The day has finally arrived for the Alcoa Fellows from Hungary and the United States to leave for the Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic. Making it through the application process and being selected as Alcoa Fellows to an Earthwatch Expedition was only the beginning. We’ve made it through teleconferences, a multitude of email clarifications, packing and repacking, and countless reviews of the Expedition Briefing. The excitement and anticipation of this wonderful opportunity has finally come to its pinnacle as we each board our planes, trains, and busses to reach our destination in the Jizera Mountains.
Each of us have our own set of goals and expectations for this adventure. “I am so excited!” says Hajnalka Rusko. She is looking forward to getting her hands dirty doing scientific work in the field for two full weeks. By doing so, she hopes to contribute to Alcoa’s environmental commitment to her home country of Hungary as well as to the rest of the world.
Tatiana Yuzhakova was quite pleased to be awarded the fellowship to the Czech Republic in part because of its proximity and similarities to her home in Hungary. Since both countries are members of the European Union, they both are subject to environmental initiatives
by the European Commission. Tatiana hopes this expedition will give her an excellent idea of how to implement a community action plan back home in Hungary where she teaches environmentalism at the University of Pannonia.
As a science educator in Alcoa, Tennessee, Shawn Kerr is excited about the opportunity to “learn by doing” as he encourages all of his students to do. Thanks to the Alcoa Foundation, students and community members will reap the rewards of this
expedition for years to come. “I’m looking forward to the field work that deals with similar environmental issues that are facing the Appalachian Mountains.”
Although leaving our friends and family for over two weeks will be a challenge, the new friends, colleagues, and experiences that will be gained on the expedition will be well worth the time away from home. Stay tuned.
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