Tampa Bay Rays Sent Six Local Teachers on International Earthwatch Expeditions
SPECIAL AWARD CEREMONY SCHEDULED AT TROPICANA FIELD FRIDAY
Earthwatch, Maynard, MA, September 14, 2009 – Six local teachers who participated on Earthwatch expeditions this summer thanks to support from the Rays Baseball Foundation will be recognized at a special awards ceremony before the Rays-Blue Jays game on Friday, September 18th, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"It's incredibly rewarding to watch teachers become energized by their expeditions—gaining confidence, knowledge and inspiration," said Adam Seidman, Fellowship Coordinator at Earthwatch. "By doing real science with top scientists, the teachers invigorate their own spirit of discovery and return to their classrooms fired up to share their enthusiasm with their students."
This is the fourth year the Rays Baseball Foundation has sponsored teacher fellows on Earthwatch expeditions. Each teacher also receives a $2500 award for their school to implement a local conservation project.
"We are grateful for the continued generosity of the Tampa Bay Rays in giving these teachers an experience of a lifetime that translates into positive environmental action back home," Seidman said. The teacher fellows are planning back to school beach clean-ups, "green" days and more.
Megan Higbee Yarborough, a teacher at Lanier Elementary in Tampa for the last four years, studied coastal ecology in the Bahamas this summer. "I have no doubt that my trip to Inagua with Earthwatch will inspire my students to do great things," she said. "From looking at photographs of wild flamingoes and green parrots, to seeing pictures of their teacher collecting data in the ocean, this trip will show my students that they are capable of reaching goals just like I have."
This year's recipient list, along with websites for the projects they participated on, includes:
- Heidi Doctor, Clark Elementary, “Sharks and Rays of Monterey” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/vansommeran
- Cristina Hill, Azalea Middle School, “Costa Rica Coffee: Community to Cup” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/peters
- Megan Higbee Yarborough, Lanier Elementary, “Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/sullivan
- Shanon Meads, Clark Elementary, “Sharks and Rays of Monterey” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/vansommeran
- Mary Quartetti, St. Petersburg High, “Dolphins and Whales of Abaco Island” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/dunn
- Karen Stockton, Westgate Elementary, “Climate Change and Caterpillars” www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/dyer
For more information please contact Kristen Kusek at Earthwatch, 978-450-1281 or the Rays Communications Dept., 727-825-3242.
Earthwatch (www.earthwatch.org) is one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. We use a unique model of citizen science, matching volunteers with researchers to investigate some of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet. Earthwatch is dedicated to creating an environmental legacy through scientific research projects, education and learning opportunities and engaging people in field research. Our research program involves a global community of researchers, conservation volunteers, NGOs and businesses, working together towards a sustainable environment. Earthwatch invests $5.7 million annually to support 100 research projects across 38 countries. Since 1971 Earthwatch has inspired 90,000 volunteers to join vital conservation research projects in the field.
The Tampa Bay Rays have proudly represented Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region since 1998. The organization and its foundation are committed to building a strong community bond through meaningful interaction and charitable contributions.