Tampa Bay Devil Rays present awards for six teachers to join Earthwatch expeditions
Earthwatch, Maynard, MA - 11 April, 2007 - On Earth Day, April 22, St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field will welcome six local teachers to receive fellowships for Earthwatch field research expeditions around the world. These innovative educational awards are the result of a generous contribution to Earthwatch by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team.
This is the second year of this unique partnership between the Devil Rays and Earthwatch, the global volunteer organization that engages people in environmental science for change. Earthwatch expeditions provide educators and other volunteers the opportunity to gain new perspectives on important conservation challenges, from climate change to ocean sustainability.
"We are pleased to renew our support for this unique community outreach program that rewards deserving teachers and helps energize the classroom learning environment," said Rays President Matt Silverman.
The pre-game ceremony on April 22 will include an awards presentation to the winning teachers, who will work alongside leading scientists at sites from Oregon to Costa Rica. The awards include their expedition expenses and an additional $2,500 for their schools.
"I'm passionate about the challenges associated with conservation and climate change," said Greg Rublee, an earth science teacher at Northeast High School, St. Petersburg. This summer, he will be snorkelling over coral reefs in the Bahamas to assess the impact of global warming and other environmental problems. "This fellowship will enable me to make a personal contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge, as well as stewardship of our natural resources. In this way, I can serve as both a teacher and an example of what I teach."
Sara DePerro, a teacher at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, was awarded a Rays Environmental Education Award last year and participated in a project looking at sustainable forestry practices in Puerto Rico's rainforest. "My Earthwatch expedition has encouraged me to really get my hands dirty in my lessons with my students," said DePerro. "I will use this experience as a stepping stone to local forestry conservation efforts, as I take my students on field study trips of their own."
Over the past 35 years, more than 4,000 teacher fellows have received training and inspiration on Earthwatch expeditions. Classrooms across the nation also benefit from the Earthwatch "Live from the Field" program, where students can follow the adventures of teachers in the field through the latest in communication technologies.
Winners of the Rays Environmental Education Award & their Earthwatch projects:
- Jonathan Gerlach, Lopez Elementary School: Sharks and Rays of Monterey
- Linda Griffin, Perkins Elementary School: Pacific Prairie Wildflowers
- Michelle Lineberry, Dowell Middle Magnet School for Environmental Studies: Hunting for Caterpillars
- Brenda Poff, Madeira Beach Middle School: Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas
- Greg Rublee, Northeast High School: Bahamian Reef Survey
- Kathryn Venuti, St. Petersburg High School: Costa Rica's Monkeys
Earthwatch Institute is a global volunteer organization that supports scientific research by offering members of the public unique opportunities to work alongside leading field scientists and researchers. Founded in 1971, Earthwatch's mission is to engage people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment. Please include the web site url for Earthwatch Institute (www.earthwatch.org) in any story based on this release so that your readers can find out more.