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Brandwein Fellows Update

May 2012

In 2006, I was named TREC (Teachers and Reseachers Exploring and Collaborating) teacher and spent 30 days up in Svalbard working with researchers. In 2007, I spent 30 days in the summer in India looking at math and science progerams at various schools on a Fulbright program, and in 2009, I spent the month of July working with researchers as a Teacher at Sea in the tropical Atlantic. It has been fun bringing all the work that researchers have been doing into the classroom. The last couple of summers, I have spent time in Luang Prabang, Laos and surrounding areas teaching English to novice monks. After 27 years of teaching in Chappaqua, New York, I will be leaving at the end of this school year (2012) to teach biology and environmental science at Kaohsiung American School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.  
Bob Otto
2001 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute                                                                 

February 2012

I have been working with a 93 year old botany professor, Sam Postlethwait, who does Nature Reserve walks at the Celery Bog here in West Lafayette, about once a week. He is a great photographer and so I try to write some for his pictures. Attached was our first go, done especially for his grandkids and great grandkids. (The Wonderful World of Nature — 4.9MB PowerPoint)
Dick Arnold                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1997 Paul F-Brandwein Symposium                

I am still at Methacton School District in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, but after 14 years in 7th grade life science, I am now a gifted support specialist working on developing our gifted programming in grades 5-8. Last summer I had the opportunity to attend the Siemen’s STEM Institute. It was a week filled with lectures, hands-on activities, and collaborative partnerships made with 50 educators from across the nation. The outcome of the week is that there are four of us who have designed a project for our students (grades 6-11). Hawaii, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania students will be charged with identifying what is unique about their environment and analyzing how man has impacted that environment. Students will share their findings with each other by creating multimedia presentations that will be posted on our group wiki. We are hoping that through discussions, our students will develop an understanding of several ecology types and an appreciation for what is in their backyard as well as what lies beyond their backyard. We also hope to have the students develop an action plan that will help reduce man’s impact on their local environment. It is certainly an exciting time to be an educator!
Patty McGinnis
2001 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

Since the Institute, I have continued to teach at Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey. I have been on three Earthwatch Teams since my Brandwein experience: Manatees in Belize in ’04, Whales and Dolphins of Moray Firth in ’06, and Alaskan Fur Seals in ’08. Recently I participated in the Honeywell Institute in the Meadowlands.
I faithfully monitor my nest box trail regularly in spite of the demands of my summer  internship at Educational Testing Service in Princeton.
Mary Jane Davis
2001 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

I’ve moved to Boulder, Colorado for the year. I have an appointment at the University of Colorado, and.we’re starting CO2 reduction clubs statewide. Brandwein fellows can see the Young Voices on Climate Change movies on our website      Lynne Cherry
2010 Brandwein Lecturer

I was honored to have been selected as one of five 2012 inductees to the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Two things that might be of interest with respect to my work are: 1) I have a chapter called “Securing a Voice” about the environmental research internship I run each July for area girls that was published in NSTA’s “Exemplary Science for Resolving Societal Challenges;” 2) I won the inaugural A stellas Pharma US Inc. Science WoRx Make My LabWoRx Lesson Plan Contest. I have been quite busy this year (2011-12) with a very cool program, the STEM Institute at my school. The program consists of a series of semester-long research apprenticeships. To learn more about it, go to                                                                  
David Brock
2000 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

As President Emeritus of the Brandwein Institute, I still do much of the administrative tasks for Brandwein, working from the office in the National Park Service historic Callahan House. In the works is a sign at the Callahan House indicating our Brandwein- National-Park Service partnership.We have received the NPS go ahead to establish a fernery on the grounds and continue to eradicate invasive plant species. This is the third season I will be leading Search for Eagle field trips in memory of Dr. S. Marie Kuhnen. You can learn more about these trips by going to I spend the rest of my time attending as many Road Scholar/Elderhostel birding programs as possible. During May, on a combined trip to southeastern Arizona and southern California, I was able to see 270 species of birds including four “lifers,” those I’ve seen for the first time. This Fall, I’ll be at my house in Italy on the Tyrrhenian Riviera and take a side trip to the Gargano peninsula’s National Park on the Adriatic Sea.
Jack Padalino
President Emeritus, Paul F-Brandwein Institute

I am currently teaching second grade, still at W.G.Mallett School in Farmington, Maine. I returned to the classroom after six years serving as the district K-3 Technology Integrator. During that time I won several Developer Awards for developing units of merit, integrating technology with science, for early elementary students. I also was selected for the First Maine Governor’s Science Academy and served a two-year term with that program. Last year I was fortunate to be awarded the 2009 Maine History Teacher of the Year Award. This award was given by the Gilman Lehrman Institute. A historical claymation video made by my students can be viewed at: I am currently finishing my Master’s degree program at the University of Maine, Farmington.
Cindy Stevens
1997 Paul F-Brandwein Symposium

I’ve recently ended a three-year appointment on the NSTA Pre-Service/Elementary Committee.
Mary Smigel
2002 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

