Delaware Association for Environmental Education

Awards for Excellence

Four Awards for Excellence are presented each year at the DAEE Annual Conference.

The Awards for Excellence in Environmental Education are presented annually to recognize and celebrate individuals or groups in Delaware who represent the very best of what environmental education can be and do, ensuring Delaware citizens develop an understanding of the natural world that inspires them to act responsibly moving us toward a more sustainable future. The Awards for Excellence were established in 2017 by the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition (DCIN – now DAEE’s Communities in Nature Initiative) in partnership with DAEE. 

Awards for Excellence categories and descriptions.


  • Exemplary Partnership Award: This award is presented to a group working in Delaware that demonstrate an outstanding partnership in the environmental field that serves as a model and inspiration to others. Delaware Children in Nature partners, DAEE members and other community groups working together to connect families with meaningful experiences outdoors and healthy lifestyles can amplify their positive effects.
  • Meaningful Impact Award: This award recognizes accomplishments toward facilitating positive community impacts on conservation, sustainability, and / or career advancement in the environmental field in Delaware.
  • Healthy Innovation Award: This award recognizes new approaches to connecting children, individuals, and/or families with the outdoors and healthy lifestyles in Delaware.
  • Outstanding Field Educator: This award is presented to an individual and/or organization working in Delaware who demonstrates outstanding environmental education efforts at the local, regional level and/or global level.

Nomination process

The request for nominations for 2022 is out! 

Nominations/submissions are reviewed by a Committee comprised of members of DAEE’s Board of Directors and representatives from DCIN.

The Committee reviews applications and selects Award Winners for each of the four categories. If an individual or organization is nominated for multiple award categories they will be considered for each category but will only be eligible to receive one award.

Award Winners will be invited to attend the Award presentation at the DAEE Annual Conference in late winter 2023.

Questions or comments, please contact Ashley Melvin or

2021 Award Winners

Congratulations to these great individuals and organizations that are advancing Environmental Education and Communities In Nature in Delaware! These awards were handed out during our Annual Conference May 11th and 12th, 2022.


‏Outstanding Field Educator – Gulnihal Ozbay, Delaware State University 

Meaningful Impact – Dee Durham, New Castle County Council


Exemplary Partnership David Pragoff, Delaware Nature Society 


Healthy Innovation – Del-Mar-VA Council, Boy Scouts of America

Previous award winners:

2020 Awards for Excellence Winners

♣ Outstanding Field Educator: Nicole Sturgill, Las Americas Aspira Academy
♣ Meaningful Impact: Delaware Sea Grant / University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment
♣ Exemplary Partnership: The Arden’s Community-Based Spotted Lanternfly Control Project – Integrated Pest Management
♣ Healthy Innovation: Aquatic Resource Education Center (AREC) Eco-Explorer Team

 2019 Awards for Excellence Winners

♣ Outstanding Field Educator: Katie Pollock, University of Delaware
♣ Meaningful Impact: Caroline Fazzini, Mt. Cuba Center
♣ Exemplary Partnership: Delaware Futures
♣ Healthy Innovation: The Urban Garden Initiative

2018 Awards for Excellence Winners

Outstanding Field Educator: Leona Williams, Forwood Elementary School
♣ Meaningful Impact Award: Melissa Tracy, Odyssey Charter School
Exemplary Partnership: Shue-Medill Middle School, Brian Marsh/ US Fish & Wildlife Service
Healthy Innovation: The Jefferson School (now Sussex Academy Elementary)

2017 Awards for Excellence Winners

Outstanding Field Educator: Gary Kreamer, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife
Impact Award: Delaware State Parks Youth Conservation Corps
Exemplary Partnership: Delaware Envirothon
Healthy Innovation: City of Wilmington Green Jobs Program