HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Blade Shepherd-Jones just completed a 10-day expedition to an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
"Arctic Svalbard is basically a living classroom," he said.
Through the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program, Shepherd-Jones took part in a National Geographic-Lindblad Expedition to Svalbard for exploration, professional development and sightseeing.
"It was amazing to see this beautiful place in the Arctic, a place I never thought I'd see in my lifetime ever," he said.
He saw caribou, polar bears, whales and walruses. He was in snow for the first time and even took a polar plunge.
His dreams came true.
"I am very happy that he had this great experience in the Arctic, in Svalbard," said his wife, Ayako.
But Shepherd-Jones also saw the impact man has had on such a pristine place.
“Unfortunately there was debris ― fishing lines, soap bottles, ocean cans,” he said.
Shepherd-Jones teaches science at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School. He’ll turn what he witnessed into lessons for his students.
"Hopefully using me as a vessel I can bring this back to them and share these same experiences of this Arctic wonderland,, just to make the classroom more real and exciting, making it more than just words on a page,” he said.
Shepherd-Jones encourages other teachers to expand their horizons like he did on his adventure of a lifetime.