Department of Natural Resources Honors Five Missouri High School Teachers

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources presented the 2004 Water Education Award to the high school teachers for their efforts to educate their students about water quality issues. Three teachers from southwest Missouri received their awards during the December 3 meeting of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

Mike Collins began the Reeds Spring High School Stream Team in 1993 and soon had students conducting monitoring on Railey Creek. They gathered biological, chemical and bacterial information and shared their findings with the community as well as their State Representatives. Collins also developed a recycling project that reduces, recycles and reuses the wastes generated by Reeds Spring School District. Collins is an advisor for a watershed committee and works closely with the Stone County Soil and Water District.

Geri Brown has been taking students to local creeks for more than 15 years. She became an active volunteer monitor in 1996 when she began training her high school students to collect accurate data. Her Stream Team #210 has been involved with educational events, recruiting, workshops, writing articles for the newspaper, litter pick-ups, watershed inventories and putting up displays at local events. She is also involved with Project Wet teaching methods, recycling and the Science Club at Strafford High School.

Willard High School teacher Diane Crain began monitoring in 1994. Over the past 10 years, her Stream Team has donated more than 2000 hours to the protection of streams in the Willard area. Crain is also head of the high school Science Club and is very much involved with community outreach. Her students are helping with the research work that Drury University is doing on Stockton Lake. Beyond water conservation, Crain is in charge of all school recycling, caving field trips and fishing trips for students.

Joan Twillman received her award during the World Water Monitoring Days celebration in St. Louis in October. Twillman began a Stream Team for her students at St. Charles West High School in 1993. Twillman’s Stream Team has been involved with workshops, litter pickups, water quality monitoring, educational events and research projects involving local waters. She has developed an Authentic Science Research class where students can work on extended projects. Twillman is also head of the Science Club. Club members have competed successfully in the Envirothon, Science Fairs and the Science Olympiad. Twillman is also the area coordinator for the Science Fair event and is a Project WET facilitator.

Susan Franklin teaches at Norborn High School in Carroll County, Missouri. She became active in the Stream Team Program in 1996. She has guided her students through many monitoring activities on the Turkey and Wakenda Creeks. They have planted trees, completed a watershed inventory, held meetings and planned and completed litter pick-ups on the streams. Franklin has helped students display and share their water conservation achievements with the community. She is active in leading students in the Envirothon, a natural resources focused competition event that includes current environmental issues. Her students have achieved high marks in the Science Olympiad competition events as well.

The Water Education Award was created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. The department rotates the award between high school and middle school teachers each year. For more information, contact Priscilla Stotts with the Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300.