Tropical Ecology Institute: Meet the Team
Participants of the 2018 Tropical Ecology Institute
|Auxiliadora (Dora) Ack
Standard 5 Teacher
Big Falls R. C. School, Toledo District, Belize
Hobbies: Reading, traveling, gardening, swimming
Looking forward to: I want to get first-hand information about the ecosystems and identify the interactions of living things within them so that I can arouse my children’s curiosity this coming school year.
Arendell Parrott Academy, Lenoir County
Hobbies: Photography, Reading, and spending time with family
Looking forward to: Visiting a tropical rainforest and snorkeling in a coral reef. I’m also excited about having the opportunity to bring back real-life experiences to enhance my classroom.
Family and Consumer Science Teacher
Mount Vernon Middle School, Wake County
Hobbies: Baking, reading and learning, thrifting, and hiking and adventuring with my husband and pup
Looking forward to: Seeing animals I’ve never seen before, experiencing a new culture and meeting new people, hiking in a rainforest, and saying “YES” to new adventures!
7th Grade Science Teacher
Moore Square Middle School, Wake County
Hobbies: Dancing, playing/hanging out with my dog, reading, finding and cooking new Pinterest recipes, bullet journaling, dreaming of home projects that are out of my budget
Looking forward to: Stepping out of my comfort zone and into the natural beauty of Belize to learn more about what it means to be an environmental steward and learn ways to ignite a passion for science and curiosity in my students. Oh, and seeing some awesome animals would be cool, too!
Holly Springs High School, Wake County
Hobbies: Photography, painting, gardening and enjoying the outdoors!
Looking forward to: Adventuring into complex and beautiful ecosystems, learning from Belizean educators and museum staff about the rich culture and biodiversity of Belize, and documenting and sharing the experience with my colleagues and loved ones.
Polk County High School, Polk County
Hobbies: Hiking, reading, petting any animal I can!
Looking forward to: I want to see new animals and ecosystems while experiencing a different culture and climate. I can’t wait to reignite my passion for science and try to pass that passion to my students.
Cane Creek Middle School, Buncombe County
Hobbies: Traveling, camping, hiking, mountain biking
Looking forward to: Exploring a new place and thinking of ways I can share this experience with my students!
Visitor Experience Coordinator
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher, New Hanover County
Hobbies: Running, reading, traveling, hanging out with my husband and dogs
Looking forward to: Revisiting a few familiar sights while also seeing some new things. Connecting with the culture in Belize is a big plus for me, as well!
Middle School Science Teacher/K-12 Science Coach
IC Imagine Public Charter School, Buncombe County
Hobbies: Gardening, reading, spending time with my family, traveling
Looking forward to: Exploring a new culture and place to bring back to my students and teachers.
Saint Agnes Anglican School, La Democracia Village, Belize
Hobbies: Volleyball, Restaurants, Teaching Math, Being with family
Looking forward to: Getting away from the stifling heat, meeting some interesting people and experiencing something completely new.
Seventh Grade Science Teacher
Sampson Middle School, Sampson County
Hobbies: Hiking, art, reading, photography, gardening
Looking forward to: Getting to see and experience first-hand the tropical rainforest and the coral reefs.
Orange High School, Orange County
Hobbies: Reading, cooking, fitness with friends, reality TV and hanging out with my family whenever I can.
Looking forward to: EVERYTHING! I am especially excited about experiencing all of the various ecosystems, seeing the places I read about in “Jaguar” and “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw,” snorkeling and learning about coral reef ecology, experiencing Belizean culture and building relationships that will impact not only my life but those of my students as well.
Camden County High School, Camden County
Hobbies: Reading, outdoor activities, and watching my children’s eyes sparkle as they experience new things
Looking forward to: Experiencing a new culture, learning about the many environments (like mangroves) that we are going to be immersed in, and bringing back a treasure trove of knowledge to share with my students.
Forest View Elementary, Durham County
Hobbies: LEARNING, nature, cooking, traveling, and organizing things
Looking forward to: I am always excited about learning new ways to bring an appreciation of culture and love of nature to the students of Durham.
Museum Staff Leaders
Chief, School and Lifelong Education
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wake County
Looking forward to: Sharing the amazing ecosystems of Belize with a new group of educators. I’m excited to connect with long-time friends in Belize as well!
Chief, Research and Collections and Deputy Director of the Museum
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Wake County
Looking forward to: Rediscovering the tropics through the eyes of people who have never seen it.
ArtWork, Wake County
Looking forward to: Because travel has been such a big part in my own personal growth I look forward to watching how the Belize experience impacts and changes the NC teachers
Belize City, Belize
Looking forward to: Sharing my country with a new group of teachers and visiting with my friends from North Carolina.