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SUNY-ESF Sol Feinstone Environmental Awards logo

2002 Feinstone Environmental Awards

2002 Awards Recipients

Scott A. Jordan—Science Teacher Cuba-Rushford Middle School Cuba, New York
Scott Jordan is an innovative and award-winning science teacher who has excelled at forming partnerships, pursuing external funding and exploring every opportunity in order to bring science to life for his eighth-grade students. In addition, he is himself a researcher, and is active in a variety of conservation organizations.

His students use satellite telemetry to track animals in Alaska's Denali National Park via the Internet, and raise brook trout in the one-acre aquatic habitat, hatchery house and Wildlife Research Center he helped construct on the Cuba-Rushford campus. They preserved a portion of the school grounds for historical and archeological study. The students learn scuba diving in the school pool. They capture, tag and track schoolyard and neighborhood deer. And, they regularly visit the NASA space center in West Virginia.

Says one parent, "He pulls in the disinterested student by 'grossing them out' in the lab, and suddenly, science is fun!"

Nancy E. Driscoll—Science Teacher Thomas C. Armstrong Middle School Ontario Center, New York
When Nancy Driscoll's students come to class, they come prepared for "hands-on, minds-on" activities.

She designed a sixth-grade ecosystem unit for her classes that utilizes the school grounds and nature area trails, allowing the students to learn from experience. As the Ecology Club advisor, she motivated club members and her students to "give back" to the school. Working with community members and the Ontario Garden Club, the group designed and planted new gardens at the school entrance and courtyards. They developed a compost area, butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and bluebird nesting boxes. In addition, her students work to maintain the school's nature trails and conducted a tree inventory along the site.

Each year, her sixth graders become "teachers for a day." With an environmental theme as the background, students identify, plan, organize materials and present lessons at the annual science day for elementary school students.

Cathy J. Ellis—Education Specialist, Adirondack Wilderness Challenge Schuyler Falls, New York
As an education specialist with the Adirondack Wilderness Challenge, Cathy Ellis works with inner-city youth to complete the court-ordered Wilderness Ethics/Leave No Trace programs.

Since many of her students are special needs students, she created a science textbook and accompanying workbook to make her subject matter more easily understood. Many of her lessons incorporate hands-on activities.

Her students participate in bird-banding exercises each spring, and conduct a census of wood ducks at the Wildlife Refuge of Lake Alice. They have assisted in trail maintenance projects and campsite reclamation efforts. Her students also helped to build a boardwalk through a sensitive wetland area along Silver Lake for The Nature Conservancy.

Cathy Ellis, says a colleague, is a dedicated teacher, devoted to her students. "Even traditional educational pursuits such as posters of birds, model displays of drainage, and conventional essays and papers [take] on dynamic characteristics under Ms. Ellis' guidance."

Allison C. Godshall—Integrated Science and Biology Teacher School of the Future New York, New York
Allison Godshall engages students as scientists and participants. She motivates them to get involved by ceding ownership of projects to the students and serving as their mentor. She supervised the creation of a student-designed and maintained roof garden at the School of the Future as part of her ninth grade integrated science class. Currently, her students are working to create a biological survey of the streams, ponds and wetlands on the 221-acre Hall Farm Center for Arts & Education.

She also engages other teachers, creating interdisciplinary learning experiences for the students. The rooftop garden project eventually incorporated the school's drama department, art classes, the math program, and humanities students.

She has established a field studies biology curriculum that takes 100 students to one of five locations to assess the aquatic ecosystem. "Her class," said a student of Allison Godshall, "is a good reason to wake up in the morning."

Michael J. Mallon—Environmental Science Teacher, James I. O'Neill High School Highland Falls, New York
More than 11 years ago, Michael Mallon noted the lack of advanced life science/biology courses in the Highland Falls-Fort Montgomery School District and decided to do something about it.

The following year, environmental science became an integral offering of the science department at the O'Neill High School. Originally an "issues-based" course, the class has evolved under Michael Mallon's guidance to incorporate a vast array of field exercises, journal studies, literature, current events, writing and advanced technology.

A dynamic classroom teacher, he motivates his students to achieve above and beyond their abilities. Although the high school is small (about 500 students), enrollment in the course has grown from 20 students at its inception to more than 80 students today.

"Only a few [teachers] have influenced me in the way that I'll never forget them," says one of his students. "I'm confident that many years from now, Mr. Mallon will be one such teacher."

Honorary Feinstone Award Recipient

The Honorable Carl L. Marcellino—New York State Senate Representing the 5th District 
A former high school biology teacher, Senator Carl Marcellino has drawn on his scientific background to craft a long history of service to the people of New York providing leadership in environmental matters.

Senator Marcellino sponsored the legislation establishing the 1996 Clean Air/Clean Water Bond Act, and laws providing for increased wetland protection and enhanced shellfish transplant programs. He sponsored legislation which created the state's Bird Conservation Bird Area Program and the Emissions Testing Law for Heavy Duty Diesel Vehicles. He also sponsored the bill for the Net Electric Metering Law to encourage solar power usage.

He was instrumental in designating Huntington and Lloyd Harbors as marine no-discharge zones, and is a member of the Bi-State Long Island Sound Marine Commission. Senator Marcellino is a member of the state advisory board of the National Environmental Policy Institute, and a member of the Energy and Environment Committee of The Council of State Governments, Eastern Regional Conference.

He has chaired the New York State Senate Environmental Conservation Committee since 1995.

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Questions may be directed to feinstone@esf.edu.