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News.bytes Extra, issue 509

2011 “Excellence in Interpretation or Education” awards honor three from BLM California

Employees representing three BLM California Field Offices were recently presented awards in BLM’s 2011 “Excellence in Interpretation or Education” Awards competition. (text continues below)

Winner of the Gold Award is Julie Clark of BLM California’s Arcata Field Office.  Park Ranger Julie Clark is the driving force behind “Outdoors Cool!” a program designed to get young people outside to experience nature on BLM public lands.  Through a website and Public Service Announcements that aired on television and in movie theaters, Julie has developed an effective way to promote the inherent value of nature and outdoor recreation to children in California and elsewhere. (text continues below)

A woman dressed up in period clothing standing on a gravel trail   A woman standing next to a wall with a mural with the words "Thank You"
Julie Clark dresses in historical costume as "Maggie" (left) when she does environmental education. Julie stands next to a mural (right) that a class gave to her as thanks. 

Silver award winner Emily Hoerner is with the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument here in California.  Through a series of hiking programs, informal interpretation, volunteer training, “table kits,” and collaboration with partners, Emily has fostered visitor understanding of, and compliance with, domestic dog restrictions within the monument’s critical wildlife habitat.  These programs have resulted in “compliance without conflict,” promoted mutual understanding, and facilitated constructive discussion about this and other controversial visitor use issues within the monument.

Silver award winners Carrie Simmons is with BLM California’s El Centro Field Office. Co-winner Jenny Blanchard worked with her in the El Centro Field Office, and is now with BLM’s Anchorage Field Office in Alaska.  Archaeologists Carrie Simmons and Jenny Blanchard created an interactive interpretive poster and developed a downloadable audio tour to assist both on- and off-site visitors in exploring the Yuha Desert, an important natural and cultural heritage area that previously offered no interpretation programs or materials.  Through the team’s efforts, more than 5,000 school children, 150,000 web visitors, and 1.3 million off-highway-vehicle users have been able to see the Yuha in a new light, gaining understanding of and a sense of stewardship for this unique resource.

A woman hold up a small piece of quartz in the the shape of a cresent.
Carrie Simmons holds a quartz cresent which was used as a prehistoric stone tool.

Also winning Silver Awards were Gary Koy and David Jamiel, of BLM Nevada’s Elko District Office.  Gary Koy and David Jamiel have worked tirelessly to grow Nevada’s California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center from a dream to a reality. David Jamiel’s extensive knowledge of Western American history enabled him to lead the development of an interpretive plan for the new center while also facilitating a seamless working relationship among the BLM and the various public, private, tribal, and non-profit partners.  Gary Koy’s innovative use of traveling exhibits and special displays has offered visitors diverse opportunities to learn, while also providing a “sneak preview” of the Center’s final design.  This has allowed over 10,000 people to explore the trail center’s themes, as well as learn about the interpretive process that goes into building a facility such as this one. 

The winners were presented with their Excellence in Interpretation awards during a Nov. 10 ceremony held in conjunction with the National Association for Interpretation’s 2011 National Workshop in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

A group holds up 6 plaques honoring their work
The winners of the Gold Award for the Excellence in Interpretation Award received their plaques and proudly present them.

A long line of hikers walk along a wooded trail
A school group takes an interpretive hike with Gold Award winner Julie Clark.

Winners of the Hiram M. Chittenden Award (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Sense of Wonder Award (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), Gifford Pinchot Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education Award (U.S. Forest Service), Freeman Tilden Award (National Park Service), and NAI’s Master Front-Line Interpreter and Master Interpretive Manager awards were also acknowledged during this ceremony.

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 509 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 12-01-2011