Lopez Island Nick Teague wins BLM Silver Award for Excellence

Students in a Family Resource Center nature exploration class listen raptly to Nick teague talk about environmental wonders.

Out of four finalists nationwide, Nick Teague, Bureau of Land Management, Spokane District, San Juan Islands Field Station has been awarded the Silver Award for Bureau of Land Management’s 2009 Excellence in Interpretation or Environmental Education Award. It was presented by the National Association for Interpretation

“I am really honored and excited to simply be nominated,” Teague said. “But to actually receive the silver award…I am tickled to death. I am thankful to be recognized for the work that we are doing here in the San Juan Islands.”

Teague began working for the Bureau of Land Management in June 1996 as an Intern. In 2005, he moved to Lopez Island to begin working for the Spokane District. Teague began laying the foundation for the development of educational and interpretive projects for use in academic, private, and public venues. His focus has been on local conservation biology, maritime history and culture and ecosystems. He is currently working on developing programs to engage youth and adults in marine studies while addressing leave no trace practices and fitness for their physical well-being in an outdoor class room setting.

Participants are encouraged to share with others about what they learned, beginning with their families, and engage in a community service project that relates to their experiences. A strong message about responsible stewardship of public lands as a citizen is provided at each program’s end. For most participants it is an introduction to the BLM as the managing federal agency for many of the special landscapes they view each day from their community.

Teague has been working extensively with the Lopez Island Conservation Corps youth program, Lopez Island Family Resource Center summer workshops, Keepers of the Patos Light, Turn Point Lighthouse Preservation Society, KWIAHT, Lopez School District, Salmonberry School, and many others to share the wonders of the natural world and create opportunities for experiential education.

Recently the San Juan Islands Experiential Education Outdoor Classroom was incorporated into the “Hands on the Land” National Education network thanks to the efforts of Teague. He values Environmental education and sharing with others. He considers this part of his job as one of the most rewarding aspects.

“To see others excited about all that the natural world has to offer is inspiring and I am quite honored to witness many of these moments,” Teague commented.

Teague’s direct engagement with the local community providing diverse environmental education opportunities, along with his partnerships dedicated to sharing with others, have been rewarded the BLM Excellence in Interpretation and Environmental Education Silver award.

He is looking forward to the National Association of Interpretation conference to be held in Hartford, Conn. this coming week. Teague received his Silver Award this past Thursday evening, Nov. 19.