Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year Award

Award Overview

Throughout Delaware there are exceptional teachers and administrators working to prepare their students to become environmentally aware citizens with creative lessons, impactful projects, and outdoor experiences.

Delaware Nature Society is proud to recognize formal and non-formal educators or administrators who go above and beyond to ensure their students develop a sense of stewardship for the environment with the Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year Award.

Award Recipients Receive

Bestowed on one or more inspirational teachers annually since 1982, Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year recipients are honored at Delaware Nature Society’s Annual Meeting in early April and also receive:

  • $500 towards a class field experience, personal enrichment program or trip, or other products or services offered by Delaware Nature Society
  • An original, personalized watercolor painting Award Certificate
  • A one-year household membership to Delaware Nature Society
  • Statewide recognition through press releases and posting on Delaware Nature Society’s website

To Apply or Nominate a Teacher

Applications must be received by 5 pm on Friday January 27, 2017.
Email application to David Pragoff, School and Group Programs Team Leader at .
Only complete applications will be considered. Although not required, applicants are encouraged to submit supporting documentation such as photographs, lesson plans, student work, or other materials.

For more information

Contact David Pragoff, School & Group Programs Team Leader at or at 302.239.2334, ext 133 if you have questions about the Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.

2017 Application

Congratulations to 2016 winner Mary Osman

Outstanding Environmental Educator Award 2016 winner Mary Osmon

Read about her outsanding environmental education acheivements below.

List of all past award winners »

Meet this year's winner - Mary Osman

Outstanding Environmental Educator Award 2016 winner Mary Osmon
David Pragoff, School and Group Programs Team Leader, Delaware Nature Society
Helen Fischel, Director of Education and Organizational Development, Delaware Nature Society
Barbara Borleske, Co-chair, Board Education Committee, Delaware Nature Society
Mary Osman, High School Teacher, Mount Pleasant High School

Delaware Nature Society’s Outstanding Environmental Educator Award for 2016 was awarded to Mary Osman, High School Teacher Mount Pleasant High School, Wilmington, DE

Mary Osman has taught biological sciences at Mount Pleasant High School in the Brandywine School District for the past three years. Prior to Mt. Pleasant, Mary developed a science elective program in another district for students to investigate ethnobotany and explore the relationships that people have with plants. In speaking about the program at her new school, her incredible enthusiasm for the subject excited her students to the level that they petitioned the administration to bring this program to Mount Pleasant.

In addition to teaching four classes of high school biology, Mary now leads two Ethnobotany elective classes that are fully subscribed with a wait list for additional students. This course enables students of all abilities to get outside and develop an understanding of human dependence on plants and the interrelationships that exist between the natural and built environments.

Students regularly visit Bellevue State park behind the school and engage in citizen science research through programs like Project BudBurst, monitoring leafing and seasonal changes of plants to compare and contrast their timing over years. They participate in interdisciplinary studies of language arts and social studies researching plants from the region and the world and discuss economics and globalization of products such as coffee and chocolate. But most of all, students are able to learn and try new things as they make connections with the natural world and their place in it.

Mary’s creativity and enthusiasm provides all her students, ethnobotany and biology alike, with meaningful experiences that help them grow their knowledge and appreciation for the environment. It is our pleasure to recognize Mary Osman with Delaware Nature Society’s 2016 Outstanding Environmental Educator of the Year Award.