A Summer Spent Outside

GPS Blog
The newest Tucker River Fellows explored the great outdoors for some hands-on learning.

Designed to prepare future leaders to understand and have an impact on the conservation of the Tennessee River, Tucker River Fellows is an endowed, multiyear cocurricular program started by the Board of Trustees and named after former headmaster Randy Tucker. Selected prior to their freshman year, Fellows spend part of their summers and following academic years engaged in experiential learning about the many issues impacting their local watershed. As they continue in the program over the years, they work on group projects and individual projects that will benefit their own backyard.

Last week, the newly inducted Fellows, who are rising freshmen, participated in a variety of activities to get to better know and understand Chattanooga’s outdoor landscape. These included:
  • a two-day overnight kayak adventure in the Tennessee River Gorge
  • A night hike to listen to the sounds of the woods
    • (Did you know? “Amphibians can often be a warning sign of an unhealthy ecosystem because they take in their environment through their skin and spend time on land and in water,” said Emma Virginia Birbaum ’27.)
  • A viewing of short films Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia and Brook Trout 
  • a tour of the Moccasin Bend Wastewater Treatment Facility
  • seine fishing at South Chickamauga Creek with scientists from TNACI (Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute)
  • … and more!
As a part of their learning, they were encouraged to write blog posts about their experiences. (Read those here!)
During the upcoming school year, the freshman Fellows will continue exploring the outdoor community, identifying local watershed issues and solutions, and presenting information and findings to the greater community under the leadership of Tucker River Fellows sponsor Dr. Brandon Noel.