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CSUMB educator receives GREEN award

CSU Monterey Bay’s Laura Lee Lienk was honored with the GREEN Educator Award for her work in promoting environmental issues.

Earth Force, a Colorado-based nonprofit dedicated to engaging young people to be stewards of the environment, and the General Motors Foundation sponsor the award. It recognizes teachers, college professors and volunteers who integrate environmental education into school and community programs. GREEN stands for Global Rivers Environmental Education Network. “Laura Lee was selected from among thousands of educators to receive the inaugural GREEN Educator Award,” said Kristen Mueller of Earth Force. “She was nominated because she exemplifies the best of what educators are doing to teach young people to lead efforts to protect our environment. “Her work, day in and day out, has been an inspiration to all of us at Earth Force and the GM Foundation,” Mueller said. At the university, Lienk serves in a variety of roles. She’s co-director of the Watershed Institute, director of the institute’s Return of the Natives restoration education project and coordinator of Service Learning in Applied Science and Technology.

“Connecting environmental and social issues through community-based service learning benefits the environment but also human communities," Lienk said. As coordinator of Service Learning, she works with faculty members in biology, math, environmental studies and computer science to find partner organizations where hundreds of CSUMB students interact with communities beyond their classrooms each year. She is also coordinating a STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – academic learning community. Partners in that project include high school math and biology teachers, Natividad Hospital Auxiliary, Loaves, Fishes and Computers and the Agricultural and Land Based Training Association. Lienk has been with CSUMB since 1995. Honorees are featured on the Earth Force website, along with their teaching tools and ways they get students involved. To read about Laura, click here.

The GM Foundation and Earth Force will announce five winners each month until “we find 20 educators from across the nation who exemplify great GREEN teaching,” according to the website

To learn more about CSUMB's Watershed Institute, click here. To learn more about the Return of the Natives restoration education project, click here.