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Below The Surface

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Faces at ECHO

Summer is always a lot of fun here at ECHO and there is always something new!  This year we have the new Action Lab exhibit space with activities for teens and adults, we have the new Lakeside Hall where we’ll be offering special programming and, of course, we have our newest traveling exhibit Bigger than T-Rex – all about the largest dinosaurs that roamed the earth!  Helping us make sure that everything is fun and engaging are some new faces working with out guests here at ECHO. We wanted to introduce you to this great group of folks who be sharing their enthusiasm and experience with ECHO guests every day. Please come on down this summer and welcome them to the greater-ECHO community.

Diantha Driscoll
Hi my name is Diantha Driscoll and I am recent graduate of UVM's Secondary Education program. I previously volunteered here at ECHO in the education department and now am very excited to be a part of the summer education team! We have had a great start to the summer so far - we even got to sail on Lake Champlain! My favorite thing about this summer so far has been interacting with guests (young and old!) out on the floor. I am looking forward to working with the education team to deliver demos and create activities for Wacky Wednesdays - a day in which a totally crazy, fun activity is planned to engage the brain, move the body, and create contraptions!

Cassidy Francik
Hi! My name is Cassidy Francik and I recently graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in animal science.  Before joining the awesome ECHO intern team, I had a chance to explore the world, particularly the world of science!  I have experience in various animal hospitals, zoos, and laboratories and even in the African savannah.  Within one week I was quickly captivated by ECHO’s growing adult education curriculum displayed in the “Action Lab”, which exemplifies the type of learning I love: experiential.  This hands-on lab for teens and adults has easily captured my attention, and I cannot wait to build upon my own experiences with future guests.  Given my background and past adventures, I have been mainly behind the scenes, but this summer will provide me with an opportunity to get out in front of the public and advocate for what I am most passionate about: nature near and far from us!  I cannot wait to meet and greet neighbors of the Burlington community and visitors from around the world.

Clair Gallagher
Hi my name is Claire Gallagher and I am a summer educational intern here at ECHO. I am a recent graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in elementary education. So far we have learned how to interact with guests through questioning and conversation in order to make visitors feel welcome and appreciated at the science center. My favorite thing so far has been working with the sea tank and observing the animal creatures.  I am excited to learn how to promote sustainability and stewardship of the lake.

Rachel Miller
Hi folks, Rachel Miller here. Asked to describe myself, I would say I am a very happy "life-long learner". I received my BA in Liberal Arts with high honors from Johnson State College in 2001. I come to ECHO with strong administrative and customer service skills and an endless curiosity to learn about the natural world around me. I have also learned many things from living and traveling abroad, and my experience as a professional singer and Arts producer. Although I have only been at ECHO for a week, I've got a favorite experience to share: there is a snapping turtle that is so phenomenal that he captures my attention every time I pass his tank, and I must give him a daily morning and evening greeting when I pass him by!  My goal for joining ECHO is to use my knowledge and communication skills to help educate both children and adults about the very exciting world of ECHO and the Champlain Basin.

Connor Gallagher
Hello everyone! My name is Connor Gallagher and I am a Summer Education Intern here at ECHO.  When I am not working at ECHO, I teach marine science to students on Catalina Island in California.  I love all outdoor activities, but my favorites involve water, especially SCUBA diving.  The best part about my job at ECHO is working with all of our awesome guests at the sea tank.  Everyone asks the best questions and pushes me to be a better educator and more curious scientist.  I look forward to our events on Wacky Wednesdays when our staff and guests can be wild and fun in the name of science and Lake Champlain.

Welcome to all our new educators and let's have a GREAT summer down here at ECHO on the Burlington waterfront!




Monday, June 3, 2013

Thank You E-Team!


The 2012-2013 academic year was a great one for ECHO, in part because of the amazing group of teens in our teen leadership program, the E-Team. Every year I get to be a part of this program is a treat, but this year had some highlights I just had to share.  

Enthusiastically communicating with guests
Every Wednesday afternoon, from October through May, twelve teens learned about lake science, stewardship, culture, and history. They honed  customer service skills, developed public speaking abilities, and became an integral part of our programming every weekend. Together, they learned nearly twenty-five programs, served over 1,500 hours working at ECHO, and helped run  programs on MLK Jr day, where we welcomed our largest audience to date,  1816 visitors!  

Making Buttons on a busy day!
Most recently the E-Team contributed to the Leahy Environmental Summit which took place here at ECHO May 29 and 30. They shared a video they created of stories they collected from interviews of people at ECHO and on Church Street Marketplace in Burlington. Folks answered questions about Lake Champlain and why they thought  clean water is important. 

This year the E-Team also coordinated and hosted the first E-Team reunion so past and present participants can keep in touch and share stories. 

Helping our visitors explore a deer skull
As if all this wasn't enough, the E-Team successfully hosted a Community Science Night  to celebrate the local mentoring community. More than 500 guests were delighted and entertained at an after hours event in March. 

A huge thank you to all the member of this year's E-Team from the entire staff at ECHO. Your dedication, energy, excitement, and commitment to our community is inspirational and we hope the lessons learned here at ECHO will help you as you grow to become young adults and the leaders of the next generation. 

Well done! 
Great work team - 
come back to ECHO soon!