I have recently coauthored a book for teachers on how to teach kids to use scientific equipment to learn research skills, and generate their own research questions. The book is titled, Think Data: Getting Kids Involved in Hands-On Investigations with Data-Gathering Instruments. The 163-page book is chocked full of activities and worksheets. The cost is $30, and it can be ordered from
Joseph S. Renzulli
1999 Brandwein Lecturer

Shortly before school began last fall, I was in China where I was invited to do a week-long outreach program for teachers in Shenzhen (about two hours from Hong Kong). It was fascinating and expanded my notion of cuisine! I was also recently in Panama (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, Panama) teaching a tropical ecology course for undergraduates and graduate students. This is a fantastic field station and surrounding forest!  While there, I identified 76 bird species and observed three sloths in our bioplot.
Last January, I taught two tropical conservation courses for high school students in Mexico. The first was outside Mexico City in two Monarch Butterfly sanctuaries.We were collecting tree data and estimating populations of over-wintering monarch butterflies. I shot a lot video and still shots of close to 10,000,000 monarchs! Both the photos and video are posted on my Facebook page. From Mexico City, I flew to Cancun to meet a second group of students and teachers and took them to the El Eden Reserve where I have bioplots going since 1995. I recently returned from leading a biodiversity course in the Yucatan and am heading to Panama to teach a tropical terrestrial ecology course for Northeastern University.     Dan has published an article, “On Developing Engaging Science Curriculum for Secondary Science Students” in the July 2012 British Journal of Arts and Social Sciences                                                                                                                                                                         Dan Bisaccio
1997 Paul F-Brandwein Symposium

My students just completed a Toyota Tapestry Grant Project that I entitled “Investigating Earth’s Flowering Past.” Starting with a field trip to a site in the Valley of Fire State Park and ending with a poster presentation by my students at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Spring Geosymposium, my students were involved in recovering fossil evidence from a Mesozoic pond that was buried in ash during a volcanic eruption. The ash preserved layers of plants during a time frame when flowering plants were first beginning to appear in the fossil record. Accompanied and mentored by professors and graduate students at UNLV and Valley of Fire State Park personnel, my students learned about the geology of the Las Vegas Basin by exploring the stratigraphy exposed at the fossil site. Using relative age dating techniques, students collected appropriate samples for absolute dating at UNLV radioisotope lab. Getting a date of almost 99 million years old, these student projects gave important information about the geology of Southern Nevada during this period of geologic history.
Janelle Hopkins
2000 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

Life is great in Montana! I just got back from the NASA Space Center with two students from my last years class at Two Eagle River School. We were invited to witness the last shuttle launch through a NASA “Summer of Innovation” grant with the University of Idaho. The program’s objectives is to Educate, Innovate, and Inspire, which is very similar to Brandwein’s. It was an awesome experience with many firsts for my students– first airplane trip, first trip to the ocean, first alligator tail to name a few. We also did Universal Studios and Animal Kingdom just for the fun of it with the support of the school. I would be happy to travel with these two students again in a heartbeat. They were so appreciative of everything that we did. You know me, on the go from sun-up to sun-down. We can sleep when we get back to Montana.
Allen Bone
2000 Brandwein Summer Leadership Institute

I now live in Berkeley where my main academic connection is as visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. I use access to its libraries and faculty to help me with my website Science Education Encore, ( The site has two main purposes. One is to share some of the ideas and resources that I have come to believe are of lasting significance, or provocative, or at least entertaining. The other is to serve as an arena for exploring some of those ideas with others. To that end I would gladly welcome contributions from the Brandwein Fellows. I can be reached at
F. James Rutherford
2006Brandwein Lecturer

I’m currently engaged in a series of science enrichment initiatives for New Jersey K-8 classroom teachers through my connection with a special program at Montclair State University called P.R.I.S.M. (Professional Resources in Science and Mathematics).  Components of the professional development sessions in the sciences include: a) familiarizing science teachers with a multifaceted, NSTA-endorsed science curriculum tool called “Science Curriculum Topic Study” (CTS); b) training teachers in the use of science assessment probes that dovetail well with CTS methodologies; c) assisting one school in the development of a comprehensive K-5 science curriculum that meshes with its mandate as an environmental magnet school; and d) guiding several schools in the creation of outdoor classrooms with features that will enhance the Life and Earth Science components of their respective science curricula. I am also involved in the ongoing monitoring of developmental features of the trail system of the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve, scheduled for completion in the latter part of 2012.
Jerry Schierloh
2010 Brandwein Fellow

When I left my position as Assistant Director of the Paul F-Brandwein Institute, I became the Executive Director for the Dutchess County Environmental Management Council (EMC) in 2001. In 2006, I moved on and joined the Rutgers 4-H Youth Development Program as the Program Associate for Sussex County, New Brunswick, New Jersey. I’m a member of the Brandwein Board of Directors and take an active role in developing the Brandwein Nature Learning Preserve.
David Foord
2010 Brandwein Fellow