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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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US teachers go back to school at JCU

01
Aug 2007

Two New York high school science teachers have been sent back to “school” at James Cook University.

Michelle Seeley from New York’s Elmont Memorial High and Margaret Savitzky from Thomas Edison Vocational/Technical School are in their last week of a five-week internship at JCU.

US teachers go back to school at JCU

Both are science teachers in New York and were selected to come to Australia after graduating from Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Secondary School Science Teachers.

Ms Seeley is working with Dr Morgan Pratchett, who is an Australian Research Fellow with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at JCU, on coral bleaching.

Dr Savitzky is working with Dr Dean Jerry and Dr Brad Evans from JCU’s School of Marine and Tropical Biology on a project involving screening pearl oysters for beneficial genes.

Ms Seeley said that her experience at JCU has provided an important introduction to environmental issues and would be very useful for developing new study units back in the US.

“And after my time here I will be encouraging my future research students to pursue marine studies,” she said.

Dr Savitzky said that genetics and technology were becoming more important topics for the courses she teaches to students from Grade 9 to 12 at Thomas Edison.

“My work here will certainly help me in teaching my students this material since I now have gained tremendous hands-on experience in these topics.”

“Teachers make excellent students”, said Dr Dean Jerry, “and Margie has made a valuable contribution to our current research program”.

Dr Pratchett said that the two teachers would be presenting the results of their research at the 2007 Partners in Science Conference, a national conference of scientists and science teachers in the US.

“The skills they have learnt will be incorporated in the research programs at their respective high schools,” he said, “thereby incorporating Australian science in the future education of American school children.”

Contact:
Dr Margaret Savitzky +61 74781 5227 or (mobile +61 0419 422 815);  Ms Michelle Seeley +61 74781 5227 or (mobile +61 0419 422 815)
Dr Morgan Pratchett +61 74781 5747 (mobile +61 0410 471 801)
JCU Media Liaison, Jim O’Brien +61 7 4781 4822 or +61 0418 892449

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au