A person doesn’t usually think of layering clothes and climbing on sea ice at this time of year, but then again not many think about heading north to the edge of the Arctic to spend part of their summer vacation in hip waders. That is what Cotter teacher Tammy Drazkowski did as part of an Earthwatch teacher fellowship team.
Tammy was one of 9 teachers from all over the United States to head up to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada for eleven days to join researchers and scientists at the Churchill Northern Studies Center (CNSC) to help measure evidence of global warming and climate change.
The nine teachers and the research team led by LeeAnn Fishback went into the wetlands to collect samples and data to add to the multi-year research determining the environmental impacts of climate change on the Hudson Bay Area. To be sure there was always a Polar bear guard on duty as well. The team also spent time in the evenings after entering data, talking about how to bring some of their findings and passion back to the classrooms and communities they work in.
The team got to spend time in the town of churchill, learning a little about it’s history, meeting the locals and joined in on some truly Actic experiences; Kayaking with the Beluga whales and participating in Canada Day events such as the Arctic Plunge Bay dip.
Describing the experience Tammy says “It was such a different magical place - tundra landscapes, hundreds of wetlands, snowy owls, caribou, Belugas, Polar bears. I feel fortunate to have been chosen by Earthwatch and to have been able to visit and work with others who have a passion for teaching and for nature. I am excited to be able to share the experience with my classes - not only about the research I was able to take part in, but to help drive home how connected we all are, how important our Earth and its resources are and what an amazing planet we live on.”
“Students deserve a teacher who is passionate about their work, who wants to keep learning, who wants to see students reach their potentials, and who believes in what she teaches - I strive to be that teacher.”