It was Hayden Turner who first introduced us to the incredible idea of broadcasting safaris into schools. Whilst in Djuma he took a number of children from schools in the UK on a virtual safari. 

WE realised that school safaris can play a huge part in WildEarth’s mission to help conserve our world through connecting people to nature. The young people on this planet are our future and if WE can create a love in them for all things wild then in turn they will help to preserve the planet.

In January of this year I received an email from Erik Moore. He is an Instructional Technology Specialist for Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia in the USA.

He stumbled across safariLIVE in November 2015 whilst searching for LIVE streams that might be useful in geography classes at his school. An Instructional Technology Specialist helps teachers transform learning through the use of purposeful technology integration in the classroom. He is a strong believer that technology has transformed the way we live our lives and is now transforming the way we teach our students in schools.

It just so happened that Graham and I were travelling to Washington DC for a television conference in January and this meant it was the perfect time for us to meet Erik. He very kindly agreed to drive from Virginia Beach to DC and met with us at our hotel. 

When I think back to that meeting I cannot believe that it was only 3 months ago and now looking at how much WE have achieved since then is incredible. I have to say that it really is all down to Erik and his true belief that safariLIVE can make a difference in children’s lives. Since then we have had over 1,000 Virginia Beach students join us on safari from over 11 schools and many more that are waiting to enjoy the experience.

Outside of his work, Erik’s time is consumed by his dogs, fishing, photography, and family. He trains his two very large Labrador Retrievers for at least two hours every day to do what they were bred to do – retrieve. They are inseparable. He also spends countless hours on his boat in the Atlantic, Chesapeake Bay and local rivers. He loves to fish and photograph nature. He is a family man with a huge love of nature and WE are very glad to have met him.

I have written this blog to thank Erik and make sure that our WE family all know what he has achieved. With the help of Kristin Sanderlin who is the other Instructional Technology Specialist at Landstown High School they have achieved wonders. 

Erik would love for the school safaris to spread from Virginia Beach to the rest of Virginia and the other 49 states. He is hoping to do a presentation on how Virginia Beach teachers are incorporating the school drives into their classrooms at a state wide conference in December which will hopefully attract other tech savvy and innovative teachers to jump on board with their students.

“safariLIVE makes learning fun, relevant, interesting and personalized. It gives our students access to real world learning experiences from experts across a vast ocean on another continent” – Erik Moore.

A big thank you to Erik and Krissy and WE look forward to many more years of working together.

Emily Wallington