"This work is my passion," says Speziale. "I would do it without recognition, but the award affirms that others support the need for and importance of scientifically accurate and balanced environmental education."
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) will present Speziale, a professor in the department of biological sciences, the award during the Fourth SETAC World Congress and 25th Annual Meeting in North America to be held Nov. 14-18, 2004, in Portland, Ore.
Speziale, who earned a doctorate in zoology from Clemson University, has more than 20 years of experience in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) science education, curriculum development, and community outreach. Along with her efforts to improve high school biology curriculum, Speziale creates easily understood publications that teach the public how to reduce their impact on the environment.
Currently, Speziale is the director of a $1.8-million project, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Biological Sciences Education Program, which educates middle and high school students and teachers about the South Carolina environment.
The SETAC/Menzie-Cura Education Award recognizes an individual, group, organization or corporation that has made a major contribution in improving environmental science education. An individual must make significant advancements to environmental awareness education for youth either through educating other instructors or by working with community groups and K-12 programs.
"I am honored to be recognized by SETAC and Menzie-Cura for my career work in environmental education," says Speziale, an associate dean of undergraduate studies. "I respect SETAC and Menzie-Cura for establishing an award for environmental education, in addition to the SETAC awards for environmental research and service."
SETAC is a not-for-profit, worldwide professional society consisting of individuals and institutions dedicated to the study, analysis, and solution of environmental problems; the management and regulation of natural resources; environmental education; and research and development. Visit www.setac.org for more information.