Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
SAN FRANCISCO BAY:Refuge's Long-Time Environmental Educator Wins National "Sense of Wonder" Award
California-Nevada Offices , November 13, 2007
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Environmental Education Specialist Fran McTamaney (Photo: USFWS)
Environmental Education Specialist Fran McTamaney (Photo: USFWS) - Photo Credit: n/a

by Karla Tanner, San Francisco Bay NWRC

Fran McTamaney, a long-time environmental education specialist at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex,  was named this year's winner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Sense of Wonder Award, the agencies highest honor for achievement in environmental education and interpretation.  The award, presented annually by the Service, acknowledges Fran’s key role introducing children to nature and helping chart the course of environmental education within the Service.


Fran received the award during the National Association for Interpretation’s 2007 National Workshop, held November 6-10, in Wichita, Kansas.


Under Fran’s guidance, the environmental education program at the San Francisco Bay NWR Complex expanded from a single location on the Don Edwards SF Bay NWR to include three other locations on that refuge, and programs at San Pablo Bay, Farallon, and Ellicott Slough NWRs.  Each program is distinct and tailored to specific management issues of the refuge and the needs of the local communities served by the programs.


Through Fran's leadership and using best practices of environmental education, more than 120,000 students in the greater San Francisco Bay area have had opportunities to forge emotional and intellectual connections through well designed field trip programs.  Fran facilitated these connections either personally or though the products that she helped develop and produce.


Fran also served on the original design/development team for two national U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service environmental education courses: Developing Teacher Training and Environmental Education Methods. She instructed sessions of those two courses for 15 years.


Although Fran retired at the end of September, the programs, activities, manuals, and training courses that she developed throughout her 22-year career will continue to be employed by educators and enjoyed by children for many years to come.


The Sense of Wonder award takes its name from a book by the great conservationist and former U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employee Rachel Carson, who urged adults to help children develop a “sense of wonder” in the natural world that would continue to grow for generations. Both her spirit and her professional achievements show how fully Fran embraced this philosophy.


The San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge Complex consists of Antioch Dunes NWR, Don Edwards San Francisco Bay NWR, Ellicott Slough NWR, Farallon NWR, Marin Islands NWR, Salinas River NWR and San Pablo Bay NWR.  More information about  refuges is available on the Web at: http://www.fws.gov/sfbayrefuges/ .





Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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