REBEKAH ROTTENBERG is shown aboard the National Geographic Endeavor with the Wolf Volcano, the highest peak in the Galapagos Islands, in the background.
As of Tuesday, June 23, 2015
by Delaney Filby
Rebekah Rottenberg, a teacher at The Dalles High School, was selected as one of the Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows.
“Out of 2,700 applicants, only 35 were chosen,” said Rottenberg, “which was really exciting.”
The program sends K-12 educators from the United States and Canada on a 10 day Lindblad voyage aboard the National Geographic Endeavor to the Galapagos Islands, according to information provided by the school.
The Lindblad trip took place May 29 through June 7. So during the last week of school, Rottenberg incorporated stories from her experiences in the Galapagos Islands into her science classes. She teaches both biology and earth and space
“I got to share with my biology class about the endemic species I saw in the Galapagos Islands,” she said.
“One of those species was the marine iguana.”
Students learned that “The Galapagos Islands are the only place in the world where there are marine iguanas, which go in the water to get their food,” said Rottenberg.
“In my earth and science class, we’ve been talking a lot about volcanos all year. On the trip, I got to see Wolf Volcano erupt, and to share that experience with my students was incredible.”
Before the voyage, Rottenberg and the other Fellows went to the National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and participated in hands-on workshops about photography and outreach planning.
They also had the opportunity to meet Lindblad Expeditions’ naturalists and to network with previous years’ Fellows, according to information provided by the school.
Rottenberg said she applied for the teaching fellow in December when she saw it on Facebook, “which, surprisingly, was the way a lot of people heard about it.”
She found out Feb. 20 that she had been accepted for what she called “a professional development opportunity.”
The program is a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society. The goal of this partnership is to “help give us geographical literacy,” said Rottenberg.
This year is the ninth year of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program. The program began with two fellows in 2007, and has grown to 35 in 2015. The Fellow was started in honor of National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor and his commitment to geographic education, according to the press release from Lindblad and National Geographic Society.
Rottenberg has been a teacher for eight years.
She recently moved from Northern California, and this is her first year teaching at The Dalles High School.