2003 IAN/ICEC Conservation & Environmental Education Excellence Award Winners
The Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) and the Iowa Conservation Education Council (ICEC) are proud to announce this year’s recipients of their Conservation and Environmental Education Excellence Awards Program. Seven awards will be presented this year.
The winners are as follows:
Aldo Leopold Environmental Education Award: Judy Levings, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development Specialist.
This award commends a lifetime achievement in environmental education (EE) excellence and leadership. During Levings’ 23-year career, she has served as the Marshall County naturalist, the 4-H Camping Center Director, Reiman Garden Facility Advisory Board member, and much more. As the current Youth Development Specialist, she trains leaders for youth wilderness trips, plans educator workshops, and develops related curriculum. She has actively served on the Iowa Conservation Education Council, the National 4-H Curriculum Jury, the National Experiential Education Design Team, EPA Regional EE Advisory Committee, Midwest EE Conference, REAP-CEP Board, and chaired the 2000 Governor’s Conference in environmental education.
Bohumil Shimek Environmental Educator Award: Mark Aronson, Scott Community College.
This award commends outstanding efforts by an environmental educator. As an ecologist and full-time biology faculty member, Aronson uses hands-on experience, field trips, and non-standard materials with his students. He founded the school’s Environmental Club to help improve the environment in and around the college. His impact extends beyond Iowa as he initiated the Corridor Education Project in Montana and offers a "Wilderness Study Group" in the summer to visit wilderness areas.
Chris Holt Youth Environmental Education Award: Enhanced Hunter Safety Education Course, Clinton County Conservation Board.
This award commends an outstanding EE program for or by youth. This unique course at the Waspi River Environmental Education Center is now in its 3rd year. Youth ages 11-16 become certified in Hunter Safety through the teachings of area experts. The certification class is extended to include other important relevant topics such as first aid, gun care, safety, and map and compass.
Ada Hayden Conservation Education Award: Erwin E. Klaas, ISU, US Geological Survey, retired.
This award commends outstanding efforts to educate about preservation, land management, or natural resource conservation. Klaas is being honored for "his high integrity and contributions toward improved public understanding of natural resources conservation." His work has included determining DDT causes eggshell thinning, applying GIS to wildlife management, and serving as leader of the Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at ISU.
"Ding" Darling Environmental Education Award: Blue Heron Eco Cruises, Clinton County Conservation Board.
This award commends an outstanding EE program that educates the general public. This new program uses a 26-foot pontoon boat to educate students and the general public about the Mississippi River, from industrial uses to recreational uses to native wildlife. Last year, roughly 3,000 participants attended the 150 cruises with varying themes including sunset and bald eagle.
Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (pop. >35,000): Polk County Conservation Board.
This award commends excellence in a county conservation board’s EE program of counties with a population of over 35,000. The goal of this 30-year old program is "to teach the public how to have fun while they develop an appreciation and desire to protect natural resources." To obtain this worthy goal, Polk County uses TV vignettes and the ICN network to reach new audiences as well as develops partnerships with related organizations.
Outstanding County Conservation Board EE Program (pop. <35,000): Dickinson County Conservation Board.
This award commends excellence in a county conservation board’s EE program of counties with a population of less than 35,000. Dickinson County offers a wide range of programs from ecology to physics. They promote county and city recycling as well as toxic material disposal days. This past year, they also submitted the second highest amount of data for Iowater, a volunteer water quality monitoring program. Their newest project is creating a nature center for the county.
Recipients from the Conservation and Environmental Education Excellence Awards Program received their plaques during ICEC’s Winter Solstice Educator Workshop or at IAN’s Spring Meeting.
The Iowa Association of Naturalists and the Iowa Conservation Education Council would like to thank all those nominated for their efforts in conservation education and hope their efforts will continue.
Other award categories are the Sylvan Runkel Environmental Education School Award for whole-school program and the Frederic Leopold Environmental Education Award for Business, Industry, or Labor. The deadline for 2004 nominations is December 1.