In the news:
Intermediate teacher spends summer
in Bahamas as part of ecological study program
Gaeth's summer vacation story became a lot better this year
after receiving one of 10 LyondellBasell Earthwatch Fellowships
presented to educators in schools near LyondellBasell facilities
in North America
Gaeth, an eighth-grade math teacher at San Jacinto Intermediate
School in the Pasadena Independent School District was selected
from more than 100 applications to participate in a research
project studying the coastal ecology of the Bahamas.
The eighth-grade teacher became student as she joined
scientists, college students and other LyondellBasell Earthwatch
Fellowship recipients working on Long Island near Deadman's Cay
cataloging fish, charting land elevations and analyzing water
quality. The data collected will be used to establish a
conservation and management plan for the region.
Gaeth has been teaching for four years and earned a bachelors
degree in computer science from the University of
Illinois-Champaign. She lives in Pearland with her husband, a
"We were at a small remote island nothing like what tourists are
accustomed to," said Gaeth. "It was fascinating to develop new
field research skills and put them to work learning about the
fish, water and land in order to help develop a conservation
Gaeth added that as the only math teacher on the expedition she
was able to translate graph data to her fellow teachers.
"The researchers were using different graphs to show the data we
collected," said Gaeth. "It was interesting to see them using
box plots, as this is something we spend a lot of time on in the
8th grade classroom - plots and graphs."
LyondellBasell's Earthwatch Environmental Awards for Educators
provide an opportunity for school teachers and other educators
to participate with international teams of volunteers and
scientists in long-term research projects throughout the world.
The expeditions are organized by the Earthwatch Institute, a
non-profit environmental organization concerned with promoting
conservation of the world's natural resources and cultural
heritage. Lyondell funds this program to enrich the teaching
experience for educators as part of their emphasis on education
and promoting a sustainable environment.