Honolulu teacher will travel to the Arctic on National Geographic expedition

A Honolulu teacher will embark on a one-of-a-kind experience to the Arctic next month.

Cristina Veresan from Star of the Sea school in Honolulu was selected as one of this year’s Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. She is the first educator from Hawaii to be chosen in the program’s eight-year history and one of 25 from the U.S. and Canada to participate in various worldwide voyages this year.

Veresan will take part in a nine-day Lindblad voyage aboard National Geographic Explorer to Arctic Svalbard.

Led by expedition team members, including Lindblad naturalists, a National Geographic photographer and an undersea specialist, the fellows gain a wealth of knowledge through direct, hands-on field experience including wildlife documentation and data collection. The goal is to develop activities and lesson plans for their classrooms and to share with professional colleagues and communities upon returning home.

Veresan first spotted the fellowship online and says she’s honored to be chosen. “It sounded like an amazing professional development experience for teachers like myself, who are committed to teaching students about the world they live in,” she said. “I can’t wait to explore the Arctic. It’s a region of the world very few people get to experience. I will get to bring back to Hawaii knowledge about it and share it with my students.”

“National Geographic is devoted to inspiring people to care about the planet, and for decades we’ve focused on K-12 education as one of the primary means to that end,” said Gary Knell, National Geographic Society president and CEO. “Not only does the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program allow these teachers to continue their education and training, but it provides innovative ways for them to interact with and influence their students, reaching a new generation of future leaders and explorers.”

Last month, Veresan took part in a four-day, pre-voyage professional development workshop in Washington D.C. “We were immersed in all aspects of the fellowship, learning about the program, gaining insight into what we’ll be doing on the expedition,” Veresan said.

Veresan leaves for Oslo on June 4. The expedition takes place June 7-16.

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