Photo Release -- A Classroom Under the Canopy: U.S. Science Teachers Invited to Apply for Unique Program to Enhance Skills

Photo Release -- A Classroom Under the Canopy: U.S. Science Teachers Invited
to Apply for Unique Program to Enhance Skills Through Biological Fieldwork

Northrop Grumman Foundation and Conservation International's ECO Classroom
Program is Now Accepting Applications for 2013 Costa Rica Expedition

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Feb. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an ongoing effort to
help teachers develop the next generation of scientists, Northrop Grumman
Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Conservation International (CI) announced today
that they are accepting applications for the 2013 ECO Classroom program and
extending the entry deadline to March 31. Four teams of four teachers will be
selected for an all-expenses-paid trip to Costa Rica this summer to join
scientists doing field work in a tropical forest.

ECO Classroom (a)
 The first "class" of teachers who
 participated in ECO Classroom's
 professional development training in
 Costa Rica.

ECO Classroom (b)
 2012 ECO Classroom participants on a
 guided nature walk at La Selva
 Biological Station, Costa Rica.

Photos accompanying this release are available at

Applications are now being accepted for the next trip taking place this
summer. To learn more about the program or to apply to participate, visit the

As a unique and innovative nationwide professional development program
designed for public middle and high school science teachers, ECO Classroom was
created by the Northrop Grumman Foundation in collaboration with the nonprofit
development organization Conservation International (CI). The program offers
teachers supplemental tools and real-world experiences that inspire students
to pursue science and technical careers.

"We were thrilled with the first class of ECO Classroom educators and look
forward to the 2013 program," said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the
Northrop Grumman Foundation. "We look to build on last year's success by
expanding professional development opportunities for educators and making
real-world science connections with students in their classrooms."

The ECO Classroom program brings groups of public school teachers from across
the United States –to CI's Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM)
Network ( Volcan Barva site in La Selva
Biological Station and Braulio Carrillo National Park in Costa Rica, where
they participate in field data collection on plant and animal biodiversity,
climate and land use using TEAM scientific protocols.

"What better way to inspire teachers to be passionate about ecology and
environmental science than to take them to a tropical forest?" asked Sandy
Andelman, Senior Vice President of Conservation International. "Building on
last year's success, we're excited to bring our second team of teachers to the
site in Costa Rica to become part of the TEAM group, using cutting-edge
technology to study how climate change is affecting tropical forests," she

It is widely acknowledged among educators and policymakers that insufficient
numbers of students are entering into science, technology, engineering and
mathematics fields. One way to address this issue and emphasize environmental
stewardship is to motivate educators to engage students in the sciences and to
bring unique learning opportunities into their classrooms with real-world
curricula and hands-on experiences such as ECO Classroom.

During last year's inaugural two-week expedition, 16 ECO Classroom teachers
from across the United States conducted group projects in the field and
created lessons based on their projects dealing with land use, forest carbon
sequestration, geographic information system mapping and natural resource
management using TEAM scientific protocols. They then returned to their
schools with an in-depth understanding of the interrelationship between
biodiversity, climate change and human activities, and were better equipped
with new techniques and resources to enhance their classroom teaching.

"There is nothing like personal experiences to help to improve the teaching of
your subject," said Beth Platt, a science teacher from Smithtown, N.Y., who
was part of ECO Classroom 2012. "I also developed a wonderful support group
with colleagues in other parts of the country with whom I can share ideas and
lesson plans. I think that all of the participants have grown as educators and
as scientists, and both of these things will benefit our students for years to

About Conservation International

Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field
demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for
nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people.
Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area and employs
more than 800 staff in nearly 30 countries on four continents and works with
more than 1,000 partners around the world.For more information, please see, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for
students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences
in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information
please visit

CONTACT: Mark Root
         Northrop Grumman Corporation
         703-280-2739 (office)
         571-425-2132 (cell)
         Katrin Olson
         Conservation International
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.