"I think my students are pretty excited about the experience. They're asking a lot of questions. Some don't seem thrilled about having a substitute teacher, but overall the response has been pretty positive," he said.
During the 11-day trip, Green will collect environmental data for scientists to plug into their research on climate change.
"The Churchill area is a perfect geographic indicator of climate change since it is located right at the transition zone of where the Boreal forest begins changing into the Arctic tundra. We will be trained to use data collection tools that utilize the latest technology for measuring tree growth, plant density and permafrost levels. However, we will also be using old-fashioned methods like taking tree core samples, counting growth rings and laying on the cold ground to count tree seedlings per square meter with a hand lens," Green said. "This is a unique opportunity to volunteer and to serve for a worthy cause that will help our planet and educate our youth on climate change."
When Green returns to school on Sept. 21, Pope High School will receive a $250 grant to start a project that promotes environmental sustainability.
"At this point, I am considering a plan to promote community awareness in the support of locally grown organic foods such as farmer's markets and Community Supported Agriculture, as opposed to foods that are trucked in or shipped from faraway places. The point being to reduce carbon footprint, oil consumption, pesticides and greenhouse gases - all elements that contribute to climate change," he said.
Green has been teaching horticulture and landscaping at Pope High School for the past nine years. His previous educator expeditions include assignments in Cost Rica, Japan and the Galapagos Islands, said Doug Goodwin, spokesman for the Cobb County School District.
HSBC in the Community sponsored Green and 10 other teachers who attended the Earthwatch Institute "Climate Change At the Arctic's Edge Expedition." Earthwatch is a world leader in the field of experiential education. Every year, the organization provides field research opportunities for more than 3,000 volunteers who have a commitment to broaden their understanding of sustainability and conservation research.
For more information, visit www.earthwatch.org or call (800) 776-0188.