LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Oct. 19, 2017 - Leading environmental education and youth leadership nonprofit EarthEcho International is bringing 26 U.S.-based middle school teachers from across the country on an exploration of water scarcity in Southern California. Led by explorer and environmental advocate Philippe Cousteau, Jr., EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design takes place October 23-27, through the support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. The initiative is part of EarthEcho Expeditions, an annual program that leverages the rich Cousteau legacy of exploration and discovery to bring STEM education alive for today’s 21st Century learners and their educators.

“EarthEcho Expeditions provides educators with the opportunity to bring the frontlines of environmental science and solutions into the classroom through exciting first-hand experiences that they can share with students around the world,” said Philippe Cousteau, Jr., founder of EarthEcho International. “Water quality and scarcity are growing issues for communities worldwide. The resources created through EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design will help inspire and equip a new generation of environmental champions and problem solvers to create a brighter, more sustainable future starting in their own communities.”

Philippe Cousteau Jr.’s EarthEcho International and the Northrop Grumman Foundation Bring Real World Science and Exploration to the Classroom with EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design

Philippe Cousteau and South American students working in the stormwater treatment areas with the South Florida Water Management District during EarthEcho Expedition: Beyond the Dead Zone

The participating teachers - or EarthEcho Expedition Fellows - will learn firsthand from scientists and engineers in Southern California by examining how urban communities are implementing community resilience practices to better manage water resources. Water by Design will explore issues of water management and scarcity as they relate to the impacts of the ongoing drought on both human health and development and natural coastal and ocean systems. Expedition Fellows will experience on-site production of video resources and participate in collaborative curriculum development of adventure-based STEM learning modules. These modules will introduce students across the world to the innovative engineering and technology solutions being implemented to conserve water resources. During 2018, the EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design modules created by these teachers for middle school classrooms will be distributed digitally to schools across the world at no charge.  

EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design Expedition Fellows will explore a broad range of water-related issues and solutions including the following:

  • Exploration of the water supply that provides water for the more than 10 million Los Angeles county residents with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

  • Examination of the innovative technology used to predict water resource availability with NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory and Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Understanding the process of desalinization at the West Basin Water Education Center to explore how to safely and effectively use ocean water to supplement the regional water supply

  • Visiting one of the largest aquaponics farms in the U.S. to understand how this innovative farming practice can reduce water resource consumption.

Selected from hundreds of submissions nationwide, the EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design Expedition Fellows bring diverse experiences and a passion for sharing STEM learning with their students.  A full list of the 2017 Fellows and the schools they represent can be found at the end of this press release. You can also learn more about these remarkable teachers by visiting the EarthEcho website.

“We are thrilled to support teachers for the 2017 EarthEcho expedition in Southern California,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of global corporate responsibility, and president, the Northrop Grumman Foundation.  “This is a unique opportunity for middle school teachers to experience an expedition first hand and bring the topic of water scarcity and the innovative engineering and technology solutions addressing the issue back into their classrooms.  This initiative is closely tied to the company’s commitment to supporting environmental awareness and stewardship and we are proud to partner with EarthEcho to bring this opportunity to life.”

EarthEcho Expeditions: Water by Design is made possible through the generous support of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. In addition, the following organizations are collaborating with EarthEcho Expeditions to provide experts, resources and one-of-a kind educator experiences: West Basin Municipal Water District; Orange County Water District; The Ocean Institute; Los Angeles Water and Power; Future Foods Farms; Environmental Charter School; NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory; NASA Airborne Snow Observatory; The North Face;  Washington Middle School; and The Journey School.

For more information and updates on EarthEcho Expedition: Water by Design follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/earthecho  Twitter: www.twitter.com/earthecho and Instagram: www.instagram.com/earthecho/. Check in with Philippe Cousteau and our Expedition Fellows by following #expeditionee. 


EarthEcho 2017 Expedition Fellows



City, State

School Name

Grade Level

Adrian Polizu

Torrance, CA

Madrona Middle School

7 & 8

Amy Truemper

Aurora, IL

Bednarcik Junior High School

7 & 8

Csilla Koppany

La Habra, CA

Imperial Middle School


Daryth Morrissey

Fountain Valley, CA

Vista View Middle School

7 & 8

Debra Brice

San Marcos, CA

San Marcos Middle School


Erika Magdalena Coronado

South Gate, CA

South Gate Middle School STEM Magnet


Heather Hendricks

Palmdale, CA

The Palmdale Aerospace Academy


Jim Trogdon

Coventry, OH

Coventry Middle School


Jinny Jung

North Hollywood, CA

Walter Reed Middle School

7 & 8

Katie Cohen

Oak Park, CA

Medea Creek Middle School


Kelsey McFadden

Los Angeles, CA

Girls Academic Leadership Academy

6 & 7

Kerry Cogan

Lawndale, CA

Will Rogers Middle School

6 & 8

Kim Jones

Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Starr King Middle School - Environmental STEAM Magnet


Laura Griffith

Los Angeles, CA

Arroyo Seco Museum Science Magnet School

7 & 8

Lawrence Ramos

Los Angeles, CA

Emerson Community Charter Middle School


Marianna O'Brien

Santa Monica, CA

Lincoln Middle School


Mary Shalaby

Lawndale, CA

Will Rogers Middle School


Mike Hale

Ladera Ranch, CA

Ladera Ranch Middle School

7 & 8

Susan Tate

Whitehall, MI

Whitehall Middle School


Tara O'Gorman

Scarsdale, NY

Casimir Pulaski School


Tashanda Giles-Jones

Inglewood, CA

Environmental Charter Middle School


Teresa Sikora

Rockledge, FL

Andersen Elementary School


Veronica Gardea

Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Starr King Environmental STEAM Magnet


Wendy Martinez

Arroyo Grande, CA

Harloe Elementary School


Winston Chang

South Gate, CA

Valiente College Preparatory Charter School

5 & 6

For more information about Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation, visit the www.northropgrumman.com/foundation