AND’s Kari O’Connell wins Forestry Education Award

Network News Fall 2011, Vol. 24 No. 2
Network News

Kari O’Connell, Project Coordinator for the Oregon Natural Resources Education Program, is the recipient of the 2011 Mary Rellergert Forestry Education Award. The award, named in honor of Mary Rellergert who was a tireless advocate for forestry education, recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of public information, education, and understanding of forestry. O’Connell serves as coordinator for the Andrews Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) K-12 education program and her work engaging teachers in field-based research experiences serves as a major component of the Andrews’ “Schoolyard LTER” program.

O’Connell was recognized for "her work in building teachers’ understanding and knowledge about Oregon’s forests; her ability to engage researchers with teachers in transferring field research into relevant field-based inquiry projects for students; her commitment to sustaining the application of learning through the creation of communities of practice; and her enthusiasm, energy, and passion for her work."

O'Connell’s work has engaged 60 middle school and high school teachers (who reach over 5,000 students per year) in long-term professional development projects that support the teachers’ efforts to involve their students in field-based science inquiry. Currently, she and her collaborators have funding from NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to involve up to 30 middle and high school teachers in climate change research projects at the Andrews LTER and elsewhere.