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Global Sustainability Project (GSP) - Segerstrom High School


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Thomas M. Pfeifer

Thomas M. PfeiferThomas M. Pfeifer is currently a science teacher at Segerstrom High School in Santa Ana, California. He has been teaching life science courses in Southern California for the last 25 years. Thomas teaches marine biology, environmental field studies, anatomy and physiology. He has taught biology, introductory physical and life science courses, introductory oceanography, introductory world wildlife, and S.D.A.I.E. life, physical, and biological science (Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English). He coached teams who competed in the Science Olympiad, Academic Decathlon and Kiwanis (Quiz) Bowl.

Since 2012, Thomas, in conjunction with the Crystal Cove Alliance, has led marine biology students on Citizen Science Marine Protected Area cruises collecting and identifying plankton samples, completing water quality analysis of seawater and identifying fish species with digital cameras off Crystal Cove State Park. In 2014, Thomas was chosen by the United States Naval Academy and the American Meteorological Society to participate in The Maury Project. The Maury Project is a two-week oceanographic seminar created to train teachers in the basic principles of physical oceanography and ocean science research.

In 2005, Thomas was hired to be one of the founding members of the first fundamental comprehensive high schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District: Segerstrom High School. Thomas coached the first Segerstrom High School Kiwanis (Quiz) Bowl team and lead the team to it’s first district high school tournament win in 2007. Thomas created and implemented the first marine biology curriculum at Segerstrom High School in 2010.The National Marine Educators Association sponsored Thomas to attend their annual conference in Anchorage , Alaska in 2012.

Prior to his work at Segerstrom high, Thomas was an active member of the Dana Hills High School (DHHS) Science Field Study Program from 1990-1998. At DHHS, Thomas participated and became a team coordinator for science field studies that explored the Monterey/Big Sur coastline, Yosemite National Park, Bahia De Las Animas in Baja Mexico, the Mojave Desert, and the Palomar Mountain astronomy field study. Thomas created and implemented the first English Language Development (S.D.A.I.E.) science curriculum specializing in transitioning immigrant second language students to mainstream science coursework. Thomas was awarded a scholarship to attend the American Wilderness Leadership School in the Bridger Teton National Forest in Wyoming in 1997.The Sea and Sage Chapter of the National Audubon Society awarded Thomas a scholarship to attend the Ecology of the Rocky Mountains Outdoor Leadership School in 1998.

From 1999 to 2004 Thomas worked at Santa Ana High School where he taught life science, biology, and anatomy and physiology. He co-coached the Academic Decathlon team and created the first Ocean Explorer Surfing club at Santa Ana High School in 2003.