Blas shares her love for the environment with students - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Blas shares her love for the environment with students

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Up in Yigo at Simon Sanchez High School, you'll find a passionate marine biology teacher, fittingly at the Home of the Sharks.

It is rare to find teacher Melanie Blas without a smile on her face. That's because she loves what she does - teaching young people about the ocean and its inhabitants. She says at first, she was eyeing a career as a pediatrician, remembering that she really enjoyed teaching really enjoyed teaching, initially as a side job." Starting off teaching earth science and biology, Blas says she was lucky when an opening for a marine biology teacher became available. It has been a love of hers ever since.

"It's almost like you're not working, you enjoy it so much," she beamed. "There's so much you can do on this island." Blas has been teaching for 19 years at the Yigo campus and has anywhere between 60-90 kids a day. And although she may not have enough textbooks, she enjoys utilizing other resources. "We use the Internet, we use other sources – books, magazines, etc. We do so much service learning."

Students in her class often travel to elementary schools and teach the kids about everything from what is a watershed to why it is important to plant trees. "They do appreciate our resources. They appreciate our corals, the beauty of our island. They learn about proper environmental stewardship," she said.

And with the school year ending in a couple of months, Blas hopes her students walk away knowing they can make a difference, saying, "There are lots of things they can do to help this island be more sustainable, and to continue to support the activities to teach others."

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