Meet Our Teacher Ambassadors: Melinda Landry

As well as working as a high school science teacher in Virginia, NCSE Teacher Ambassador Melinda Landry has facilitated district-wide professional development on how to use case studies to teach science curriculum. She has participated in multiple outreach and training events, including representing northern Virginia at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria, showcasing the Meaningful Watershed Experience program from her district. She is also a certified Virginia Master Naturalist with the Merrimac Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist Program, which leads educational outreach and sustainability programs for the northern Virginia area.

We spoke with Landry recently about her work as an NCSE Teacher Ambassador.

What do you teach? 

AP Environmental Science and Pre-AP Biology.

Why climate change?

First, because it’s part of my curriculum, and second, because every student should learn about climate change. It touches every subject at every grade level. Also, I'm a native Floridian with most of my family still living there; so climate change as it pertains especially to sea-level rise and days over 90 degrees affects my family directly. Since I was born, the number of expected days over 90 degrees in my birth town has almost tripled! I’ve also traveled and lived around the world and have seen first-hand that it is those who pollute the least who will be affected the most by climate change. Coastal fishermen in Greece dealing with warmer waters and reduced fish populations, my Australian friends dealing with drought, and the inhabitants of the Nile Delta region in Egypt with sea level rise affecting the dense population living there. 

Why did you become an NCSE Teacher Ambassador?

I wanted to expand my knowledge of teaching a tough topic. It’s harder when you’re out there “on your own” without a system or support network. Living outside of DC, it’s become an incredibly political topic. I wanted to strengthen my ability to cut through the talking points and teach the science.

How has NCSE supported you or teachers you know in this work?

It’s incredible. Besides the lessons—which are terrific—I have this group of other ambassadors I can depend upon for ideas, lessons, tips, and strategies to truly teach students in a way that makes them resilient against misinformation. The “NCSE Teacher Ambassador” after my name also opens doors to incredible opportunities to share what I’ve learned with others. I’m blessed beyond measure. Teaching is a gift, and sharing ways to improve teaching techniques to other teachers just extends that feeling. I love being a teacher.

Paul Oh
Short Bio

Paul Oh is Director of Communications at NCSE.