Delta High School science teacher Ben Graves has been selected as one of this year's Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows in recognition of his commitment to geographic education. The 2018 Fellows, a group of 40 highly respected educators from the United States and Canada, will embark on global expeditions to Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic to explore the rapidly changing marine ecosystems of the Far North. He departs in early August.
"The focus of this expedition for me personally as a science teacher is to help make the invisible visible for my students," Graves said. "The Arctic and especially the polar atmospheric and marine systems play an incredibly large and complex role in global atmospheric circulation impacting everything from the winter storm systems we see in Colorado to intensifying summer drought conditions. Climate change is having a profound impact in the Arctic and the influx of freshwater and lack of sea ice is exacerbating increased sea surface temperatures across the North. My goal is to bring this experience home to my students in Delta so that I can make visible the invisible forces that drive our earth system."
Graves plans to make a series of videos for his classroom which can be viewed at youtube:@MrGravesScience. He will also be bringing home ocean and glacial water samples and air quality data to help his students connect with the rapidly changing Arctic.
Graves will travel aboard the Lindblad Expedition ships National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endeavour ll and National Geographic Sea Lion for his hands-on experience.
This year marks the 12th year of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program, established to honor former National Geographic Society chairman Gilbert Grosvenor's lifetime commitment to geographic education. The program began with two fellows in 2007 and has grown each year. The expeditions were donated in perpetuity to the National Geographic Society by Sven-Olof Lindblad and Lindblad Expeditions to mark Grosvenor's 75th birthday in 2006 and honor his service to the enhancement and advancement of geographic education.
Each year, pre-K-12 educators are encouraged to apply for this one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity. Fellows enhance their geographic learning through direct, hands-on field experience and bring that knowledge back to their classrooms and professional communities.
Accompanied by Lindblad-National Geographic expedition experts, ranging from undersea specialists to National Geographic photographers, the fellows will experience landscapes, cultures and wildlife unique to their regions of exploration.
Before their 10- to 17-day voyages, the fellows traveled to National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they participated in a multiday, hands-on, pre-expedition workshop covering everything from photography to outreach planning and had the opportunity to network with Lindblad Expeditions naturalists and past fellows.
"Grosvenor Teacher Fellows are an integral part of National Geographic's work to achieve a planet in balance," said Mike Ulica, interim president and CEO of the National Geographic Society. "Educators like these fellows ensure that students are equipped with geographic knowledge and global awareness, empowering the next generation to create solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future."
"These are exemplary educators who play a vital role in shaping and inspiring the future stewards of our planet. We are committed to taking them to some of the world's most remote and pristine places to help fuel their passion to share knowledge, and the world, with their students," stated Sven Lindblad, CEO and president of Lindblad Expeditions.