Teachers from all over the U.S. gathered in San Marcos, Texas earlier this month for the 2012 National Council for Geographic Education Conference. A number of sessions offered an opportunity for educators to incorporate new ideas, research, and subjects into their curriculums, including how to stop the spread of aquatic invaders through creative student stewardship projects.
IISG Associate Director for Education Robin Goettel co-presented with Kathy Shelley, an outstanding teacher from Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa, Illinois. Kathy was chosen to participate thanks to her exemplary classroom community stewardship projects, which came about from her participation in an IISG “Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers” teacher workshop. 
During the presentation, Kathy shared her students’ projects, designed to inform their community about the threats posed to the Fox Chain of Lakes by invasive species, as well as steps that everyone could take to reduce their spread. Some of the projects included posters, brochures, and holding a boat wash at a local marina to remove zebra mussels.
During the geography education session, educators engaged in a mapping activity that showed the origins and destinations of many aquatic and marine invaders. They also played the Nab the Aquatic Invader card game based on impacts of “Top 10 Most Wanted Suspects” on the Nab the Aquatic Invader website.
This presentation was made possible through the Comprehensive Regional Public Outreach Campaign on AIS, a GLRI grant funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.