Award winners throughout NYSOEA history, 1969-present

Below represent only some of the countless men and women dedicated to outdoor and environmental education.  They have been nominated by their peers and vetted by the NYSOEA Board and Awards Committee. These people are a testament to our long legacy...they have carried the torch or are still carrying it…and they are passing it along to you.
If you wish to nominate someone in order to recognize their contribution to Outdoor and Environmental Education history, please fill out the online Awards Nomination Form.
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Andy Angstrom

Andy Angstrom

Outdoor Educator Award, Andy Angstrom
For consistent workshops throughout the years at annual conferences and Winter Weekend celebrations, generosity of spirit, years of mentoring others, and serving as a 2014 Keynote Speaker, MaryLynne Malone nominated Andy Angstrom, a Founding Member of NYSOEA and “Educator of Outdoor Educators,” for the Outdoor Educator Award.

From left: Chris Maron, Executive Director, CATS; Brian DeGroat, Northern Region Representative; Tim Stanley, NYSOEA President; Marty Strong, Awards Committee.

Environmental Impact Award: Chris Maron, Champlain Area Trails [CATS]The Champlain Area Trails [CATS], led by Executive Director Chris Maron, was founded in 2009 with the goal of connecting communities, in a literal and figurative sense, by conserving land and creating and maintaining a network of multi-use trails throughout the Champlain Valley in Essex County, NY. In that short time,   CATS has developed 35 miles of trails that when added to existing trails, gets it halfway toward the long-envisioned goal of a 30-mile trail loop between Westport and Essex. CATS will extend its trails to neighboring towns and eventually connect them to trails in the Adirondack Mountains, Vermont, and Quebec. For tremendous vision and energy in promoting outdoor recreation, community partnership, and economic vitality in the northern region, Brian DeGroat nominated Chris Maron and CATS for the Environmental Impact Award.

Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn

Art & Literary Award: Tim Grant & Gail Littlejohn, Green Teacher Magazine Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn launched Green Teacher magazine in 1991, and since that time, have provided a platform that enabled more than 1000 youth educators from across the United States and Canada to share their expertise with a much larger audience. They also co-edited 6 popular books that have sold over 60,000 copies.   Additionally, Green Teacher will be providing digital subscriptions to each affiliate member of NYSOEA, helping to further share the wealth of knowledge and experience gathered in each publication. Since 2010, Tim has continued as Green Teacher’s editor and Gail now edits conference materials for a health sciences institute. For over two decades of consistent content, leadership, and support of the environmental education community, Tim Stanley nominated Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn of GreenTeacher magazine for the Art and Literary Award.

Mel Morris shakes hands with NYSOEA President Tim Stanley

Leadership Award, Melvyn MorrisMel Morris is highly deserving of the Leadership Award for his creation of the Open Space Stewardship Program, which has provided a countless number of teachers and students with opportunities to create and participate in environmental research projects on undeveloped land on Long Island. Founded in 2006, the OSSP currently has approximately 35 schools, and more than 3000 students, are actively participating in the OSSP, with even more students having been given opportunities for hands-on scientific exploration in their backyard, fostering a sense of civic responsibility and respect for open space, while providing them with the knowledge and skills to be successful in future careers in science and technology.   Mel’s vision to connect teachers and students to their community, deep concern for the Pine Barrens, and his passion and determination to keep the OSSP program thriving is why Jolene Thompson nominated him for the Leadership Award.

From left: MaryLynne Malone, Past President and Awards Committee Chair; Tim Stanley, NYSOEA President; Jolene Thompson, VP Program; Marty Strong, Awards Committee

Service Award, Jolene ThompsonIn a speech invoking the eponymous Dolly Parton song, the question was begged, “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene oh where do we begin?” Enthusiastic, upbeat, and easy to work with, she has done many little things that have made NYSOEA a whole lot better. From capturing much of the annual conference paperwork into Dropbox and other formats that can be readily shared with each subsequent conference committee to building an organized and cohesive framework for the Development committee to increase the profitability and excitement of auctions, Jolene keeps NYSOEA moving forward. With her keen attention to detail, Jolene has worked with subsequent conference committees to make sure things move forward smoothly. She advocates for activities that add value to conferences, such as evening entertainment and Authors and Artists corner, and strives to provide the best NYSOEA experience for all members. For these reasons, Jessica Kratz nominated Jolene Thompson for the NYSOEA Service Award.



Harlan “Gold” Metcalf Award

The highest honor presented to a member of the Association. Candidates must have made valuable professional contributions in New York State, demonstrated outstanding leadership, contributed to, and made significant achievements in the field of outdoor education. Recipients must have 10 years of professional experience and be a current NYSOEA member. 1968 Harlan “Gold” Metcalf 1969 George Fuge 1970 Nancy Ayers 1971 John Weeks 1972 Harry Thompson 1973 Norman Skliar 1974 John Loret 1975 Irwin Rosenstein 1976 Ernest Coons 1977 Charles Matkowski 1978 Ron Bover, Jerry Passer 1980 Andy Angstrom 1981 Samuel Ross, Jr. 1982 Edmund Bieber 1983 Richard B. Fischer 1984 H. Wayne Trimm 1985 John Padalino 1986 Kent Reeves 1987 Gary Christenson 1988 James I. Marion 1989 L. Janet Lee 1990 Jay Cummings 1991 Robert Budliger 1992 Marcia K. Carlson 1993 Edward J. Zero 1996 Charles H. Yaple 1997 Richard C. Hilary 1998 Helen Ross Russell 1999 Florence Mauro, Joe Pierson 2004 Louise Standard 2005 Barry Hopkins 2007 George Steele, Lucinda Hurley 2011 Snapper Petta 2012 Stephen Stanne    

Leadership Award

Presented to candidates who are responsible for the growth of professionals in the field, who created innovative programs, and/or provided the management support that expanded outdoor education at the local, state, or national level. Recipient does not have to be a member of the Association.       1975 Jerry Passer 1976 Samuel Ross, Eugene Ezersky 1977 John Kirk 1978 Kent Reeves 1980 Craig Chase 1981 Lorraine Munz Sorensen 1982 Walter Mingie 1983 Jack Sheltmire 1984 Thomas Rillo 1985 Robert Budliger 1986 Edward J. Zero 1987 Jack Drury 1988 Carol Ryder, Richard Ryder 1989 George Steele 1990 Anderson Young 1992 John Louther 1993 Charles H. Yaple 1994 John Paladino, Cheryl Riley 1995 Laura Carey 1996 Bruce Matthews 1997 Leon Ellis, Jr. 1998 Lucinda Hurley 1999 Nancy Reichert 2001 Andy Angstrom 2006 Foster Portzline 2007 Heather Chadwick 2008 Kathy Ambrosini 2011 MaryAnna Russo 2012 Eileen Gerle 2014 Melvyn Morris  

Service Award

Presented for outstanding support of Association goals by contribution of personal time and energy. Recipient must be a member for three years. 1974 Julian Smith, Elizabeth Dunford 1975 Antoinette Salerno, Charles Matkowski 1976 Juanita Bumpus, Marcia K. Carlson 1977 Charles Conner, Thomas Goodkind 1978 Sally McCracken 1979 L. Janet Lee 1980 Louise Standard, Florence Mauro 1981 Henry Dewey 1982 Carol & John Berggren 1983 Jack Gramlich 1984 Diane Huber 1985 June Lee, James Marion 1987 Jane Coddington 1988 Frank “Snapper” Petta 1989 Barry Hopkins 1990 Wayne Fisher 1991 Cathy Ann Howes, Martin J. Strong 1994 Alan Mapes, Midge Monat 1997 Scott & Nancy Reichert 1999 MaryLynne Malone 2000 Sandie Roosa 2003 Kathy Ambrosini 2006 Elaine Drazin-Young 2007 Allison Roosa 2008 Fred Von Mechow, Patricia Von Mechow, MaryLynne Malone 2009 Tim Stanley, Susan Hereth 2010 Nathan Garcia 2011 Jessica Kratz 2014 Jolene Thompson  

Art & Literary Award

Given for outstanding artistic or literary ability demonstrated by publication, scholarly pursuits or other creative art achievements related to outdoor education. Nomination does not require Association membership. 1974 Harlan “Gold” Metcalf 1975 Richard B. Fischer and Wayne Trimm 1976 Charles Lewis 1977 Anne LaBastille 1978 Donald R. Hammerman 1980 Thomas A. Stock 1981 Betty van der Smissen 1982 Helen Ross Russell 1983 Leonard Lee Rue III 1984 Phyllis Busch 1985 Donald & Lillian Stokes 1987 William “Billy B. Brennan” 1988 Jim Glover 1990 Michael Caduto, Joseph Bruchac 1991 Gilbert Merrill 1992 Dan Berggren 1993 Steve Brill 1995 Darrell Young 1996 Bruce Bonney, Jack Drury 2001 Jean Craighead George 2002 Hope Ryden 2003 Daniel Kriesberg 2004 Brian Heinz 2005 Rick Marsi 2006 Maxwell Corydon Wheat 2007 Nancy Castaldo 2008 Frank Knight 2010 Tom Chapin 2011 Linda Moriarty, Samuel B. Ross Jr. Ph.D. 2014 Tim Grant, Gail Littlejohn  

