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MSU students, faculty awarded for conservation efforts

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GLADE students from Missouri State University at work

GLADE members at work. Winners of the Conservation Organization of the Year Award, the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS) sponsors a week-long biology and leadership excursion for high school students from the Ozarks designed to enhance the quality of life in the Ozarks through conservation and environmental education.

Honor given for efforts to preserve, maintain Missouri resources

SPRINGFIELD — The Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) has honored Dr. Gina Wood, instructor of childhood education and family studies, and freshman Brooke Widmar, both at Missouri State University, on March 19 at the 2015 Conservation Achievement Awards ceremony held in Jefferson City.

The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS) received the Conservation Organization of the Year award. GOAS partners with Missouri State’s Bull Shoals Field Station during the summer on a development program called Green Leadership Academy for Diverse Ecosystems (GLADE). The program is a week-long biology and leadership excursion for high school students from southwestern Missouri designed to enhance the quality of life in the Ozarks through conservation and environmental education.

The annual ceremony is intended to honor leading citizen conservationists and natural resource professionals around Missouri.

Wood was the recipient of the Conservation Educator of the Year award for her work with the Discover Nature Teachers program at Missouri State. The program is designed to submerge future teachers in nature, giving them the knowledge, experience and confidence to use the outdoors to teach their students how important conservation is in daily life.

Widmar received the Youth Conservationist of the Year award. Widmar was selected because she demonstrated the ability and potential to lead conservation and community efforts. According to the CFM, she is an avid outdoors person, a community volunteer, a youth philanthropist, a skilled organizer, a fundraiser, an effective leader and a committed conservationist.

 

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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