Andrews LTER RET wins National Environmental Prize

Network News Spring 2010, Vol. 23 No. 1
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Andrews LTER Research Experience for Teachers (RET) participant, Jill Semlick, will receive a Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education merit Award for her outstanding contributions to environmental education.  The Bartlett Environmental Education Award and two merit awards are given annually by the National Environmental Education Foundation to recognize teachers who inspire their students and their peers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, held this year from May 3-May 7.

A veteran high school teacher with 24 years experience, Semlick, a biology, ecology and chemistry teacher at Pauling Academy of Integrated Sciences in Portland, OR, integrated the concepts of Expeditionary Learning – comprising standards-based learning adventures and community-service activities – with her own teaching methods. Her projects have included the “Northern Flying Squirrel” project, in which students gain hands-on experience in fieldwork and natural resource management while providing valuable data to the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Her students have also created an original play for elementary school children about conservation. In the past seven years, Semlick has also obtained more than $300,000 in grants for her programs, students, and the school.

Ms. Semlick has been a participant and continues as an instructor in teacher professional development programs as part of the Andrews Schoolyard LTER program. As an Andrews LTER RET in 2008, she took video and still images of Andrews researchers in action, which she wove together into several presentations titled “How Biologists ‘Do’ Biology.” In her classroom, Semlick shares a video with her students each week.

The Richard C. Bartlett Environmental Education Award is sponsored by the Baxter Healthcare Corporation. For information on past winners, visit: