About the Awards | Past Award Winners

About the Awards

The New England Environmental Education Alliance recognizes outstanding environmental educators and programs from the New England region in three categories:

  • Non-formal Environmental Educator
  • Formal Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Education Program

To Nominate

Download the nomination form here

Applications may be submitted either by the nominee or on his/her behalf by a colleague. To apply for yourself or a colleague please download the application in Microsoft Word, fill it out and email it as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by October 11, 2018.

Selection Criteria

The Non-formal Environmental Educator Award is designed to recognize environmental education professionals who work outside the formal classroom setting. The award recipient:

  • Makes continuous and enduring contributions to environmental education (EE);
  • Demonstrates capacity for creating and implementing successful EE activities;
  • Creatively and innovatively approaches EE programming;
  • Involves him or herself personally in the state and/or regional EE community;
  • Contributes to EE by integrating with formal education systems, promoting the environmental education profession or providing training or resources to other EE professionals.

The Formal Environmental Educator Award is designed to recognize a public or private school classroom teacher who:

  • Promotes individual and societal environmental responsibility;
  • Encourages students to make informed decisions about environmental issues;
  • Inspires student involvement and action through individual or group projects to effect positive environmental change at school or within the local community;
  • Links student learning to the appropriate state or national science benchmarks, curriculum frameworks, or standards;
  • Serves as an example for colleagues to engage in EE activities or to participate in school EE projects.

The Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program Award is designed to recognize an outstanding environmental education program that:

  • Demonstrates innovation and creativity;
  • Has been implemented broadly;
  • Easily can be replicated in other regions;
  • Is sustainable;
  • Has a strong evaluation component;
  • Results in demonstrated action by participants.

The Selection Process

All materials are due by September 15 of each year. All applicants will be notified following the final selection. Awards are presented at the NEEEA Annual Conference. In 2018, awards will be presented November 2 at the NEEEA Conference in Fairlee, Vermont. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

Coleen O'Connell, NEEEA Awards Chair

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Award Recipients

For over 30 years, NEEEA has been recognizing excellence in environmental education:


Formal Educator Award: Edmund Smith from Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Tara Jo Holmberg, a professor at Northwestern Connecticut Community College

Non-Formal Educator: Dr. Laurence "Larry" Davis, Director of Nature Programs and Teaching at Camp Pemigewassett ("Pemi") in Wentworth, New Hampshire.

The Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program Award(s): Amoskeag Fishways of Manchester, New Hampshire, and Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students (ELLMS) Collaborative of Maine.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Coleen O'Connell.  


Formal Educator Award: Tina Morris, Pike School, Andover, MA
Non-formal Educator Award: Henry Burke, Seacoast Science Center, Rye, NH
Maria V. Pirie Program Award - ScienceToGo.org and Cool Science
.   Dr. David Lustick, UMass/Lowell, MA


Formal Educator Award: Brendan Haggerty, The Greene School, Greenwich, Rhode Island
Non-formal Educator Award: Susan Hayward, Maine Master Naturalist Program, Maine
Maria V. Pirie Program Award - Science in Nature School Education Program
.   Michelle Eckman, Director of Education, Connecticut Audubon Society, Fairfield, CT
Richard Haley President's Award: Awarded to Drew Dumsch, for his steadfast years of impactful, visionary service to NEEEA and environmental education in New England.


Formal Educator Award - Eric Magers, Green Scholars Director/Science Teacher at Manchester-Essex Regional High School in Manchester, MA
Non-formal Educator Award - Shareen Knowlton, Director of Education, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Providence RI
Maria V. Pirie Program Award - Go Botany! Integrated Tools to Advance Botanical Learning
.   Awarded to Elizabeth Farnsworth of New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA


Non-formal Educator Award – Patti Steinman, MassAudubon/Arcadia WIldlife Sanctuary, MA

Maria V. Pirie Program Award - Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, ME


Formal Educator Award – Judy Filkins, Lebanon NH School District
Non-formal Educator Award – Kim Noyes, Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, MA


Non-formal Educator Award – Susan Cox, US Forest Service, Durham, NH
Maria Pirie Program Award – Nature's Classroom, Charlton MA


Formal Educator Award – Katherine Bennett, J.R. Briggs Elementary School, Ashburnham, MA
Maria Pirie Program Award – Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory, Keene, NH


Formal Educator Award – Michele ('Chele) Miller, Principal, Moultonborough Central School, Moultonborough, NH
Non-formal Educator Award – Marilyn Wyzga, Wildlife Educator, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Marie Pirie Program Award – Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Orange, Massachusetts


Formal Educator Award – Dr. Ralph J. Yulo, Professor Emeritus at Eastern Connecticut State University
Non-formal Educator Award – Ruth Smith, Naturalist at the Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, New Hampshire
Marie Pirie Program Award – Project CO-SEED, Keene, New Hampshire.
Richard Haley President's Award – Awarded posthumously to Richard Haley for his 20-year contribution to the field.


Formal Educator Award – Jonathan Twining, 7th grade science at Remington Middle School, Smithfield, Rhode Island
Non-formal Educator Award – Erin Walsh, Naturalist Educator at the New England Wildflower Society
Marie Pirie Program Award – Valley Quest Program, Steven Glazer, Program Coordinator
2005 President's Award – Jim Lafley, in honor of his many years of dedicated service to NEEEA and to environmental education throughout New England. Jim is a past president of NEEEA and of MEES, and has co-chaired NEEEA's annual conference.


Formal Educator Award – Cynthia Faughnan, Michael Quinn & Rick Schluntz, Hartford (Vermont) Middle School (k-12); Cindy Thomashow, Antioch (university/adult)
Non-formal Educator Award – Barry King
Marie Pirie Program Award – Keeping Track


Non-formal Educator Aard – co-recipients: Jennifer Guarino, Vermont and Cheryl Burke, Connecticut
Marie Pirie Program Award – Community Mapping Program, VINS
President's Award – Judy Silverberg, NHFG


Formal Educator Award – Brewster Bartlett
Non-formal Educator Award – Dave Erler
Marie Pirie Program Award – Earthways Environmental Education Program
President's Award – Chuck Roth


Formal Educator Award – Nelson Lebo
Non-formal Educator Award – Lisa Purcell
Marie Pirie Program Award – School Nature Area Program (SNAP)


Formal Educator Award – Kathy Kitteridge/Terry Monette
Non-formal Educator Award – Colleen Kelley
Marie Pirie Program Award – Mount Desert Island Water Quality


Formal Educator Award – Sandra Ferland
Non-formal Educator Award – Susan Turner Moore
Marie Pirie Program Award – Project HOME

President's Award – Adrian Ayson, in honor of his many years of dedicated service to NEEEA and to environmental education throughout New England. Adrian has been president of NEEEA and of MEES,  and has co-chaired NEEEA and MEES conferences and retreats.


Formal Educator Award – David Wilkins
Non-formal Educator Award – Linda Woodard
Marie Pirie Program Award – Recycle Rangers


Drs. Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer
Formal Educator Award – Tom Wessels


Ed Henry
John Green
Thomas Tyning


Faith Thayer
Maureen Oates



Delia Clark
Nancy Nowak


Leo Kenney
Shirley Griffin


Jenepher Lingelbach
Michael Caduto


Bill Niering
Sue Craig


Judy Silverberg
Ty Minton


Peter Corcoran
Ralph Lutts


Janet Gould
Larry Morris


John Brainerd
Peg McDaniel


Abbott Fenn
Tom Hudspeth


Bob Moeller
Jeff Ferguson





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