Helen Domske receives IAGLR’s Vallentyne Award, Among Others, For Her Excellence in Education
Great Lakes Coastal Youth Education - Press Release

Credit: Helen Domske.


Helen Domske, New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist, E: Hmd4@cornell.edu, P: 716-645-3610

Paul Sibley and Allison Vogelsong Zejnati, IAGLR Communications & Outreach Committee Co-Chairs, E: commchair@iaglr.org

Buffalo, NY, June 20, 2018 — The International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) awarded its highest outreach honor to Helen Domske, associate director of the Great Lakes Program at the University of Buffalo and senior coastal education coordinator for New York Sea Grant.

Domske received the John R. (Jack) Vallentyne Award at IAGLR’s 61st annual conference, held at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The award goes to those individuals or groups who have contributed substantially to educating the public and informing policymakers about large lakes issues, leading to protection and restoration of the great lakes of the world.

Domske’s nearly 40 years of research and outreach are exemplary. "Helen's many outreach activities, enthusiasm for the Great Lakes, and innovative ideas for outreach and education, including a ‘teach the teachers’ approach to multiply the students who can be reached, is truly inspiring," says Joseph Atkinson, chair of the Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Buffalo.

Domske has interacted on a highly effective level with a wide variety of audiences, including students, teachers, political leaders, and stakeholders to raise awareness and support for Great Lakes protection and restoration.

“I do not know of anyone better at accurately and understandably translating the latest Great Lakes research and knowledge to the general public and to young people,” says Joseph DePinto, retired Great Lakes scientist and former director of the University of Buffalo Great Lakes Program. “She has done more to develop a constituency of those wanting to preserve and protect and restore the Great Lakes than anyone I know.”

Katherine Bunting-Howarth of New York Sea Grant adds, “I have continually been amazed at the quality of her work and her dedication to outreach and education.  She's taught me more about the Great Lakes than any course or text book.”

Bunting-Howarth isn’t alone in benefiting from Domske’s tutelage. Domske has directly educated more than 50,000 school students in grades 4-12 on Great Lakes topics such as aquatic invasive species, biodiversity, fisheries science, microplastics and plastic debris, and improper disposal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

She also has generously shared her expertise with IAGLR, serving as a co-chair for education and outreach sessions at many annual IAGLR conferences and on the Communications and Outreach Committee for several years.

More Info: Domske's Award-Winning Efforts

Credit: STANYS.

In just the last three years, NYSG's Domske has clearly shown why she's a regular recipient of awards from her peers.

In late May, Domske (pictured above) received the "Science Teachers Association of NYS (STANYS) Western Section 2018 Service Award," which comes from leaders in the science education community in WNY, including teachers, administrators and professors in the field. 

In June 2017, she was recognized by the Buffalo Audubon Society for her education contributions in Western NY.

Additionally, Domske was bestowed the Distinguished Scientist Award in May 2016 from the Western New York  Science Congress.

Here's just a sampling of some of the educational endeavors that Domske has successfully taken on since just 2016:

  • Lake Guardian teacher training on Lake Ontario (July 2018)
    Find out what it's like for 4th-10th grade educators to work side-by-side for a week with scientists on the 180-foot U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research vessel Lake Guardian.

  • Sea Grant Partners Up for 2018 State of Lake Erie Meeting (April 2018)
    The free public meeting, led by NYSG's Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske, was held in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and in cooperation with Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan and the Southtowns fishing club.

  • Drug Take Back Education (April 2018)
    In addition to supporting a twice-a-year "take back" event, NYSG offers "Return Unwanted Medicines" resources, which include information about the impact of keeping pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) out of the Great Lakes and other water sources.

  • Preparing Teachers to Engage Students in Great Lakes Education (Spring 2018)
    In NYSG-led professional development workshops in 2017, teachers from coastal counties across the state learned about aquatic science, Great Lakes stewardship, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics. In this year, NYSG continued its commitment to educating the next generations of Great Lakes citizens by working with more than 125 teachers and 15,000 students.

  • Improving Coastal Restoration Via Shoreline Processes & Management Training (Spring 2018)
    NYSG equips stakeholders, agency representatives and engineers with a variety of tools that help to improve their coastal restoration efforts, from educating on the challenges faced with nature-based shoreline techniques and designing a decision-making framework for nature-based features, to providing methods on how to approach restoration design for shorelines and coastal habitats, as well as overviews of federal state and regional permitting processes.

  • Great Lakes, Great Discoveries (March 2018)
    2018 marked the 32nd Science Exploration Day, an event that NYSG has sponsored for 25 of those years. This year, some 1,200 students and teachers from 50 schools throughout Western NY came to the University at Buffalo to learn about science and research. Sea Grant has also presented on topics such as the Great Lakes, Invasive Species and Coral Reefs as part of the program.

  • On Air: Community Matters - Water Politics: Saving the Great Lakes (March 2018)
    Listen to a 20-minute discussion on the health of the Great Lakes from NYSG's Helen Domske and funded-researcher Dr. Sherri Mason from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

  • Publication: Adopt a Habitattitude™ (February 2018)
    This series of classroom-tested, electronically-available activities are designed to be used by teachers and informal educators in grades 6-12. These innovative and engaging activities can help students learn about and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

    A benefit of using these materials is that educators can see how each activity is matched with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, Great Lakes Literacy Principles, New York State Science Standards and Minnesota State Science Standards.

  • Publication: New York Experts Contribute to Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Comprehensive Report on Asian Carp (October 2017)
    NYSG coastal education and fisheries specialists contributed to development of this "Education and Outreach on Asian Carp" report, which includes information on carp life history, movement and behavior, monitoring, control, ecosystem impacts and gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed further.

  • In Photos: For Helen Domske, the Hunt Goes On (June 2017)
    After diving for years to collect species for the Aquarium of Niagara Falls, Domske has continued to dive in her position with New York Sea Grant.

  • Lake Erie—Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (September 2016)
    Domske offered attendees of this event a look at the early history, fishery and ecology of Lake Erie and progress to the issues, including algal blooms and invasive species, facing this Great Lake today. She offered a forecast of what the future might bring with new scientific developments and management steps underway.
GLEEE Efforts:
NY GL Web Site:
  • NY Great Lakes Information Clearinghouse Now Online (Spring 2017)
    A newly-launched Web-based clearinghouse of information about the Great Lakes region of New York State, www.nyseagrant.org/nygreatlakes, is the result of a partnership between New York Sea Grant and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Users of the portal can access resources related to research projects, grants, New York’s Great Lakes Action Agenda priorities and information on coastal processes, ecosystems and habitats, fisheries, energy, education, Great Lakes communities, coastal recreation and tourism, and water quality.

  • NY Sea Grant Partners with NYSDEC, Launches "New York's Great Lakes" Web Portal (June 2016)
    The Web site is designed as the launching point for audiences of all backgrounds, from environmental researchers and agency personnel to teachers and students interested in New York's Great Lakes information.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog.

Home *  What is NYSG? *  Research *  Extension *  Education *  News & Events *  Publications
  Grants & Policies * Staff * NYSG Sites *  Related Sites 

nyseagrant@stonybrook.edu * (631) 632-6905

Problems viewing our Site? Questions About our Site's Social Media / Other Features? - See Our Web Guidelines

For NYSG Staff ... Site Administration