The best way to get to know the work of NAAEE is through the accomplishments of its individual members and its partner organizations.
The Walter E. Jeske Award
The highest honor NAAEE bestows is the Walter E. Jeske Award. This award was established to honor Walt Jeske, Chief of the Education and Publications Unit with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Jeske was a dedicated member of the NAAEE Board of Directors and outstanding environmental educator until his untimely death in 1981. The award is given to recognize service to NAAEE and leadership within the field of environmental education. Tradition calls for each year's recipient to present the award in the following year.
2014 Walter E. Jeske Award Winner
- An active NAAEE member with at least five years of membership
- Occupies, or has occupied, a leadership role in NAAEE and has made leadership contributions to the field of EE in addition to contributions emanating directly from his/her salaried duties.
- Must have received clear recognition of her/his overall contributions among EE colleagues and within NAAEE
- Must have served at least 15 years in the field of EE.
Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Individual and Organization
2014 WINNERS - INDIVIDUALS
Regional: Ashley Hoffman, Executive Director for Kentucky Association for Environmental Education, and Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA)
National: Don Baugh, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Educator, Founder and Director of the No Child Left Inside Coalition
Global: Shin-Cheng Yeh, Deputy Minister of the EPA-Taiwan
2014 WINNERS - ORGANIZATIONS
Local: City of Fort Collins Natural Areas
Regional: Inside Education
Global: Earth Force
The Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Individual and Organization Awards may be presented to individuals and organizations to recognize their efforts in promoting and providing EE leadership at the local, regional, and global levels*.
The individual or organization receiving the Outstanding Service to Environmental Education award must have made a significant contribution to EE, and should be known for one or more of the following:
- Visible contributions in EE (e.g. research, innovations, curricula, legislation, publications, etc.)
- Dedicated service in the field of EE
- Outstanding environmental action, contribution, or stance by a person whose primary function is not environmental (e.g. a politician supportive of EE programs or legislation, etc.)
- Excellence in reporting environmental issues for the purpose of educating the public, in print or electronic media (e.g. a writer; newspaper, radio, or television program that regularly gives space or time to present environmental information in such a way as to educate over a period of time; or any network, foundation, or entity that makes such reporting possible)
*Local refers to work within the state or province. Regional refers to work beyond the state or province, but within the same country. Global refers to work involving more than one country.
Outstanding NAAEE Affiliate Organization
Environmental Educators of North Carolina (EENC)
The Outstanding NAAEE Affiliate Organization Award is given annually to recognize the importance, vitality, and accomplishments of EE associations affiliated with NAAEE.
The award is presented to an Affiliate that demonstrates substantial accomplishments in one or more of the following areas
- Consistent and ongoing services to enhance EE, such as statewide and regional conferences, newsletters, etc.
- Growth in dues paying membership and organizational capacity of state, provincial, territorial, or regional EE association
- Completion and implementation of strategic long-range plan for the association
- Development of new initiatives that have enhanced the quality and availability of local EE programs to serve all communities of the state, province, territory, or region.
- Establishment of reciprocal partnerships with other state, provincial, territorial, or regional associations to promote and enhance EE capacity and/or delivery of programs for all people.
- Support any action towards meeting NAAEE goals and concerns.
The Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award
Rafael Salgado, Executive Director, Cal-Wood Education Center
The Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award is presented annually to an individual in recognition of their leadership to educate about and promote action that addresses environmental justice concerns at the local, regional, or global levels. The award recognizes a person that demonstrates the values and inner strength of Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs. These individuals were unwilling to stand by as they and others suffered injustices because of their skin color or heritage. Rosa Parks worked tirelessly to address social injustices while Grace Lee Boggs continues working to remedy environmental injustices at 90+ years of age.
The person receiving The Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award must have made significant contributions to working with and addressing environmental concerns of culturally diverse communities. Community leaders, educators, researchers, and others that are making significant contributions to their community are eligible candidates for this award. The recipient should display or have made one or more of the following contributions:
- Used environmental issues or situations for motivating culturally diverse youth to reach their highest potential by providing them with hands-on experiences that build practical day-to-day life skills.
- Used environmental education for empowering community residents to address local environmental concerns.
- Dedication to service and leadership that encourages the participation of multicultural audiences in environmental education.
- Made visible contributions in environmental education by promoting diversity and justice through research, innovations, curricula, legislation, publications, activism, or advocacy.
- Demonstrated excellence in educating the public about environmental issues as they relate to social justice, health and well-being, and environmental justice through print, electronic, or visual media.
Historically, environmental education has not recognized the education efforts of persons working on the social (environmental health, environmental justice) and economic (poverty, jobs) components of sustainability. In part this is because environmental educators in developed countries have tended to focus on nature education, which is a much more limited perspective than how environmental education is defined in the 1977 Tbilisi Declaration. Furthermore, many of the people working in these areas are persons of color, and the environmental education field has under recognized their leadership and achievements thus far. To help address this under-recognition the Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Award will be presented to a person of color* for the first five to ten years (i.e., through the years 2013 to 2018).
*Persons of color, as used in this award, refers to individuals whose racial/ethnic background is Asian, Black/African, First Nations, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander, or other minority group.
Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education
Michaela Zint, Associate Professor of Environmental Education & Communication School of Natural Resources & Environment, School of Education, College of Literature, Science & the Arts University of Michigan
The Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education Award is presented each year to an individual who has exhibited a commitment to EE research through activities in the following areas:
- Conducting EE research of a substantive nature that contributes to the theory and practice of EE
- Reporting of EE research at professional conferences or in refereed journals or other research publications
- Promoting EE research through activities, such as serving on research committees or on editorial boards of research publications, teaching and/or serving on thesis committees, and designing training programs in research and evaluation
NAAEE President's Award
Sue McGuire, McGuire Consulting
The president's award is given at the discretion of the sitting NAAEE president.
K-12 Educator of the Year Award
The K-12 Educator of the Year Award is presented to an individual who is recognized for their efforts in promoting environmental education and utilizing the environment as a context for learning in their teaching.
This person must live in one of the states, provinces or territories in the conference region* and have made a significant contribution to EE in one or more of the following ways:
- Has received clear recognition of her/his overall contributions among EE colleagues, and within their state or provincial EE association.
- Has made visible contributions to the field of EE (e.g. research, legislation, publications, etc.)
- Has more than 10 years of dedicated service in the field of EE
- Demonstrated innovation in incorporating EE into lesson plans.
- Demonstrated leadership in mentoring colleagues to use the environment as a context for learning.