PA Environmental Educators Honor 2012 Award Winners

The PA Association of Environmental Educators recognized seven outstanding individuals and programs as part of their annual Conference at Raystown Lake Resort on March 17.  The award winners include:

Keystone Award: Estelle Ruppert, PA Land Choices Coordintor, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
            The Keystone Award is the most prestigious award. It is presented to someone who has successfully dedicated their time to advancing the quality and opportunities of environmental education in Pennsylvania.

Outstanding Environmental Educator: Todd Garcia-Bish, Director of Environmental Education, Lutherlyn Environmental Center.
            To be considered, the nominee must be "an individual who made a significant teaching contribution to the environmental education field in a formal or non-formal setting, through either curriculum development or teaching."

Daisy S. Klinedinst Memorial Award: Christina Reed, Environmental Educator, Harmony Habitats at South Allegheny Elementary School.
            The award recipient should be "an educator, new (less than five years) to the field, who is involved in environmental education and who seeks to continue to expand his/her involvement in environmental education."

Outstanding EE Program: CHANCE (Connecting Humans and Nature Through Conservation Experience), Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State University.
            This award recognizes an exemplary environmental education program which could be used as a model program.

Business Partner Award: Logan Valley Mall, Ms. Joy Weidel, Group Marketing Director.  This award recognizes a member of the business community that has made significant contributions to promote environmental education within the Commonwealth of PA.

Government Partner Award: Trout in the Classroom, Amidea Daniel, Fish & Boat Commission, Samantha Kutskel, PA Council of Trout Unlimited and Patti Vathis, Department of Education.
            This award recognizes a government official who serves on a local, state or national level and has demonstrated significant support for environmental education within the Commonwealth of PA.

Outstanding Contribution to the Environmental Field: Lisa Suhr, PAEE Bookeeper, PA Association of Conservation Districts.  This award is presented to someone who has contributed to environmental education in a non teaching area, such as publishing or research.

            Among other initiatives, the PAEE took over the online resources of the PA Center for Environmental Education in 2011 when the Governor and General Assembly zeroed out the appropriations for this worthwhile environmental education initiative.


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