WASHINGTON (Nov. 9, 2007)—Kathryn Russell, a fifth-grade teacher at Graveraet Intermediate School in Marquette, Mich., and Dennis Rees, a sixth-grade teacher at Oakwood School in Peoria, Ariz., are the first recipients of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowships, established to honor National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor’s lifetime commitment to geography education.
The fellowships were donated in perpetuity to the National Geographic Society by Lindblad Expeditions President Sven-Olof Lindblad to mark Grosvenor’s 75th birthday last year and to honor his service in enhancing and improving geography education across the United States. The annual fellowships will be awarded to two teachers who demonstrate excellence in geography education. The selected teachers, nominated by their state geography alliances, will travel on a Lindblad ship to one of the company’s many destinations around the world and will receive a $3,000 honorarium from the National Geographic Education Foundation.
Rees and Russell will each go on a 10-day Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands with a traveling companion of their choice. Lindblad Expeditions has a 40-year legacy in the Galápagos and has launched initiatives supporting conservation, education and micro-enterprise, building on strong relationships with the Galápagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Research Station and local communities.
“I’m sure this will influence my students to be lifelong learners of planet Earth,” said Russell, who will be making her first international trip for this experience. She will travel this month.
“To be one of only two people selected in the nation is incredible. I am still letting it all soak in,” said Rees. “I cannot wait to go visit and learn about a special place in our world, then come back and share those experiences with my fellow teachers and my students.”
Rees, who will sail in January 2008 with Oakwood School principal Paul Bower, will report back to Oakwood and other schools in the district with regular communications from the field and will share his experiences through presentations at geography conferences. He also will develop a unit of study on the Galápagos Islands for district geography teachers to use.
“We are delighted that Kathryn and Dennis, two outstanding educators who are strongly committed to hands-on geography education, have won this expedition,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad. “Lindblad’s partnership with National Geographic allows both organizations to provide opportunities to outstanding teachers dedicated to improving geographic literacy in our classrooms and encouraging children to become responsible caretakers of our planet.”
“The partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic is an ideal fit for our two missions,” said Gil Grosvenor. “We believe in the value of educational travel, and Lindblad’s programs are the best. Teachers who are awarded these new fellowships will have experiences they will never forget.”
To learn more about this opportunity, contact a National Geographic Geography Alliance coordinator. For a full listing of Geography Alliance coordinators, visit the following link on National Geographic’s EdNet site: http://www.ngsednet.org/community/about.cfm?community_id=94.
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition travel company providing voyages in the Galápagos, Antarctica, Baja California, Alaska, the Arctic, and beyond. Sven Lindblad has received international recognition, including the 2007 Global Tourism Business Award, 2007 Seafood Champion Award, U.N. Programme Global 500 Award, and recognition from HRH, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg for his dedication to the conservation and environmental stewardship of the Galápagos archipelago. The company has also been named #1 Small-Ship Cruise Line (Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Value Awards 2006); “The Best Ships in the World” and “The Best Itineraries” (Condé Nast Traveler: Truth in Travel Awards 2006).
About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 300 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.