Curtis, Katie

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MS Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College
BA Geology Colby College

I grew up at Hebron Academy, a boarding school in Maine, and loved the close, supportive community a boarding school provides. The excellent math and science teachers I had while at Hebron inspired me to pursue a career teaching math and science. As a child, I spent my summers paddling throughout western and northern Maine on week-long canoe trips with my family, instilling in me a passion for the outdoors. While a student at Colby, I discovered that geology allowed me to study the areas of Maine I loved so much and helped me understand how the landscape formed.

I started rowing and quickly fell in love with the sport. I was a First Team All-American my senior year and rowed at a National Team Development Camp the summer after graduating. As a graduate student at Dartmouth studying fluvial geomorphology (specifically how dams impacted New England rivers), I coached crew for Hanover High School and the Upper Valley Rowing Foundation.

After graduating, I started working for the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH for three years where I traveled throughout the United States studying rivers. I was responsible for writing manuals that instructed Army Corps of Engineer Regulators how to delineate stream boundaries. It was a phenomenal experience as it provided numerous opportunities to hike throughout the Western US while doing research, but I enjoyed the teaching aspect of the job more than the research. I taught Geology and Environmental Science and Pre-Algebra at Falmouth Academy on Cape Cod for three years. In the summer, I lead the Junior Maine Guide program at the Bryant Pond 4-H Camp, training teenagers the practical skills to safely lead backpacking and canoe trips. The final week of the program is spent at a Testing Camp in Oquossoc, Maine where the students are tested on numerous skills ranging from axemanship to map and compass to first aid. The JMG program is life-changing for many people who go through it and it is incredible to be a part of the program. During my free time, I go on outdoor adventures with my English Springer Spaniel, Kineo.

What book has made you think the most? There are quite a few that fall in this category. Richard Louv's "Last Child in the Woods" is one I've read recently that describes how fewer children are spending time outside, leading to more struggles focusing in school. The book is a must-read for anyone interested in outdoor education.

What teacher has had the greatest impact on you? Why were they special? My parents, who were my teachers for 2 years each- my mom for Kindergarten and 1st grade and my dad for Honors and AP Chemistry. The dedication my parents showed to their students was truly inspiring. 

Beyond my parents, though, there were plenty of teachers at Hebron Academy who were fantastic role models. The two who made the greatest impact were Ms. Gerrits-Leyden and Mrs. Found. Ms. G-L taught me Algebra 1 and Geometry. Mrs. Found taught my 9th grade science class where I was first introduced to geology. Both teachers challenged me while being very encouraging and supportive. Their mentorship and friendship has continued throughout my life, as both have offered extensive advice and material for the classes I've taught at Falmouth and Dublin.

What is your favorite course you have taken in high school or college? While a graduate student at Dartmouth, I was a teaching assistant for a portion of the semester-long off-campus field program for Earth Science majors. I spent a month studying the geology in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Dinosaur, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks. Nothing can come close to a hands-on course that is taught in such unique, beautiful places as the National Parks.

If I had a free afternoon I would... Go for a hike (or snowshoe in the winter) with my dog, Kineo.

What is your favorite outdoor activity? Anything involving being on the water- whether canoeing, rowing, or kayaking, especially early in the morning when the lake or river is perfectly calm and the only sounds are the water dripping off the blades.

Dublin School

Dublin School, Schoolhouse Rd, Dublin, NH, 03444, United States