Meet Our Newest Climate Change Teacher Ambassadors
We’re proud to announce 10 teachers chosen to be NCSE Teacher Ambassadors for climate change. These 10 teachers were chosen from an extremely competitive group of applicants. They each have impressive backgrounds and interests, and bring unique skills and perspectives to their roles.
We’re excited to bring them together for the first time next month and to help them create professional development opportunities in their local areas. Five other individuals will be joining us for the March meeting virtually—they are teachers, informal educators, and science education specialists who will help extend our reach and support existing teacher ambassadors.
With the addition of these 10 teacher ambassadors, we now have 18 climate change teachers, and 28 teacher ambassadors altogether. (Read about the first cohort of NCSE climate change teacher ambassadors; the post includes a link to the lessons they created.) The NCSE Teacher Ambassador Program is poised to make a huge difference in student outcomes and resilience across the country.
Rebecca Brewer teaches Advanced Placement and ninth-grade biology at Troy High School in Troy, Michigan. She co-authored a high school biology textbook called Biology Now, trains teachers for a biotech company, and creates educational digital resources for Science Friday and PBS NewsHour Extra. In 2011, Rebecca received $27,000 for her classroom as the first-place winner of the ING (Voya) Unsung Hero Award, and in 2007, she was named a member of USA Today’s All-USA Teacher Team, which recognizes the top 20 educators in the United States. She also serves as the director of NABT’s Outstanding Biology Teacher Award program for Michigan, and is a past honoree.
Jason Carter, from the Asheville, North Carolina, area, teaches seventh and eighth grade science at Evergreen Community Charter School. He is on the board of directors at his school and is active in providing science professional development to other teachers. He is also a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms representative headed to Senegal to study complex global issues and education’s role in helping mitigate them. Besides teaching, Jason has led delegations of students on international travel experiences nearly twenty times to six of the seven continents.
Jeremy Cook is a lifelong Hoosier. He teaches first-year Honors Biology and General Biology at Franklin Central High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He coaches basketball and track and is a half-marathon runner. Jeremy has worked at Franklin Central for 13 years teaching and developing the biology curriculum for the district. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his master’s from Ball State University.
Tom Foss teaches high school Chemistry, Earth Science, and Physics in rural Newark, Illinois. He is a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Modeling Teachers Association. As a founding member of the Skeptical Gamers, Tom has led panels and presentations on a variety of topics in science and popular culture, and he has written fiction and non-fiction for a variety of media outlets, including SparkLife.
Karen Hibdon teaches biology, environmental science, and Advanced Placement environmental science at Hickman High School in Columbia, Missouri. She has experience as an applied scientist working in environmental assessment and treatment. She has developed curricula and training for place-based education and is currently collaborating with the City of Columbia’s Sustainability Manager on renewable energy and reduction of the city’s impact on climate change. In addition to this, she is working with Kenneth MacLeod from the University of Missouri, Columbia, to develop project-based learning labs on paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, and geochemistry.
Melinda Landry lives in Nokesville, Virginia, just southwest of Washington, D.C. She currently teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Pre-Advanced Placement Biology. She is also facilitating a district-wide professional development on using case studies to teach science curriculum. In addition, Landry is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist with the Merrimac chapter. She has participated in multiple outreach and training events, including as a representative to the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, showcasing the Meaningful Watershed Experience program from her district.
Melissa Lau is a sixth-grade science teacher in Piedmont, Oklahoma. She’s presented at national conferences and STEM Forums for the National Science Teachers Association and is active in her state teachers’ union advocating for her profession and quality of science standards. She also spends summers mentoring fellow educators through a program called Great Expectations. In 2018 she was selected as a PolarTREC educator and spent 32 days on the North Slope of Alaska working with a team of researchers from Florida International University studying phenology and vegetation change in the warming Arctic.
Mary Morrow teaches at East High School in Lincoln, Nebraska, and has been teaching science for 30 years. She teaches Earth Science and Biology, incorporating her joy of travel into her classes. Through the Fulbright program, she taught in Cape Town, South Africa for a year. She is passionate about professional development, both as a leader and as a participant and has written science curriculum for different organizations.
Sarah Ott is an award-winning science teacher who currently teaches at Dalton Middle School in Dalton, Georgia. Throughout her career, she has connected her students to the natural world through experimentation, gardening, and travel, going on trips as far away as the Dominican Republic. She is currently the chapter leader for North Georgia Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This June, she will travel for the third year in a row to lobby for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, an economic solution to climate change.
Alison Wood lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where she enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family. She teaches biology, anatomy and physiology, and Introduction to Socially Just Education. After growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Alison spent time teaching in a variety of venues, including Kodiakanal International School in India, Catalina Island Marine Institute in California, and Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota. She is very involved in building-level and district-level leadership teams, helping to revise curriculum, support teacher development, and address equity issues.
Joining this group virtually during their inagural meeting in March will be Kara Berger from the Towson University Center for STEM Excellence; Morgyn Ellis, education coordinator at the Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth, MA; Dina Freedman, middle school science teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah; Glenda Ivette-Lozada, an elementary science teacher from Naranjito, Puerto Rico; and Ilianna Palatos-Quintero, an instructional specialist from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.