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
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.
Shimek Environmental Educator Award: Mark Aronson, Scott Community
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.
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
"Ding" Darling Environmental Education Award:
Blue Heron Eco Cruises, Clinton County Conservation Board.
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.
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.
For more information, contact:
Shane Vondacek, Co-chair
IAN/ICEC Awards Committee
2970 280th Street
Sac City, IA 50583