NY Sea Grant Extension Educators Receive National, Great Lakes Network Honors
Great Lakes Coastal Community Development Program / Coastal Youth Education - News

Left to right: Tory Gabriel, Ohio Sea Grant Extension, and Jesse Schomberg, Minnesota Sea Grant Extension, presented New York Sea Grant Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman with a 2019 Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Outstanding Outreach Programming Award. Credit: Todd Marsee/Michigan Sea Grant.


Katherine Bunting-Howarth, J.D., Ph.D, New York Sea Grant's Associate Director, E: kathybh@cornell.edu, P: 607-255-2832

Mary Austerman, Great Lakes Coastal Community Specialist, E: mp357@cornell.eduP: 315-331-8415

Kara Lynn Dunn, NYSG Great Lakes Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315.465.7578

Ithaca, NY, October 21, 2019 - Two New York Sea Grant (NYSG) Extension educators received special recognition at the 2019 Great Lakes Sea Grant Network meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in September. Additionally, one of those educators was presented a national award at mid-October's Sea Grant Extension Assembly, Communicator, and Research Coordinator Conference in Savannah, GA.

At the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network meeting, NYSG Community Development Specialist Mary Austerman was presented an Outstanding Outreach Programming Award for excellence in assisting Lake Ontario coastal communities to address record high water and flooding since 2017. 

NYSG Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske received a Distinguished Service Award for her 26-year Sea Grant career devoted to preparing present and future generations of Great Lakes citizens to make sound decisions about the unique ecosystem.

“We are pleased to have the leadership of our Great Lakes educators recognized and, more so, to know that because of their work the environmental, educational, and economic interests of New York’s Great Lakes coastal communities are significantly advanced,” said New York Sea Grant Associate Director and Cornell Cooperative Extension Assistant Director Katherine Bunting-Howarth, based at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.

Austerman’s work is applying social science-based research and community-driven needs assessment to help shoreline communities to enhance preparation and resiliency for high and low water levels and other extreme events.  Her project work includes development of tools that have been requested for utilization in Pennsylvania and Canada. Later this fall, Austerman will publish an in-depth assessment resource to help communities understand if or how well they are prepared for coastal flooding and other weather-related disasters. 

“This award truly represents the invaluable collaborations with agencies, non-governmental organizations, regional planning councils, researchers, and local governments that have been working to assist our communities to be better prepared and able to respond to weather disasters and coastal flooding,” said Austerman.

Austerman serves New York’s Great Lakes region from the NYSG office at Cornell Cooperative Extension Wayne County, Newark, N.Y.; 315-331-8415.

In addition to receiving the Distinguished Service Award at September's Great Lakes Sea Grant Network meeting, Helen Domske (pictured above, center, alongside NYSG Associate Director Kathy Bunting-Howarth, at far left, and NYSG Director Becky Shuford, at far right) won the William Q. Wick Visionary Career Leadership Award at mid-October's National Sea Grant Extension Assembly Meeting. Since 1995, the award has recognized outstanding career achievement, leadership, vision, and contributions to Sea Grant Extension through programming or administration by a Sea Grant extension professional. This is the highest honor available for a Sea Grant Extension Specialist. Credit: Paul C. Focazio/NYSG.

Domske’s environmental literacy focus included development of the Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange for K-12 educators, programming to reduce pharmaceutical pollution, and exemplary service in training thousands of K-12 teachers who teach tens of thousands of students each year about the Great Lakes ecosystem. 

Domske’s celebrated career also includes a 2019 Niagara Frontier Science Supervisors Distinguished Service Award, and, in 2018, the International Association for Great Lakes Research Outreach Award and Science Teachers Association of New York State Outstanding Service Award.

Domske, who recently retired, also served as Associate Director of the Great Lakes Program at the University at Buffalo. NYSG’s new Great Lakes Literacy Educator Monica L. Miles, Ph.D., can be reached at the NYSG office at the University at Buffalo, 202 Jarvis Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, 716-645-3610.

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.

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