Climate Change Teacher Ambassadors Will Highlight Work in Upcoming Webinars

We welcomed our first eight NCSEteach Teacher Ambassadors in February through the Turning Misinformation into Educational Opportunities (TMEO) Workshop at George Mason University. This group of teachers developed a unit of 5 hands-on lessons on climate change and field tested them throughout this past semester. Now, they are poised to present their lessons to teachers nationally through a series of free webinars starting July 31 to be produced collaboratively by NCSE and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE).

Just as we introduced you to our newest Teacher Ambassadors who'll be participating in our evolution workshop next month, I’d also like to introduce you to our amazing climate change ambassadors.

Back row, from left to right: John Cook, Al Dorsch, Kelly Pipes, Jennifer Broo, and David Amidon; front row: Brad Hoge, Erin Stutzman, Bonnie Bourgeous, Kim Parfitt, Namanita Borah (John's post-doc), and Nina Corley

David Amidon teaches a range of courses to 8th and 9th grade students at Lafayette Junior-Senior High School in Lafayette, New York. He is a NOAA Planet Steward, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and he sailed on board the NOAA ship Reuben Lasker as part of its science crew through the NOAA Teacher at Sea program. David was awarded the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators from the EPA and White House Council of Environmental Quality in 2016. David will be presenting his lesson on climate modeling during an August 7 webinar.

Bonnie Bourgeous teaches IB and AP biology and chemistry at Highlands High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has also taught AP environmental science and math courses as well as coached Science Olympiad, National Academic League, Fairchild Challenge, and Envirothon teams. Bonnie will be presenting about her experience with TMEO at the 28th Annual Utah Environmental Education Conference September 14-15. She will also be presenting her place-based lesson relating climate change to decreases in annual snow pack and subsequent drought as part of a webinar on August 21.

Jennifer Broo is a science teacher at St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jennifer is particularly interested in the intersection of evolution and climate change and has published articles on the evolution of horses and the rapid evolution of drosophila in The American Biology Teacher. She has also presented at numerous conferences and participated in professional development opportunities across the country. She will be presenting about her TMEO experience at the University of Cincinnati STEM Conference on September 20 and will be sharing her lesson on climate change solutions in a webinar on August 29.

Nina Corley teaches ninth through 12th grade science courses at O’Connell College Preparatory School in Galveston, Texas. She has won awards for her teaching throughout her career including being honored by the Houston Chronicle, Texas Regional Collaboratives, Rachel Carson Foundation, Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund, The National Energy Education Development Project, and the Civil Air Patrol. Nina will be discuss building scientific consensus during the August 21 webinar.

Al Dorsch teaches fifth grade science and social studies in the Shenango Area School District in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He has also taught middle and high school grades, and served as an assistant principal, so he has multiple persepctives on the challenges of teaching about climate change. Al has also won numerous awards for his teaching. He played rugby and has been a youth rugby coach. Al will be presenting his lesson on the evidence of past climate change during an August 15 webinar.

Kim Parfitt joins us from Cheyenne, Wyoming where she teaches AP Environmental Science, AP Biology, Honors Biology, Botany & Zoology, and Astronomy at Central High School. She is also a curriculum developer for Howard Hughes Medical Institute Biointeractive and has worked with The Nature Conservancy, The National Wildlife Federation, The National Park Service, and The U.S. Forest Service, among others, to develop educational programs. Kim won the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award for Wyoming from the National Association of Biology Teachers in 2017 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching in 2013. Kim will join Jennifer to present her lesson on climate change solutions on August 29.

Kelly Pipes teaches Honors Biology and Agriculture at Wilkes Early College High School in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Kelly is also a certified bee keeper and incorporates her experiences as a master bee keeper and NOAA Planet Steward into her hands-on, place-based teaching. She has a Ph.D. in higher education administration and a Master’s degree in secondary education for reading/young adult literature. This wide range of expertise and perspective is invaluable for Kelly as a teacher ambassador. Kelly is currently busy translating her experience with TMEO into her application for National Board certification in biology.

Erin Stutzman teaches biology, geology, and environmental science at Timberline High School in Boise, Idaho. Erin is one of the most vigilant advocates for climate science education we know. She and her students were instrumental in helping fight for quality science standards in Idaho. Erin was the Idaho Environmental Education Associations Secondary Environmental Educator of the Year in 2016, and she is tirelessly working with other teachers, science educators, and community stakeholders to bring professional development opportunities, including TMEO, to Idaho Teachers. Erin is also completing her Ph.D. in educational leadership at Boise State University, and is a finalist for the ee360 Community EE Fellowship from the North American Association for Environmental Education. Erin will present her lesson as part of the building scientific consensus webinar on July 31.

These NCSEteach Teacher Ambassadors have already been doing a great job developing and field-testing their lessons, and reaching out to other interested educators. We’ll continue to highlight these teachers and their upcoming workshops, along with the ten ambassador teachers who are joining us through the evolution program - to stay connected to this work, sign up for our NCSEteach newsletter. And if you have any questions about this program, please contact me at hoge@ncse.com.