Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia honors Fowler and McCamey with service awards


Friday, March 11, 2005

Writer: Laurie J. Anderson, 706/542-3379, econews@uga.edu Contact: Laurie Fowler, 706/542-3948, lfowler@uga.edu

Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia honors Fowler and McCamey with service awards

Athens, Ga. – Laurie Fowler of the University of Georgia’s Institute of Ecology has been named winner of the Outstanding Service Award given annually by the Environmental Education Alliance (EEA) of Georgia. The organization also named Frank McCamey winner of this year’s Eugene Odum Outstanding Lifetime Service Award.

“Ms. Fowler has made extensive contributions by teaching on the college level, through her research and policy work and through her public service to communities throughout the state,” said Deron Davis, chair of the EEA’s advisory board.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals who have contributed in significant and meaningful ways to the advancement of the field of environmental education through dedicated and exemplary teaching, research and/or public service.

Fowler is co-director of the River Basin Center based at the Institute of Ecology and teaches environmental and land use law in conjunction with the UGA School of Law. She recently served on Governor Perdue’s Land Conservation Partnership Advisory Council, which resulted in the passage of the Land Conservation Partnership by the 2005 Georgia General Assembly and helped staff Governor Barnes’ Community Greenspace Initiative. She is on the steering committee for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy and on the board of the Georgia Conservancy. Through these organizations, and as a faculty member at the Institute of Ecology, she and her students have helped analyze and recommend changes to state and local water management and land use policies.

“I love to look out and see my former students at high level government meetings,” said Fowler, who supervises an interdisciplinary program addressing land use, watershed protection and urban growth.

“It's great to see that they're actually making a difference at such an early stage in their careers. They're representing different interests – some are local government attorneys, some represent industry, some are scientists for agencies and for nongovernmental organizations – but they're all at the table together, working to address pressing water quality and land preservation issues.

“It's our role [as educators] to make sure that these students leave school ready to be contributors by providing them with the strongest possible academic background and opportunities while they're still in school to apply that knowledge in real situations. Part of how we do that at the Institute of Ecology is through our service learning courses.”

Service learning courses ask students to use knowledge gained in the classroom to address specific real-world problems. Some of the projects taken on by Fowler's students include development of a conservation subdivision ordinance that was adopted in a Georgia county, enabling legislation for transferable development rights that was adopted by the Georgia General Assembly and development of a multijurisdictional habitat conservation plan to protect endangered aquatic species in the Etowah watershed.

The 2005 Eugene Odum Outstanding Lifetime Service Award will be presented to Frank McCamey, who helped found the EEA and 29 nature centers throughout the United States, many of them in Georgia. Odum founded the Institute of Ecology and is regarded by many as “the father of modern ecology.” McCamey is not a member of the Institute of Ecology but, like Odum, has been deeply involved throughout his life in learning and teaching about the natural world.

“The award goes to a person who has achieved long-term, significant, and meaningful contributions to the field of environmental education through dedicated and exemplary teaching, research and/or service,” said EEA's Davis.

McCamey has an “amazing” record, Davis added. “He spent 70 years researching and teaching others about the natural world. He worked as a naturalist, a college professor and directed a nature center. He also served as the president of the Georgia Ornithological Society and treasurer of the Georgia Botanical Society.”

Through his association with the Natural Science for Youth Foundation, McCamey helped establish the Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville, the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, the Reynolds Nature Preserve in Clayton County, the Sandy Creek Nature Center in Athens and the Atlanta Outdoor Nature Center, among others.

EEA will present its service awards on Saturday, March 12, at the Unicoi State Park and Lodge in Helen. Besides the Outstanding Service Award and Odum Outstanding Lifetime Service Award, the EEA will also present the Outdoor Classroom Service Award and Monarchs Across Georgia Service Award. Winners will receive a plaque honoring their accomplishments.

The Environmental Education Alliance (EEA) of Georgia is a professional, nonprofit association working to promote environmental education through programs and partnerships that improve teaching strategies and communication between instructors, and by recognizing the efforts of educators.

The Institute of Ecology is the primary academic unit for ecological research and teaching at UGA. Since 1967, ecologists at the institute have conducted interdisciplinary team research, contributing to the fundamental understanding of ecological systems as well as the understanding of interactions between humans and the environment. The National Research Council ranks UGA's ecology program among the nation's top twenty.


Note to editors: A photo of Laurie Fowler is available at http://www.photo.alumni.uga.edu/photohome.htm.