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Bureau of Land Management
For Immediate Release: November 23, 2004
Contacts:
Carolyn Cohen
(202) 785-6583
Kevin Flynn
(202) 452-0363
 

BLM Presents Ninth Annual
“Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education” Awards
at 2004 National Interpreters Workshop

For the ninth consecutive year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recognized outstanding BLM interpreters and environmental educators at the National Association for Interpretation’s (NAI) annual National Interpreters Workshop (NIW), held this year in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Before an audience of several hundred, BLM’s “Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education” Awards were presented at a November 18, 2004, ceremony in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service’s “Gifford Pinchot Award,” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s “Sense of Wonder Award,” the National Park Service’s “Freeman Tilden Award,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “Hiram M. Chittenden Award,” and NAI’s “Master Front-Line Interpreter” and “Master Interpretive Manager” Awards. Eastern National, a private educational organization that offers financial support to the National Park Service, hosted award-winner receptions both before and after the ceremony.

The BLM “Excellence” Awards recognize outstanding BLM interpreters and educators for their work on employee-conducted programs that enhance public appreciation and understanding of the natural riches on our public lands, as well as management issues in the context of BLM’s multiple-use mission. The eight winning BLM programs were selected by a review panel composed of both BLM staff and representatives from outside partner organizations, including NAI. BLM “Excellence” nominees were judged on the quality of their work, their ability to involve partners, their effectiveness in enhancing public understanding of cultural and natural resources, their programs’ or products’ accessibility and sensitivity to diverse audiences, and their efforts’ success in helping BLM to accomplish its management goals.

BLM’s 2004 “Excellence” award winners are:
GOLD AWARD winner: Carolyn Z. Shelton, Interpretive Supervisor, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT), for her coordination and management of exhibit design and development for four new BLM interpretive/visitor centers in gateway communities surrounding the Monument. Carolyn expertly guided the integration of scientific content into the creation of fully-accessible exhibits and programs that interest and engage visitors of all ages.
SILVER AWARD winner: Lenore Heppler, Park Ranger, Northern (AK) Field Office, for her critical role in the planning, design, and construction of the recently dedicated Arctic Interagency Visitor Center in Coldfoot, Alaska. Lenore administered this complex project while building and maintaining successful partnerships with Federal agencies, local communities, and tourism industry representatives to engage interpretive and visitor services in a very remote location.
SILVER AWARD winner: Sharon Morse, Interpretive Specialist, Coos Bay (OR) District Office, for her work on interpretive and environmental education programs that directly served more than 18,000 public lands visitors last year. Sharon mixes technical expertise with a creative spirit and strong personal drive to lead a program that is becoming widely known for excellence in this region of the state.
SILVER AWARD winner: Faye Winters, Wildlife Biologist, Jackson (MS) Field Office, for her involvement of Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, and local environmental academy students in the restoration, monitoring, and preservation of the Jupiter Inlet Natural Area (FL). Faye has also organized seven Federal and private organizations into a working partnership to conserve the natural area, particularly its wetlands, for the benefit of local communities and native wildlife.
HONORABLE MENTION AWARD winners: John Bogacki, Bakersfield (CA) Field Office; Mike Crosby, Salmon (ID) Field Office; Dorothy Harvey, Battle Mountain (NV) Field Office; and Margaret McGuckian, Winnemucca (NV) Field Office.

Also presented at the National Interpreters Workshop were NAI’s 2004 Interpretive Media Awards, which recognize outstanding educational and interpretive products created during 2003. BLM’s Suzan Craig received top honors in the “Site Publication” division for her “Junior Explorer” program publication, which is used by young visitors at BLM’s Anasazi Heritage Center/Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado. Greg Hill of BLM-California’s Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office participated in the contractor-produced CD “Tijuana River Watershed,” about an ecologically significant block of natural habitat near the U.S./Mexico border. The CD was recognized in NAI’s “Interactive Media” category.

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The National Association for Interpretation (http://www.interpnet.org) is a professional organization focusing on the interpretation of natural and cultural history. About 40 percent of its 3,500 members are Federal employees. The Bureau of Land Management (http://www.blm.gov/), an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages 261 million surface acres of public lands, located mostly in the western United States and Alaska. BLM was a “Gold Circle” sponsor of this year’s National Interpreters Workshop.