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Michael Brunt

I can never, even in a million life times, satisfactorily express my gratitude to Kathy Ellins, Hilary Olsen, Eleanour Snow, and the other staff, presenters, and support members who put together the Texas Earth & Space Science (TXESS) Professional Development Academy at The University of Texas in Austin. Since I began my participation in TXESS Revolution, a little over two years ago, doors have opened that I would never have imagined possible. In 2008, I was awarded an AS-1 seismometer through IRIS’s Seismographs in Schools Program.

Another TXESS participant, David Boyd, and I traveled to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to receive training on our instruments. This simple seismograph has worked wonders for my classroom instruction and has unlocked the world to my students in our remote, border town community of Eagle Pass. Then, in April 2009, I was chosen as one of three teachers in the United States to attend the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly, Geoscience Information for Teachers (GIFT) workshop in Vienna, Austria. The assembly’s theme was “Earth from Space” and the wealth of Earth science instruction and resources that I gained involving satellite imagery is immeasurable and I cannot forget to mention the valuable resources gained through my new international colleagues and friends.

I also displayed two posters at the assembly. The posters presented research and work that I had completed as a TXESS participant. Finally, and just recently, I found out that I was selected to attend the NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium LiftOff Summer Institute this year in Houston. I can only imagine the wealth of space science educational resources that will be presented and enhance my growing library of knowledge.

In my belief, what has become undoubtedly crystal clear, these selections would have never been possible if it were not for my participation in the TXESS Revolution Academy and the efforts of Kathy Ellins, Hilary Olsen, and Eleanour Snow. The TEXSS academy has created a recognizable, foundation to my academic resume that I have been able to build upon. In the last two years, my Earth and space science understanding has multiple hundred-fold and to the point that I now feel confident that I am equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources to tackle almost any ES concept.