Twenty-four teachers and educators will have the chance to find inspiration among whales and dolphins this summer, as part of the 2008 Earthwatch Educator Awards, an exciting professional development opportunity.
Earthwatch, the international environmental charity, is inviting educators and secondary school teachers of science and geography to apply to join one of three scientific research expeditions during the summer holiday period. Twenty-four fully-funded places are up for grabs in August on the Earthwatch expeditions Dolphins of Greece, Whales and Dolphins of the Hebrides and Whales and Dolphins of Moray Firth.
Working alongside leading scientists for a period of between one to two weeks, small groups of five to eight teachers will take part in hands-on conservation research. As research assistants on Dolphins of Greece, for example, they will record information on the numbers, activity and movement patterns of bottlenose dolphins in Mediterranean waters.
As well as gaining hands-on experience of conservation research, the award-winners will join in facilitator-led discussions linking the project research to the National Curriculum and exam syllabuses. And they will work together to devise educational resources for use back in the classroom. These resources will also be made available on the Earthwatch website.
Kikelomo Agunbiade of Earthwatch, a former secondary school science teacher, says, "The idea is to give teachers and educators who may not have the opportunity, the chance to gain a deeper insight into wildlife conservation, to generate ideas and inspire their teaching back in the classroom."
Teacher Julia Gooch, who joined the Whales and Dolphins of Moray Firth expedition in 2007 says, "I had a brilliant time. I went on this project with a ‘blank canvas' and this was more than filled up with knowledge and enthusiasm both from the Earthwatch team and the other teacher members in the group. Each team member brought their own strengths and experiences to the group so we were able to learn from each other. This hands-on experience of conservation research has really helped me to bring to life environmental issues for my students back in the classroom."
The teacher placements include comprehensive briefing materials and orientation in the field, all accommodation, food and transport on the expedition, plus an allowance for travel to the expedition site. On their return, the teachers will be given the opportunity to apply for a small grant to kick start their own environmental initiative or school project.
The closing date for applications is 4th May 2008. For an application form and further information email email@example.com or visit our education pages.
The Earthwatch (Europe) Educator Programme has been running for the past 11 years. During that time, 600 teachers and educators have experienced hands-on conservation research on Earthwatch expeditions. The 2008 Earthwatch Awards for Educators are funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation, the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and the HSBC Green Sale.
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Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is an international environmental organisation whose mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
Earthwatch Institute (Europe) is the European affiliate of Earthwatch Institute, which is based in the USA and founded in Boston in 1971. Other affiliate offices in the Earthwatch Institute network are based in Australia and Japan.
Earthwatch currently supports over 120 environmental research projects in 55 countries by providing funds and volunteers who work alongside leading field scientists and researchers.
Through experiential learning on research expeditions, Earthwatch works to improve environmental literacy and encourage behavioural change. Earthwatch has trained over 3,500 students, 4,000 classroom teachers and over 1,000 scientists from developing countries, and many more through our online learning programs and resources.
The Earthwatch (Europe) Educator Awards are now open to applicants. The deadline is 4th May 2008.