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Cypress School District teacher wins competitive fellowship to participate in arctic expedition

Melinda Steele. Courtesy photo.

Melinda Steele has been selected as a 2019 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow in recognition of her commitment to geographic education. She is one of 45 highly respected educators from the United States and Canada who will embark on various global expeditions around the world to enhance their geographic knowledge with hands-on, field-based experiences that they will bring back to share with students.

Mrs. Steele has been a classroom teacher in the Cypress School District since 2005 and is currently serving as a Teacher on Special Assignment supporting the district’s STEM program. On June 2, she will set sail on the National Geographic Explorer for a 10-day expedition to Svalbard, Norway where she will observe polar bear activity, assess the presence of micro-plastics in the artic, and learn first-hand about the impacts of tourism on nature. To prepare for her voyage, she recently participated in a five-day pre-expedition training at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“My goal is to increase student awareness of our impact on nature, even in the most remote areas of the world, and that simple changes made locally can help preserve our planet for generations to come,” stated Mrs. Steele.

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship is named in honor of Gilbert M. Grosvenor, chairman emeritus of the National Geographic Society, in recognition of his decades-long work supporting teachers and promoting geography education. The expeditions were donated in perpetuity to the Society by Sven-Olof Lindblad and Lindblad Expeditions to honor his service to education.

“We are immensely proud to support Grosvenor Teacher Fellows – extraordinary individuals who share our passion and commitment to inspiring the next generation of planetary stewards,” said National Geographic Society Executive Vice President and Chief Education Officer Vicki Phillips. “At the Society, we’re dedicated to providing educators with unparalleled resources and transformative experiences so they can advance students’ understanding of the world and empower them to generate solutions for a more sustainable future.”

This article was released by the Cypress School District.