MEEA is so excited to announce the winners of our 2013 Environmental Education Awards! Read on for more information about these inspirational winners!
MEEA has announced its annual awards for 2013's most outstanding environmental educator, school, business and environmental program in the state of Maine. MEEA also presented a special Lifetime Achievement award to Jim Chandler, Director of the Auburn Land Lab.
L.L. Bean, the winner of the Maine Environmental Education Association Business of Year award, is being recognized for its endless work on improving its sustainability and environmental stewardship, reducing its carbon footprint, supporting sustainable forestry practices, participating in the Maine Outdoor Coalition and its generous charitable contributions to outdoor education and conservation associations in the state of Maine.
The Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education, of Alna, Maine, the winner of the Maine Environmental Education Association School of the Year, is being recognized for its unique efforts to connect their students to themselves, to each other, and to their communities through studying both natural and human environments in a hands on manner. The outdoors serves at the school's primary classroom and as a springboard for a curriculum that synthesizes the best of 20th century progressive education with a 21st century place-based curriculum. The Juniper Hill School has made a whole-school commitment to sustainable practices and seeks to instill in each student a deep connection to the natural world with an ultimate goal of producing well-rounded, critically thinking, environmentally literate citizens.
The Vital Signs Program of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the winner of the Maine Environmental Education Association Excellence in Environmental Education Program Award, is being recognized for so aptly upholding its mission to give Maine middle school students an opportunity to learn environmental science by doing the work of real scientists. This collaborative citizen science program connects Maine teachers and their students with scientists and citizens across the state who are collaborating to monitor and study invasive and native species in all habitats. Through the program website at www.vitalsignsme.org , students make and share original observations with scientists and the public and create and share projects that make meaning of their data.
Coleen O'Connell, Director and Founder of the Master of Science program in Ecological Teaching and Learning, Lesley University, Cambridge Massachusetts is the winner of MEEA's 2013 Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator of the Year award. Coleen, a resident of Belfast, Maine, is being recognized for her incredible contributions to furthering environmental education in Maine and New England for the past 27 years. Coleen has dedicated her career to promoting the importance of environmental literacy and has served on the MEEA Board, the North American Association for Environmental Education Board, has co-founded several environmentally-related non-profit organizations, and continues to serve on a number of boards for many environmentally- focused education groups. Her contributions to the field of environmental education are numerous and will be enduring.Jim Chandler, Director Auburn Land Lab and Consulting Science Teacher, Auburn School Department, Auburn, ME, is the winner of a Maine Environmental Education Association Lifetime Achievement award. Jim has volunteered thousands of hours with MEEA serving as an active board member for the past 22 years and a two -term president of the organization. Jim's impact on environmental education in Maine is clearly evident. He brought the Canon Envirothon program to the state of Maine in 1989 and has served on the international committee for this high school environmental education competition. Among many previous awards, Jim has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to environmental education as a National Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator and a Maine Science Teacher of the Year. Jim has created numerous environmental education programs that have touched the lives of countless students and educators for the past 30 years. Jim serves as an inspiration for all who work in environmental education related fields in Maine.