NYSG Coastal Education Specialist Recognized for Western NY Contributions by Buffalo Audubon Society
Great Lakes Coastal Youth Education - Press Release

New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske receives the 2017 Henry J. Kord Conservation Award from Buffalo Audubon Society Director of Education Lauren Makeyenko. Photo: Buffalo Audubon Society


    Helen Domske, NY Sea Grant's Coastal Education Specialist, P: 716.645.3610, E: hmd4@cornell.edu

    Katherine Bunting-Howarth, New York Sea Grant Associate Director, Cornell University, E: keb264@cornell.edu, P: 607-255-2832

    Kara Lynn Dunn, Publicist, E: karalynn@gisco.net, P: 315-465-7578


Buffalo, NY, June 7, 2017 - The Buffalo Audubon Society has presented its 2017 Henry J. Kord Conservation Award to New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske. The “award is given only to those who made a very significant contribution to the conservation of western New York’s natural resources,” according to the announcement by the Buffalo Audubon Society.

"I am surprised and humbled by the award,” says Domske. “It is always a pleasure to have respected counterparts recognize the work that I have been involved with."

Domske has devoted her professional life to ensuring that the present and next generations of Great Lakes citizens are well-prepared to make sound decisions contributing to the health of New York’s environment. Through teach-the-teacher professional development training and school presentations, Domske impacts hundreds of teachers and by extension thousands of students each year.

The annual Science Exploration Day at the University of Buffalo, where Domske is Associate Director of the Great Lakes Program at UB, draws more than 1,200 students to learn about science and research.

In 2017 Domske has led development of the NY Great Lakes Ecosystem Education Exchange (www.nyseagrant.org/educationexchange) with teaching materials to empower K-12 educators with Great Lakes watershed-related curricula for their classrooms and field experiences.

Domske has helped angling enthusiasts better understand the science of Lake Erie fisheries and its ecosystem through an annual, well-attended April State of Lake Erie meeting organized in cooperation with the state Department of Environmental Conservation for the past 24 years.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Sea Grant Education Coordinator Helen Domske at the 2015 Annual State of Lake Erie Meeting in the Southtowns Walleye Association clubhouse. Photo: The Buffalo News

Domske has published resources to encourage public participation in reducing pharmaceutical, chemical and plastics contamination of NY waters.

She is currently working on a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project focused on aquatic invasive species education through the national Habitattitude™ program. The program encourages responsible consumer behavior to prevent the release of aquarium and water garden fish and plant life into the natural aquatic environment.

In early October 2016, NYSG's Helen Domske spoke at an international "Celebrating the Great Lakes" panel at the Great Lakes Public Forum sponsored by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment and Climate Change. She is pictured second from the left alongside (l-r) Sandy Smith, Nichols School Buffalo; Kathryn Buckner, President, Council of Great Lakes Industries; Josephine Mandamin, First Nations; Robert Sawyer, Science Fiction Writer; Rabia Ahmed, Coordinator, Eid Festival 2016, Hamilton, Ontario. This session provided an opportunity to explore diverse perspectives on why the Great Lakes matter to our culture, environment and economy.

The Great Lakes Public Forum, which occurs once every three years, provides an opportunity for the United States and Canada to discuss and receive public comments on the state of the Lakes and binational priorities for science and action; and provides an opportunity for the International Joint Commission to discuss and receive public comment on the Progress Report of the Parties. Last year, Canada and the U.S. released the first report, which documents the actions taken since the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

More Info: Buffalo Audubon Society

The Buffalo Audubon Society is devoted to promoting the appreciation and enjoyment of the natural world through education and stewardship. Its primary stewardship charge is to protect the 1,000 acres of Western New York property, habitats and ecosystems of its seven centers and preserves. In an effort to expand this mission beyond the borders it monitors, BAS encourages others to do their part by taking an active role in daily activities that make a difference, such as recycling, reducing energy consumption and planting native species. Through partnering with local organizations such as Audubon New York and the National Audubon Society, the Society also educates policy makers about appropriate stewardship of the environment. More at www.buffaloaudubon.org.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

New York Sea Grant maintains Great Lakes offices at SUNY Buffalo, the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark and at SUNY Oswego. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Manhattan, in the Hudson Valley through Cooperative Extension in Kingston and at Brooklyn College. 

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG produces a monthly e-newsletter, "NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog, www.nyseagrant.org/blog. Our program also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published 1-2 times a year.

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