By ANDREA JOHNSON
Julia Koble points to the Arctic Svalbard, where she will travel in June, on a globe and in the atlas.
Julia Koble will be headed off on another adventure next month.
The Minot High School-Central Campus biology teacher is one of 14 teachers nationwide who have been chosen as National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows, all of whom will embark on a Lindblad Expeditions voyage to Arctic Svalbard, within 600 miles of the North Pole.
"I can't wait!" said Koble. "How many people go to the Arctic Circle?"
The fellowships are awarded to teachers who best demonstrate excellence in geography education. Eight of the 14, including Koble, had previously participated in National Geographic's National Teacher Leadership Academy: Ocean at La Jolla, Calif.
Koble has won a number of awards and fellowships and was a North Dakota teacher of the year winner a decade ago. Last spring Koble was selected as a 2011 Siemens STEM Fellow learned about new ways to use technology and social media in the classroom during a week-long professional development program at Discovery Education's global headquarters in Silver Spring, Md.
"I'm very curious and I like to explore," said Koble, which is why she embraces so many opportunities. She had thought she might be too busy to go on the week-long Arctic Circle cruise, but once she saw the pictures of earlier trips she just had to apply.
Koble said she will be able to use what she learns during the expedition in her classroom. She will take photos and video of the animals she sees and the landscapes and hopes to take samples that she will be able to use in experiments in her classroom. She had expected the Arctic Circle to be very quiet, but she said it apparently makes a lot of noise.
"I was just shocked to hear how loud it is," said Koble, who attended a preparatory conference in Washington, D.C., last week and heard from teachers who had gone on previous expeditions. Koble plans to record the sound for a group project on eco-caching she is working with another group on. She'll record the GPS coordinates of the places and upload them to Google Earth.
Next year she'll be able to use what she learned at the Arctic Circle in teaching students about energy matter and about the climate cycle and climate change, she said.
There will be an underwater specialist and a naturalist aboard the expedition who will help the teachers.
Teachers on the cruise will also be expected to teach children aboard the cruise ship who are vacationing with their families, so Koble will have lesson plans prepared. She also plans to blog about what she sees on a Google blog and link it to the school website and to Facebook, but she said there will be intermittent Internet access so she might have to upload it when she gets back.
"I'm going to document everything," said Koble, who is eager to share it with her family, including her 6-month-old grandson when he's a little older.
"Hopefully we'll keep him very open to exploration," said Koble.