Extension educators honored for excellence

Great Lakes coastal issue educators Helen Domske and David MacNeill have been honored for excellence by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Extension Network...

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By Kara Lynn Dunn via the Cornell Chronicle, 11/15/12

New York Sea Grant Extension, based at Cornell, has announced that Great Lakes coastal issue educators Helen Domske and David MacNeill have been honored for excellence by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Extension Network.

Domske, a coastal education specialist based in Buffalo, received an Outstanding Outreach Award for public education programming related to the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products to prevent the release of toxins into the Great Lakes.

A survey by Domske's students in her spring Great Lakes Ecology course at the University of Buffalo indicated that a majority of their family and friends lacked awareness about proper disposal techniques.

Domske authored "Undo the Environmental Chemical Brew: Keep Unwanted Medications and Chemicals Out of the Great Lakes," a four-page primer that covers the effects of such substances as antibiotics, antidepressants, birth control pills, cosmetics and even vitamins on the freshwater Great Lakes system that supplies drinking water to 42 million people in the United States and Canada.

MacNeill, a NYSG fisheries specialist based at SUNY Oswego, received the 2012 Superior Outreach Award for a November 2011 workshop he developed for managers of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes fisheries to improve the design and use of trawls as a fisheries management tool in the Great Lakes. The workshop was supported by the Lake Ontario Great Lakes Regional Research Information Network Project.

In addition, as a result of MacNeill's 2008 trawl workshop, a new trawling research vessel in the Czech Republic was developed to monitor water quality in public drinking water reservoirs.

Kara Lynn Dunn is a freelance writer in Mannsville, N.Y.

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