Environmental Impact Outdoor Educator Award

Awarded to an individual or organization involved in research, conservation and political action that influenced, protected and successfully dealt with problems associated with the environment. NYSOEA membership is not required. 1984 Ward Stone 1985 Don Rittner 1986 Pete Seeger 1989 Hiawatha Purchase Committee 1991 Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. 1993 Braddock Bay Raptor Research, Adirondack Mountain Club 1999 Ruth Jones, Edwin Ketchledge 2000 Kara Hagedorn 2001 Paul Stoutenburg 2003 Bill Robinson 2009 Clearwater 2012 Robert McGrath 2013 Roy McDonald, Town of Wilton 2014 Chris Maron  

Presidential Award

1979 Charles Conner 1988 June Lee, L. Janet Lee, Louise Standard 1992 Nancy Reichert, Scott Reichert, Florence Mauro 1998 Karen Edelstein 2002 Sandie Roosa 2006 George Steele 2010 Betsy Ukeritis, Jessica Olenych 2013 Jill Eisenstein, Matthew Fraher  

Outdoor Educator Award

This honor recognizes the outstanding classroom teacher, environmental educator or interpreter in the Association who has used the outdoors to enrich curriculum and/or interpret the natural world in a way that has expanded the environmental appreciation of children or adults.  Candidates must be active in the field for five years and a NYSOEA member for two years. 1993 Bruce Matthews 1994 Daisey Kelley, Daniel Kriesberg 1995 Ilka List 1996 Martin J. Strong 1997 Sally Zielinski 1998 Barry Hopkins 2000 Susan Diachun 2001 Cindy McGlynn 2002 Kathy Ambrosini 2003 George Steele 2004 Bill Monahan 2006 Frank Benenati 2007 Jeff Gottlieb, Ann Guenther 2009 Nance Gross 2010 John Stowell 2011 Carl Heitmuller 2013 Rebecca Houser 2014 Andy Angstrom  

Volunteer Educator Award

Awarded to an exemplary volunteer whose dedication and commitment of personal time and energy has significantly contributed to the goals of outdoor/environmental education in a school, park, museum, nature center or residential setting.  Nomination does not require Association membership. 2004 Jim Gmelin 2005 Roland Ellis, Patty Lent  

Appreciation Award

1974 Edwin Gould Foundation 1979 John Hasenjager 1981 Ron Kupin 2006 Rhonda Jacobs 2009 Jessica Olenych, Betsy Ukeritis, Nirmal Merchant 2012 Elizabeth VanAcker    

Julian Smith Student Award

Presented to deserving undergraduate or graduate students who have shown a commitment to outdoor education through study, leadership, volunteer work and seasonal employment. The student must been enrolled full-time (12 hours) and have a grade point average of 2.5 in a program of study related to outdoor education.  Applicant must submit a statement of interest and highlight experiences and/or contributions to the field. Two letters of recommendation must be secured from professors or one each from a NYSOEA member and a professor familiar with the student’s background. 1976 Paul Kuznia, Steve Sansola 1977 Moira Gleason, Dorothea Kunz 1978 Kim Dandridge, Carolyn Rutgers 1979 Robert Duhaime, Gabrielle Hunter 1980 Donna Boehner, Dorna Schroeter 1981 David Chapman 1982 Cydney Archer, Pamela Kerr 1983 George Frankel, Joann Stemmerman 1984 Rebecca Palmer, Beth Shiner 1985 Jacqueline Dundorf 1987 Julia Klein, Linda Smith 1988 Brent Bell, Ursula Shacklock 1989 April Taylor 1990 Drew Hopkins, Gregory Sherman 1991 Diane Beitl, Bonnie Gooden 1992 Debbie Anne Vignari 1995 Katrina Sucoff 1997 Patricia von Mechow 1998 Alina Gorskaia, Natalya Krivochiena 1999 Sabrina Mohammed 2003 Samantha Fish 2007 Dannielle Perry 2008 Lonnie Peterson