Amy Lake is a middle school social studies teacher at Lee H. Kellogg School in Falls Village, Connecticut, who infuses geographic concepts and skills into her daily lessons. For nearly 30 years, she has empowered students to be involved citizens, acting on their learning to benefit their community and wider world. A 2010 Fulbright Fellow, her experiential classroom is featured in the documentary film “Passion to Teach,” to be released this fall.
Ally Amavisca is the programs coordinator for the Phoenix Zoo. Through a wide range of formal and informal, hands-on education programs, she uses the zoo as a classroom, teaching children and families to care about the natural world. Her paper “Establishing the Ideal Platform for Creating Environmental Stewards: A Study of Multiage Grouping in Zoo Education” was presented at the 2012 Association of Zoos & Aquariums National Conference.
Yolanda Barham is a first-grade teacher at Millbrook Elementary Magnet School in Raleigh, North Carolina, who uses trips abroad to integrate global issues with units of study. She recently traveled with The Center for International Understanding to explore sustainable energy practices in Denmark. She is a new member of the North Carolina Geographic Alliance.
Betsy Wilkening is a middle school science and engineering/robotics teacher at Wilson K-8 School in Tucson, Arizona. Her students learn to think and act, locally and globally, to make a positive impact on the environment. She is a PolarTREC teacher from 2009 and is helping to continue the outreach legacy of the International Polar Year as a council member of the newly formed Polar Educators International. Her favorite animal is a narwhal, and she is extremely excited to share this opportunity of a possible sighting.
Crystal Thiele is a National Board Certified fifth-grade teacher at PS 321 in Brooklyn, New York, who uses a multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to expanding her students’ view of the world. Previously she taught world studies and science for nine years at the middle school level and ESL for two years in Yamaguchi, Japan.
Susan Pike is an environmental sciences and biology teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, New Hampshire, who pursues her goal of connecting people with nature by writing a weekly nature column for local newspapers and offering her students opportunities to get outside through field research, winter survival classes and hikes in the nearby White Mountains.
Dr. Rona Zollinger integrates inquiry, problem-solving and play into an exploration of the places students live and learn about. Zollinger teaches in a transdisciplinary curriculum at Vicente Martinez High School in Martinez, California, in an environmental and health careers academy called New Leaf: A Sustainable Living Collaborative. As co-founder of New Leaf, she seeks to build community partnerships that link learning to hands-on experience. She is a fellow of the Children and Nature Network.
Lishawna Taylor is a sixth-grade science teacher at Central International School in Kokomo, Indiana, who enjoys bringing science to life and empowering students to leave a positive impact on their world.
Bill Schmoker teaches Earth science at Centennial Middle School in Boulder, Colorado, and was selected as a PolarTREC teacher in 2010. His enthusiasm for Earth sciences is matched by his dedication to field ornithology and bird photography. His Arctic attraction began with a cross-continental camping trip from Denver to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, the summer after his high school graduation.
Suzanne Kahn Eder is education director at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, Maine. She oversees the Reserve’s teacher workshops, public programs, school field trips, camps, exhibits and trailside interpretation. A former National Park Service ranger and a currently registered Maine Kayaking Guide, she delights in sharing the wonders of the natural world with others through field-based education.
Matt Eddy is a biology and environmental science teacher at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. His courses focus on the interaction between urban and rural landscapes in the greater D.C. area. He also serves as a manuscript reviewer for American Biology Teacher magazine.
Megan Swanson is an environmental science and physiology teacher at Calabasas High School in Calabasas, California. She has developed a project-based environmental biology course to provide students with knowledge of the ecological challenges presented in the face of a growing global population. She recently received Ecology Project International’s Marine Education Fellowship for furthering conservation education.
Joe Super is an environmentally active biology teacher at Minot High School in Minot, North Dakota. He has passionately taught riparian monitoring in his classroom for 15 years, getting more than 400 students outside to monitor health in local waterways. His students also assist the North Dakota Game and Fish Department by monitoring dissolved oxygen fish kills under the ice in local rivers and lakes.
Charles Dabritz is a middle school teacher in Milton, Vermont, where he teaches both social studies and language arts. He is a six-year member of the Vermont Geographic Alliance and serves as a steering committee member.