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County: Hampden

Town: Chicopee

Mr. Robert Brodeur has been an innovative leader in delivering environmental education at the high school level for more than 40 years, first at the former Cathedral High School and now at Pope Francis High School in Chicopee, MA. In his Honors Biology II/Aquaculture program, he and his students raised tilapia fish to examine the practicality of fish farming, compared to the energy-intensive process of raising cattle for meat production, to satisfy the protein needs of a growing world population. The class also experimented with recirculating aquaculture systems for water conservation, using a large fish tank in the classroom. Mr. Brodeur also teaches an Environmental Science course and Earth Science, typically the first course freshmen take in the school’s science program. Earth Science examines the Earth’s material and energy resources and discusses what students can do to conserve those resources, including recycling. The course also evaluates alternative energy sources and choices students can make that will have an impact. In Environmental Science (currently called Ecosystems and Sustainability), Mr. Brodeur teaches “The Five Principles of Ecosystem Sustainability” and what can be done to make our lives more sustainable. His Oceanography class looks specifically at the structure and function of ocean ecosystems. Mr. Brodeur is an accomplished educator who uses his spare time to further develop his field knowledge. He has done graduate work in aquaculture and marine science through Shoals Marine Laboratory (Isle of Shoals, NH), Cornell University (NY), and Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (FL). In the summer of 2004, he participated in the Teacher-at-Sea program with scientists from UCONN aboard the NOAA research vessel Ron Brown. In an expedition out of Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution, they studied soft corals in canyons on the continental slope of George’s Bank along the New England coast. Mr. Brodeur is also a member of Massachusetts Marine Educators.

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