Outstanding Environmental Educator Award

Recognizes the exceptional contributions made by an individual to their community in environmental education. This award recipient will demonstrate outstanding leadership, innovation, lasting impact, and commitment to quality EE. This recipient is acknowledged as a role model for environmental responsibility and serves as an inspiration for their audiences and peers. Self-nominations or peer nominations are accepted.

Nominees can be a:

  • Formal educator (i.e. teacher, administrator, curriculum specialist, professor, etc.)
  • Nonformal educator (i.e. environmental educator, interpreter, park ranger, program manager, volunteer coordinator, nonprofit/agency/institution staff, etc.)
  • Volunteer (non-paid community member in a formal or nonformal setting). Volunteer/un-paid nominations will be evaluated against other volunteer/un-paid nominations and at least one volunteer Outstanding Environmental Educator will be selected if received.

Nomination Criteria

Outstanding Leadership: Nominee serves as a model for demonstrating outstanding action, contribution and leadership in environmental education and/or literacy.

Innovative Approach: Nominee approach is innovative, unique, creative, inclusive, relevant and action oriented. Nominee shares ideas, techniques and collaborates with colleagues, students, partners, the public, and/or the greater EE community. The nominee will inspire others to adopt their innovative approaches.

Impact: The nominee’s contributions and impact on its audience/community are noteworthy and nominee can demonstrate evidence of impact. Nominee’s work could be replicated by others. Nominee shows dedication (in current and long-term service) to providing EE opportunities that enhance understanding of the environment (e.g., developed and/or implemented curriculum, programs, innovations, publications, training, other opportunities).

Commitment to Environmental Education: The nominee is future-minded and committed to continuing and expanding their work to advance environmental education and/or literacy.

Click here for the awards criteria scoring form used by reviewers

Nomination Materials

Step 1: Online Nomination Form

Complete and Submit Online 

(click here to preview the form)

Step 2: Nomination Narrative

Please submit a Word document via email (no PDF) that is no longer than 2 pages with 11 point font that includes the following items. These are specific instructions for the Outstanding Environmental Educator Award category. In the top right corner of each page, please type the following: Nominee Name-Educator Award-Type of Educator (i.e. formal, nonformal, volunteer).

Address each of the following items and include specific examples.

  • How does the nominee demonstrate excellence and innovation in EE? Share specific examples of compelling ideas, techniques, and collaborations.
  • How does the nominee demonstrate enthusiasm and passion for providing EE opportunities? Provide examples of contributions and impacts that have affected their community.
  • How is the nominee committed to EE? Share how they are progressive in fostering the integration and application of EE tools and best practices.

Step 3: Program Photographs

Submit three high-resolution photographs depicting the nominee (required). (300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format). Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted.

Step 4: Organization Logo

Submit a high resolution logo for nominee's organization (required). (300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format). Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted.

Step 5: Digital Support (OPTIONAL)

If you would like, please submit one of the following: a 3-minute video/audio clip, 5 PowerPoint slides (please save as a PDF and send), an article, OR a digital slideshow with no more than 10 photos highlighting the nominee. Digital item is supplemental and should NOT be a substitute for required nomination information. (encouraged, but not required)

Step 6: Support Letter(s) (OPTIONAL)

If you chose, you may provide up to two letters of support from those impacted by the nominee’s work.

Note: Due to the size of photos, logos and digital support, please share these items through a file sharing program such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. in cases where the file size is larger than 10MB. Sharing settings should be set to allow CAEE to share materials with reviewers.

Submitting Your Nomination


The nomination will be evaluated on the information you provide and its completeness, legibility, and clarity.

In the email subject line, please type the nominee's name and the award nominating for.
Please name each material with your information as follows: Nominee Name-Educator Award-Material Type (materials type examples: Narrative; Photo 1; Logo, Digital Support, etc.)

Photo Release: Any photos or other digital media submitted may be edited, copied, published, and distributed in CAEE communications and publications. Therefore you should have photo releases on file for any children pictured and permission to share those photos.