KAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Awards
Now Accepting Nominations
The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) recognizes those best exemplifying dedication, commitment, and influence in the field of environmental education (EE).
The KAEE Excellence Awards recognize the outstanding achievements of individuals, organizations, agencies, community efforts, schools, and businesses in the field of EE. The nominee must have an earnest involvement in the field of EE, and have made and continues to make significant contributions to EE in Kentucky.
Deadline: July 8, 2018
Join us at the 42nd Annual KAEE Conference to recognize the KAEE Excellence in Environmental Education Award Winners. The ceremony will be held at the conference venue, Boone Tavern in Berea, KY on September 8, 2018.
2017 Award Winners
Frances Carter, Liberty Nature Center
Frances Carter has always been active in the outdoors, growing up in eastern Kentucky in a time when the wildlife we have today was a rare sight. In 1974, she saw her first whitetailed deer in the wild. Always helping animals, her mother never knew what she would come home and find in the house. After two careers and still looking for her path, Frances finally decided on teaching and naturally
incorporated wildlife into the mix. She began her teaching career in 1985 at Casey County High School. It is there that she started the wildlife club which later became the raptor center at Southwestern High School in 1993. During this time, she served on the KEEC board for 12 years and served on the committee that hired its first director, Jane Eller Wilson. She also served on the Biodiversity Task Force. In 2004 Frances turned the raptor program at SWHS into a non-profit corporation and with the help of boosters, started plans for the Liberty Nature Center. In October 2013, twenty-eight acres of land were purchased and Liberty Nature Center was founded. In 2014, Frances retired from teaching after 29 years and in April of 2014, Liberty Nature Center was opened. Raptors are still the main focus but Liberty Nature Center has hiking trails, a farm yard, pavilion and many other outside exhibits. The center is still growing and plans are in the works for an education center.
Congratulations to Frances for receiving the KAEE 2017 Excellence in EE Lifetime Achievement Award.
M.K. Dickerson Outstanding Educator:
Vivian Bowles, Retired from Kit Carson Elementary
Throughout her teaching career, Vivian Bowles has been passionate about conveying to students that they are part of a great big world, and that it begins in their own backyards. Propelled by a place-based pedagogy, she has helped students make connections between themselves, their communities, and the natural world, and encouraged their environmental stewardship. Under her leadership, Kit Carson Elementary became, and continues its status as, a Model KY Green and Healthy School. Along the way, she, her students, and a host of volunteers built and maintain a variety of learning gardens on the school campus. And, she has helped fellow teachers develop confidence, skills, and lessons to take their students outside for standards- based, three-dimensional learning.
In 2010, Vivian found “her people” when she attended her first KAEE conference and in 2012 completed the Professional Environmental Educator Certification program. Recently retired from 30 years elementary teaching, she looks forward to serving as a facilitator for the environmental education curricula sponsored by KAEE.
Congratulations to Vivian for being named KAEE’s 2017 M.K. Dickerson Outstanding Educator!
Rising Star in Environmental Education:
Olivia Kaiser, 21st Century Parks
Olivia Kaiser joined The Parklands as an Interpretive Ranger in Fall 2014. In March of 2016, she was promoted to Education Specialist. She is responsible for creating and delivering interpretive programs to the public. A Kentucky native, Olivia graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Learning and Behavior Disorders. As an amateur Herpetologist, Olivia enjoys educating the public about reptiles and amphibians, especially venomous snakes! In her free time, she enjoys photography, backpacking and road trips.
Congratulations to Olivia on being the 2017 KAEE Excellence in EE Rising Star!
Business of the Year:
Catlettsburg Refining, LLC
The 360 acre Catlettsburg Refining, LLC Savage Branch Wildlife Reserve provides improved habitat for numerous wildlife and plant species through active management strategies. The site has partnered extensively with local, state and federal organizations such as the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, Boy and Girl Scouts of America and the University of Kentucky. Additionally the site conducts conservation programs for area schools (Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio) on a routine basis.
Congratulations to Catlettsburg Refining, LLC on recognition as the 2017 Excellence in EE Business of the Year!
Outstanding Government Agency:
Floyd County Conservation District
The Floyd County Conservation District provides free environmental presentations to the schools located within the boundaries of Floyd County. The Education Coordinator offers presentations each fall in conjunction with the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Association of Conservation District
annual Art and Writing contest. Thousands of local school kids participate in the program. The Floyd County Conservation District has also extended the program to include kindergarten and students at the Carl D. Perkins Job Corp Center (ages 16-24) to participate in the program. The Education Coordinator also offers free environmental presentations to the teachers and students as requested during the course of the year.
Congratulations to Floyd County Conservation District for its recognition as the 2017 KAEE Excellence in EE Outstanding Government Agency!