Teachers today must train each student to be an adaptive, independent thinker to succeed in their own unpredictable future.
Michael Town 2011 Fellow
2011 Fellow Technology, Engineering, and Communication High School Seattle, Washington
Michael Town’s life as a researcher took form when he became part of a winter crew of two managing a South Pole investigation on the greenhouse effect of clouds and gases. Despite the many challenges, human and environmental, he loved it. “It set the cast for the kind of a scientist I would be.” While working towards a PhD in atmospheric science at the University of Washington, Michael also pursued his other passion, Taekwondo. He taught adults and at-risk youth in a Seattle studio. “I found great enjoyment teaching and training alongside my students.”
Upon earning his PhD, Michael spent a little over two years continuing his research on polar climates in Seattle, Wash., and then in Grenoble, France. While he had access to first-class colleagues and facilities, and was successfully publishing and presenting his research, Michael also felt more and more removed from humanity. “I was cutting valuable interests out of my life. Eventually, there would have been nothing left of me but science.” As a teacher, he wants his “students to use experience and experiment to develop the same intuition about their physical environment as I did for the South Pole.”
Michael graduated from Shaker Heights High School and earned his BS from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He is a recipient of the Antarctic Service Medal for one continuous year of field work at the South Pole, and a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honors Society. He plays guitar and is a keen gardener.