A leading marine scientist from the University of Newcastle, Dr Bill Gladstone, has received a prestigious award for his work in environmental education.
Dr Gladstone, Director of the University's Centre for Sustainable Use of Coasts and Catchments at the Ourimbah campus, has received an EnergyAustralia National Trust Heritage Award for the project 'Educating undergraduate students about the benefits of conservation partnerships'.
Presented with the award at a ceremony in Sydney yesterday, Dr Gladstone said the project was a partnership between himself, Robin Stanger from Urban and Wildlife Corridors and Liz Phelps from the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.
"The project is a unique educational initiative developed for first year Bachelor of Science students studying marine science and sustainable resource management at the Ourimbah campus," he said.
"It provides students with a real-world experience of the partnership approach to solving conservation issues and demonstrates the great benefits to conservation from volunteer activities.
"The project also provides an opportunity for students to make a substantial personal contribution to addressing significant conservation issues in their local area.
"We believe that in Australia, the University of Newcastle is leading this approach to university education."
The EnergyAustralia National Trust Heritage Awards are the benchmark for heritage and conservation excellence. Award categories include built heritage and landscape conservation projects, energy management, cultural heritage, and education.
"We are thrilled that this award recognises our belief that effective university education about environmental sustainability must involve student participation in solving real local issues," Dr Gladstone said.
"The focus on active partnerships between education, government, the community, the private sector, and the scientific community results in practical, on-the-ground conservation outcomes and a unique educational experience for our students."