In July 2023, Lisa Monahan, NCESD STEM Coordinator, and Cari Haug, NCESD Regional Science Coordinator were invited to join Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Region 2 staff for their annual awards banquet where they were awarded the WDFW Region 2 (WDFW) Educator of the Year Award.
For the past three years, Lisa and Cari have worked with WDFW staff, as well as other community partners from around the region, to create outdoor classrooms on public lands for local students. These events, called STEAM in the Field, bring students to local landscapes to work alongside professionals working in the field to learn about how they can help in conservation efforts for our stunning north central Washington region. Funding for these events has come from the ClimeTime legislative proviso.
“It was a great honor to be recognized by WDFW with this award which highlights the power of partnering with our community to support the education of students in the region,” said Cari Haug.
The award nomination highlighted that the events have served approximately 500 students from across the region since it started in spring 2021, including students from Tonasket School District, Bridgeport School District, Quincy School District, Moses Lake School District, and Warden School District.
Cari and Lisa take great care and intention to plan each program, said the nominator. Taking into consideration the specific challenge of each unique wildlife area, the programs are designed in a way that students engage in hands-on learning to help species and their habitats in the face of climate change. The program allows students to explore with wildlife area managers, scientists, and community partners and learn how humans can enhance habitats to support human recreation and wildlife habitat, the nominator added.
“They are truly ambassadors for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,” said the nominator. “Their programs help students get curious about and passionate about fish and wildlife in their communities. The service they’ve brought to the region and the Department are invaluable for the continued stewardship of fish and wildlife in Washington.”