News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 253

Tracy Albrecht nominated for National Environmental Education award

close-up of Tracy Albrecht in BLM uniform shirt and cowboy hatA second BLM-California employee has been named a finalist for the Bureau of Land Management's 2006 Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education Award, presented by the National Association for Interpretation - out of only four nominations nationwide.

Tracy Albrecht began working for the Bureau of Land Management in November 2002 as Interpretive Specialist for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Her responsibilities include the development of educational and interpretive projects for use in academic, private, and public venues. Focusing on local conservation biology and ecosystems, she is currently working on developing an academic program to engage elementary school students in desert studies while addressing nutrition and fitness for their physical well-being.

Her programs enhance awareness of cultural and natural resources by reaching out to students in a classroom setting, and then traveling to National Monument locations for hands-on experiences. Participants are encouraged to teach others about what they learned, beginning with family, and complete a science project on a subject that relates to their experiences. A strong message about responsible stewardship of public lands as a citizen is provided at program's end. For most students it is an introduction to the BLM and Forest Service as the managing federal agencies for much of the landscape they view each day from their communities.

Albrecht contributed to two new eduational products this past year: a documentary film called Voices of the Monument, and a children’s book entitled A Monument to Treasure. Both were spearheaded by Palm Springs Life magazine with funding from a variety of sponsors. The documentary explores the extreme environments of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains, focusing on the area's history and prehistory, plants and animals, and recreation opportunities. It won four Emmy Awards in the Pacific Southwest division. The children’s book introduces the concept of land stewardship in the National Monument as told through a Native American man and his grandson.

Albrecht's development of the student field study program, along with her contributions to the documentary film and children's book, have been rewarded with a nomination for a BLM Excellence in Interpretation and Environmental Education award. She is looking forward to enjoying the National Association of Interpretation conference to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico this November.

BLM California News.bytes, issue 253