Division of Natural Areas to Receive Statewide Organization of Year Award

The Division of Natural Areas at Eastern Kentucky University has learned that it will receive the 2014 Outstanding Organization Award presented by the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education.

Representatives of the Division will be on hand to receive the honor at the Association’s fall conference on Sept. 13 in Lexington.

EKU’s Division of Natural Areas has several responsibilities, including:

·         Protect, properly manage and maintain the University’s natural areas, including Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory, Lilley Cornett Woods Appalachian Ecological Research Station, and, in conjunction with EKU’s Department of Biological Sciences, the Taylor Fork Ecological Area on the Richmond campus.

·         Make the natural areas available as outdoor facilities to University groups, school groups, and the public for environmental research and education. Almost 10,000 K-12 students have visited EKU Natural Areas facilities since 2007.

·         Provide professional expertise on natural resources and environmental issues.

·         Promote environmental education through teacher professional development and outreach services to formal and non-formal education audiences.

·         Facilitate the promote field research (including biological inventories and biological and environmental monitoring) in the University’s natural areas and across the region.

The EKU Center for Environmental Education, managed by the Division of Natural Areas, was established in 2002 to provide environmental education training for pre-service and in-service teachers throughout the area, coordinate regional services with other institutions of higher learning, develop environmental programs and curricula, conduct and evaluate research in environmental education, and assist the community in understanding environmental issues.

In conjunction with the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences at EKU, the Center supports course work leading to an Environmental Education endorsement for K-12 teachers. The endorsement program is one of only two nationally recognized (by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education) environmental education programs in the country. More than 200 teachers have taken courses in the program, and 40 have earned the endorsement.

For more information about the EKU Division of Natural Areas, visit www.naturalareas.eku.edu.

Published on August 15, 2014