Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 Educator Ocean Stewardship Award Winners


An Ocean Steward is passionate about the ocean and works to promote an ethic of ocean conservation in their classroom and school. These educators ignite a sense of wonder towards marine ecosystems and inspire students to care for and take action to protect our ocean.

The Aquarium recognizes these teachers, who have been working to promote an ocean conservation ethic in their classroom. Congratulations to the 2011 winners of the Ocean Stewardship Award!



From left: John Anderson, Director of Education at the New England Aquarium, with 2011 award winners



Judith Hebert , Selser Memorial School School
Nominated by her principal, Mrs. Lemieux

Judy goes above and beyond when providing educational opportunities to her students. She has an enormous amount of energy and is quite a resource for the students and the school itself. Over the years, Judy has worked on projects with the state parks that included creating a Parks Passport Program and has started the Green Team recycling program at the Selser School. Judy likes to involve her 5th grade students with real world experiences by participating in activities like World Water Monitoring Day and collaborating with the Chicopee Water Department and the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Judy also participates in the Aquarium’s Free to Learn Free Admission Program and has given her 5th grade water curriculum she created to the Teacher Resource Center so that we may share it with other teachers.



Courtney Jones, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School
Nominated by: Mark Stephansky, Science Curriculum Coordinator

Courtney has been a marine biology teacher at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School for the past 13 years. Since she arrived at Whitman-Hanson she single-handedly developed their Marine Biology curriculum from a one-semester program to three very popular courses, each dealing with a different aspect of Marine Science.

Stemming from the popularity of the marine science program, Courtney has also started the Marine Biology academic club which meets regularly after school to discuss issues surrounding Marine Science such as over fishing, pollution and other conservation measures. One of her largest contribution to the district’s Marine Science program is the creation of Marine Biology Club Student Ambassadors. These groups of students learn about a specific marine science topic and then present it to elementary classes in the district by way of teacher invitation. With Courtney’s direct influence, students at the Whitman-Hanson Regional High School have gone on to seek careers in Marine Science or other technological fields. A number of these students have even come back to speak to the Marine Biology Club to talk about their current work in the field and encourage others to seek out careers in these fields.



Dr. Chuck Fidler,  Wheelock College
Nominated by Heather Bundy, faculty assistant, Department of Mathematics and Science, Wheelock College

As Assistant Professor for Department of Mathematics and Science, Dr. Fidler’s reputation among his undergraduate students at Wheelock College is that of a professor who absolutely loves the ocean. His physical science courses are very popular due to his passion for the ocean and being a good steward, which he has incorporated into his teaching strategy. Dr. Fidler feels it is important to get his students out in the field by planning trips to many of New England’s local coastal areas. These field trips not only provide a break from the classroom they also help students see first-hand the impact that humans have on our coastal and oceanic ecosystems. It could be said that the true measure of success for any college professor is the number of students that want to take their classes. Dr. Fidler consistently finds himself with a sizable list of students each semester waiting to get into his class, even after it is full.


Nominations are open to all teachers, and teachers can even nominate themselves. Nominate someone you know.

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