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2005 IOWATER Volunteer Awards


IOWATER Volunteer of the Year

Lloyd and Gaylan Crim

The IOWATER Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Lloyd and Gaylan Crim. Lloyd and Gaylan have been IOWATER monitors since 2001, and have monitored four stream sites on Montgomery and Prairie Creeks in the Squaw Creek Watershed in Boone County on a monthly basis ever since. They have also planned their monitoring schedules to coincide with IOWATER statewide snapshot events, which consequently, has allowed them to participate in every single one to date. As strong supporters and active members of the Squaw Creek Watershed Coalition, they continually immerse themselves in water quality projects. In addition to their untiring IOWATER sampling efforts, both are participants in the Midwest Bacteria Project, a six-state effort to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of bacteria field kits for use with volunteer water monitoring programs across the United States.

 Lloyd and Gaylan’s commitment to the environment extends beyond the realm of water quality. Their more than 30 years of conservation work, including prairie walks through Doolittle Prairie and the caring for trumpeter swans through the DNR’s Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project, were recognized this year when they were named the recipients of the Hagie Heritage Award, an annual award presented by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to recognize outstanding Iowa conservationists.

Through their water monitoring efforts, prairie and plant conservation work, and wildlife activities, Lloyd and Gaylan demonstrate on a daily basis their commitment to protecting and preserving Iowa’s natural resources.



IOWATER Professional of the Year

Tammy Turner

The IOWATER Professional of the Year award was presented to Tammy Turner, a naturalist with the Bremer County Conservation Board. Tammy has been instrumental in helping to coordinate the state’s largest volunteer snapshot sampling event, the Wapsipinicon River snapshot, by enlisting volunteers, selecting sites, promoting the value of snapshot data through interviews and printed media, coordinating workshops for volunteers, and following up with the media and volunteers upon completion of the events. She also works with Bremer County’s future water quality monitors, the area school children, and introduces them to the wonders of the water, helping them to discover and understand why water quality is important to them.

With her encouraging, resourceful, and always optimistic attitude, those who have the pleasure of working with Tammy oftentimes find it hard to conjure up an adequate array of superlatives that truly embody the praise they have for her. Perhaps the words of a colleague and fellow volunteer speak for themselves; “I think she's one of the greatest people I've worked with – and there have been a lot of them.”


IOWATER Classroom of the Year

Mike Skopec and his North Tama High School Advanced Biology Class

(Photo -Mike Skopec, David Morrison, Aaron Skopec, and Gina Kubik)

The IOWATER Classroom of the Year award was presented to Mike Skopec and his North Tama High School Advanced Biology Class. By integrating IOWATER into his classroom curriculum, Mr. Skopec provides his students with an opportunity to learn about the natural resources that surround them. Each year during Mike’s water quality unit, his students enthusiastically embark upon a quest to unlock the secrets of Wolf Creek, and conclude their water quality studies by presenting their data to the North Tama Board of Education.

As a result of Mr. Skopec’s dedication to both his students and to science, North Tama Advanced Biology students graduate with a better appreciation for their local streams. They talk to people about not dumping garbage in them, and how their watersheds impact the quality of their waters. The students really get excited about it and have fun learning.

For many students, the connections they make with their environment transcend far beyond Advanced Biology and Wolf Creek in Tama County. Their classroom experiences help shape their futures – the connections the students make with the environment help them to connect with themselves. One of Mr. Skopec’s former students, who graduated in 2002 and has since taken it upon himself to become IOWATER certified and pursue a degree in natural resources, not only nominated Mike for this award, but also added, “Thank you for this opportunity to honor one of the best men I know.”


IOWATER Event of the Year  

 Grant Wood Area Education Agency and their Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2)

(Photo - Erica Larson and Bruce Frana)

The IOWATER Event of the Year award was presented to the Grant Wood Area Education Agency and their Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2) initiative. In May of 2005, teachers and students from 8 school districts converged on the University of Iowa campus for the E2T2 student showcase. The students and teachers spent the morning completing a guided inquiry experience, collecting water samples from the Iowa River with university researchers, examining ongoing Geographic Information Systems applications, and engaging in hands-on practice with hydrology technology tools. During the afternoon, they conducted their own scientific inquiry investigations, posing individual questions and using what they learned from the morning session to gather data to answer their questions.

In October of 2005, this same cadre of teachers and students, along with an additional group of their colleagues and students, science consultants, and school administers, participated in the largest-ever IOWATER workshop held at Kent Park near Oxford. Working side-by-side with each other, these individuals, representing all facets of the educational community, came together, networked, and learned from one another. For many, it may not have been necessarily what they learned, but more so what they experienced; and that they experienced it together. While they learned a lot, experiencing it together is why they’ll remember and understand it.