they will organize impromptu activities for young explorers traveling on board the ship.  For more information about the Grosvenor Teacher Fellows Program or to learn how you can apply, please follow this link.

Without further ado I would like to introduce you to this year’s Grosvenor Teacher Fellows!

amy-blonnsm.jpgAmy Blonn

Amy works at the Houston Independent School District’s Outdoor Education
Center in Trinity, Texas.  Each week she helps teach approximately 250
fifth-grade students about the connections between nature, human
relationships, and responsible stewardship by conducting science lessons
on the shores of Lake Livingston.  Read more about Amy.

Ani Smith

Ani is a fourth-grade teacher at Sheridan School in Elgin, Illinois,
with 19 years of teaching experience.  She assists with the school’s
after-school Geography club and is a former National Geographic Society
Geography Bee State Coordinator.  Read more about Ani.

kwitte1sm.jpgKevin Witte

For the past 12 years, Kevin has been a member of the Geographic
Educators of Nebraska organization.  Currently, he is a high school
teacher at Kearney High School in Kearney, Nebraska, where he teaches
World Geography, International Wealthy and Poverty, and Advanced
Placement World History.  Read more about Kevin.

Margaret Chernosky

Margaret teaches tenth- and twelfth-grade students GIS in Geography and
Advanced Placement Human Geography at Bangor High School in Bangor,
Maine.  Her students have participated in several hands-on GIS projects
including a geo-historical study of the Great Bangor Fire of 1911 and a
five-year geospatial study of motor vehicle crimes in Bangor.  Read more
about Margaret

annchristiansonsm.jpgAnn Christianson

Ann teaches World Geography to seventh-grade students at John Muir
Middle School in Wausau, Wisconsin.  She has been actively involved with
the Wisconsin Geographic Alliance for almost two decades and is the
current Chair of the Social Studies Department.  Read more about Ann.

Chad Pelton

Chad is a science teacher at John D. Runkle School in Brookline,
Massachusetts, which is on the outskirts of Boston.  In addition to
teaching his seventh- and eighth-grade students science, Chad has
enhanced learning by helping students make connections across
disciplines and view the world through a geographic lens.  Read more
about Chad.

If you have a chance to congratulate these individuals, please do so!
This is just a small sample of the movers and shakers in the field of
geography education, without them where would we be?

Becky for My Wonderful World

Polar bear photo courtesy of My Shot Your Shot, Joseph Ratner

Grosvenor Fellows photos courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions

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