2013 MAEE Awards Recipients

Below are the winners of the 2013 Minnesota EE Awards program! They were presented with their awards at the 2013 Minnesota's Environmental Education Conference at the Bloomington Hilton on June 14th during the annual meeting.

Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Education

Doug Wood
Author, Musician, Environmental Educator, Wilderness Guide

Doug WoodDouglas Wood has been called “Minnesota’s renaissance man”. Author, artist, musician, naturalist, wilderness guide, he is the creator of thirty books for children and adults, with two and a half million copies sold. His first book, Old Turtle, was hailed as an instant classic, a “profound, lapidary work” that fused “simple eloquence with an elemental logic.” Translated widely, it has received many honors and awards, including the American Booksellers Book of the Year and the International Reading Association Book of the Year. Doug has been invited to read his books at the White House, and recently narrated a choral and symphonic setting of Old Turtle at New York’s famed Lincoln Center. In his books, frequent speaking engagements, and far-flung wilderness expeditions Mr. Wood continues to explore the relationship between the natural world and the human spirit.
Recipient of the International Reading Association “Book of the Year”, ABBY Award, Christopher Medal, Barnes and Noble Star of the North, and Storytelling World Award among others, Douglas Wood lives with his family in a log cabin in the pines by the Mississippi River.

MAEE is pleased to honor Doug Wood with the Lifetime Achievement in Environmental Education Award. He has committed his entire career connecting people to the natural world using a variety of formats. He is a wonderful model to educators as he is full of passion, knowledge, and has a strong desire to share his love of nature! MAEE has been proud to also have him as a member, keynote speaker and performer at several past conferences. 

Formal Environmental Educator of the Year

Karl Kaufmann
Pillager High School

Karl KaufmannMAEE is proud to honor Karl Kaufmann with the Formal Environmental Educator of the Year Award! His interdisciplinary approach to teaching environmental education and his efforts to go above and beyond to provide students with hands-on real-world experiences make him an exemplary recipient of this award. 

Karl Kaufmann has taught at Pillager High School for the past 22 years. Mr. Kaufmann graduated Cum Laude in biology from St. Cloud State University. He holds a Master of Educational leadership degree from Southwest State University. In addition, Karl has completed MN DNR Woodland Stewardship training and is a U of M Master Gardner. A former Pillager Teacher of the Year, his accomplishments include the start-up and development of the forestry and greenhouse programs for which he was awarded the MFI Forest Educator of the Year Award 2000 and the development of a biotechnology course for which he was honored by the U of M College of Biological Sciences; Outstanding science Teacher Award 2003. Mr. Kaufmann has also served on a variety of state and regional committees over the years involving environmental and outdoor education. His talents were appreciated while he served on the MAEE School Forest Advisory Committee! His recent focus has been on developing, expanding and implementing collaborative, interdisciplinary projects and experiences that utilize the outdoors and environmental components with other departments and staff that he works closely with at Pillager Schools.

Non-formal Environmental Educator of the Year

Joe Walewski
Director of Naturalist Training
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Joe WalewskiAs Director of Naturalist Training at Wolf Ridge ELC, Joe Walewski mentors students in the process of becoming stronger teachers, wiser learners and compassionate world citizens. Before landing at Wolf Ridge ELC, he spent time teaching out east at Jekyll Island 4-H Center and the Ashokan Field Campus in New York.

He has been instrumental in developing the first-of-its-kind partnership with the University of Minnesota-Duluth; it involves student teaching and environmental education. This innovative program bridges the gap between both formal and non-formal education. 

Joe is also involved in many other facets of education. He has brought to life the amazing world of Lichens, in his book Lichens of the North Woods. He is involved with the Midwest Peregrine Falcon Restoration Project, William Kelley Elementary School PTSO, and is an active member of MAEE. MAEE has been very fortunate to have Joe serve on past boards and present at previous conferences. MAEE is honored to award Joe Walewski with the Non-formal Environmental Educator of the Year Award. His leadership and commitment to the field of environmental education has touched the lives of many!


Learn about all of the past MAEE Award Recipients



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