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Contributions to science education honored at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

June 10, 1996 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Director Bill Madia today honored three staff members with the Fitzner/Eberhardt Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science and Engineering Education. A retired Pacific Northwest scientist, Lee Rogers, was presented with a special "lifetime contribution" award.

Researchers Al Fuciarelli, Eric Nyberg and Jim Young were selected for their contributions to the laboratory's education programs and mission; their impact or influence on the students in those programs; and the professional recognition they have received. Fuciarelli, Nyberg and Young each will receive $1,500 along with the award.

The Fitzner/Eberhardt awards are given in memory of Battelle scientists Richard Fitzner and Les Eberhardt who died in a plane crash in 1992, cutting short their outstanding service not only to research but to education and training of future scientists and engineers.

Rogers, a biologist, who retired last year after 23 years at the laboratory, worked closely with Fitzner and Eberhardt and embodies their dedication to teaching and mentoring students. He personally has devoted endless hours to helping elementary, secondary and college students, as well as the general public, better understand and appreciate the ecology of the Columbia Basin. In addition to providing research experiences for students and developing curriculum, as a manager, Rogers enabled other staff members to do the same.

Rogers is now the academic coordinator of Biological Science Programs at Washington State University-Tri-Cities. He also writes a column on natural history for the Tri-City Herald; and his efforts to promote public understanding of local environments led to the creation of the Arid Lands Field Institute, which will begin offering public education programs this spring.

Fuciarelli, a bioanalytical chemist, is known as an excellent mentor to the students who are appointed to work with him. Students say he provides rich learning experiences and challenging research opportunities, which are critical elements in their successful application to graduate school or a job in their chosen field.

Nyberg, a materials engineer, has been involved extensively in the laboratory's three-year effort to train elementary science teacher leaders.

Nationally, the project involves approximately 300 teachers and has resulted in recognition by the Washington Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Washington Science Teachers Association. In addition to providing hands-on science opportunities through the laboratory's Sharing Science with Schools and working with the Columbia Basin Science Fair, Nyberg was instrumental in linking the laboratory to the Professionals as a Resource for Instructors of Science and Mathematics program.

Young, a biologist who operates a scanning tunneling microscope for the laboratory, has a commitment to science education that extends well beyond a sense of professional responsibility to an avocation. He has participated in every aspect of the laboratory's pre-college programs including classroom presentations, helping middle school teachers enhance their curriculum, mentoring students with research appointments at the laboratory and providing technical assistance to schools in setting up and maintaining science equipment.

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Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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