NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award

The NCGS presented this award, now discontinued, to individual teachers for excellence in the teaching of earth or environmental sciences in Grades K-8 and Grades 9-12.


The recipient of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award of $500 was Elizabeth Brooking of Pinole Middle School in Pinole, CA.


The recipient of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award of $500 was Chung Sinn Khong of Yerba Buena High School in San Jose, CA. His Earth & Environmental Science class with the Paleontology and Climate Units covers many aspects of geoscience. The program also contains materials on observation and critical thinking. He includes a broad spectrum of materials and references as well as exercises that will help students apply basic principles and discuss specific topics in geological and environmental sciences.


The recipient of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award of $500 was Christine Erskine of Brier Elementary School in Fremont, CA. An Oakland resident, Ms. Erskine graduated from U.C. Davis with a B.S. in Geology and later studied hydrogeology at U.C. Berkeley. She earned a master’s degree in Physical Anthropology at Colorado State University before receiving a California Teaching Credential. She worked as an environmental consultant before becoming a science teacher for the elementary level in 2000. She also has worked in other capacities at places like the Exploratorium and the Lawrence Hall of Science. She also holds a teaching credential in biology. She enjoys gardening and nature photography and maintains a mostly native plant garden, a certified National Wildlife Federation habitat. In addition, she volunteers at the Oakland Zoo and helps train new zoo volunteers. In her spare time she also trains for triathlons in the spring and summer.


The recipient of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award of $500 was Cheryl Costello of Monte Vista High School in Dublin, CA. She also won the award the previous year.


The recipients of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award were Pierre de St. Croix ($500), Cheryl Costello ($250) and Mary Jane Holmes ($250).

Mr. de St. Croix teaches 6th grade earth science at Harvest Park Middle School in Pleasanton. He received a BA in geology with a minor in education from UC Davis and a Masters in science education also from UC Davis. He enjoys the piano and guitar and a wide variety of outdoor activities including fossil and rock collecting.

Mrs. Costello teaches geology at Monte Vista High School in Danville. Her education includes a B.S. in geology from University of the Pacific and an M.S. in geology from CSU Hayward (now CSU East Bay). Before becoming a teacher she was an environmental consultant. She enjoys the opportunity she now has to teach a subject she loves.

Mrs. Holmes, a member of NCGS, holds degrees in history with teaching minors in science and music. She has been teaching for more than 30 years and is now a science specialist in the Fremont School District at Parkmont Elementary School. In that capacity, she offers a fourth grade earth sciences unit that includes numerous hands-on labs. She is widely traveled, plays the piano and guitar, and enjoys hands-on arts; her favorite hobby, however, is geology. In pursuit of this hobby she attends numerous conferences and generally seeks out every opportunity to expand her geological knowledge. She is a member of the Castro Valley Mineral and Gem Society.


The recipient of the NCGS Geoscience Teaching Award of $500 was Tamara Garcia of John O’Connell High School in San Francisco, CA.