PA Sea Grant staff recognized for their work and leadership

Marti Martz, Anna McCartney, Sean Rafferty, Sara Grisé, and Dr Ed Masteller were recognized for their work and leadership within the Sea Grant program and in the community. They recently received the following awards:

  • 2012 Great Lakes Outstanding Outreach Programming Award – Senior Outreach Specialist, Marti Martz (principal investigator), and Communications and Education Specialist, Anna McCartney are two of the team members who received this highest award bestowed by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network.

They and other team members from Illinois-Indiana, New York, and Ohio Sea Grant programs received the award.  This award recognizes a multi-program initiative that helps solve significant problems in the Great Lakes and recognizes exceptional leadership, teamwork, and accomplishments that have a considerable impact on the Sea Grant/Extension missions and their benefit to the public.

Their proposal, Undo the Great Lakes Chemical Brew: Proper PPCP Disposal was funded by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant from the U.S. EPA. By combining outreach and educational efforts, the team members are helping Great Lakes basin residents understand the environmental and health impacts associated with the use and disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products.  Their outstanding work and collaboration to keep PPCPs out of the environment has been very successful.  Working together, the Undo the Chemical Brew team has collected almost 2.7 million pills and informed over 1,075,000 anglers, educators, students, 4-H youth, medical professionals, and community members in their states and other states where they have shared their work.

These Sea Grant staff members provided research-based information to citizens and policy makers and health professionals addressing this issue, as well as assistance in hosting community medicine collection events. Two special 12- page publications in the Erie Times-News, written by Anna McCartney were published in the Erie newspaper and were also distributed throughout the Great Lakes region.

  • 2012 Great Lakes Sea Grant Individual Achievement Awards the only Great Lakes Sea Grant-sponsored awards to recognize individual accomplishments during Sea Grant careers went to two other Pennsylvania Sea Grant staff.  Sean Rafferty and Sara Grisé received recognition at the GLSGN meeting in Duluth Minnesota for their exceptional individual efforts.

Sean Rafferty received the Great Lakes Sea Grant Mid-Career Individual Achievement Award at the GLSGN meeting in Duluth Minnesota. Sean has been an integral member of the Pennsylvania Sea Grant team since joining the program in 2001. Sean has developed focused outreach, education, and applied research programs related to the ecosystem health of Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie watershed and the sustainability of Pennsylvania’s coastal resources. In addition, Sean serves as an integral member of the management team, including: managing interns; assisting with our applied research RFP; serving as liaison to the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO); and ensuring reporting, review, strategic planning, and proposal requests from NSGO are fulfilled. Sean has authored/co-authored four peer-reviewed journal articles; delivered 16 presentations at state, national, and international conferences; and secured $1,479,904 in non-NSGO funding.

Sara N. Grisé received the GLSGN Early-Career Individual Achievement Award. Since joining the program as a Coastal Outreach Specialist in 2006, Sara has consistently brought creativity, innovation, and dedication to the Pennsylvania Sea Grant family and partners. Her expertise in aquatic invasive species (AIS) education and outreach has led to the development of valuable research projects, resources, and management tools that have been utilized and requested by partners throughout the Commonwealth and the Great Lakes community. Sara’s initiative has also earned her a leadership role in climate change by jump starting climate adaptation projects in Erie, and exploring how climate change and AIS may interact to impact invasive species movement, establishment, and management in Pennsylvania. Sara has reached out to over 6,000 citizens on the importance of preventing the spread of AIS; she has given 14 presentations at state, regional, and national conferences; has co-authored a peer-reviewed journal article, and has written and updated over 24 aquatic invasive species fact sheets.

  • The John C. Oliver Environmental Leadership Award.  On Oct. 26 Dr. Ed Masteller, the director of the Natural History Museum at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center received the award named in honor of John C. Oliver, the first Secretary of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the first Board Chair of the Friends of TREC, and lifelong environmental leader.  The Friends of TREC Board of Directors selected Dr. Masteller, to recognize him for his significant environmental leadership at location(s) such as The Tom Ridge Environmental Center, Presque Isle, the Erie Bay, and on the PA Lake Erie shoreline.

The existence and high quality of the Natural History Museum at TREC is due to the vision, persistence and dogged determination of Dr. Masteller.   His goal of making collections of organisms in the area and listing them on the up-to-date Dynamic Dunes website helps others now and in the future make good environmental decisions.  His former students carry on his enthusiasm for biology and are transferring that enthusiasm to others.  The Erie community and Pennsylvania Sea Grant has benefited by Ed’s involvement in many projects over the years.

Newspapers In Education (NIE)

PA Sea Grant provides the content and teacher lesson plans for the Erie Times-News Tuesday "Reconnect with your environment" NIE page. Past pages and lesson plans can be found here.