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U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: June 13, 2000



Local Teacher To Receive National Wetlands Award in D.C.

LAFAYETTE, LA-Linda Beyt, a former middle school teacher now working at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, will receive the National Wetlands Award for education at the nations Capitol on Thursday, June 15. She was nominated for the honor by the U.S. Geological Surveys National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.

link to larger award image Beyt, a resident of Carencro, is one of seven conservationists, scientists and activists selected for their exemplary contributions to the conservation and restoration of U.S. wetlands. The National Wetlands Awards honor exceptional individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary effort, innovation and excellence in wetland conservation through programs or projects at the regional, state or local levels.

Other National Wetlands Awards winners this year are Ruth Patrick, Philadelphia, Pa., science research; Roma Ambrust and Jean Harris, Ventura, Calif., volunteer leadership; Raymond Beck, Marlow, Okla., land stewardship and development; and Derb Carter, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Roger Holmes, St. Paul, Minn., wetlands program development.

Award co-sponsors are the Environmental Law Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Sponsoring the award ceremony at the Capitol are Sens. Bob Graham, D-Fla., and Robert Smith, R-N.H., and Reps. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., and Robert Borski, D-Pa. Keynote speaker will be Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.

The National Wetlands Award is the second honor in three months bestowed upon Beyt. She received a Gulf Guardian award from the Gulf of Mexico Program, a partnership of private and government interests from five Gulf Coast states dedicated to protecting and restoring the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal habitats.

Robert E. Stewart, director, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, said, We are so pleased to see that Linda is receiving both awards we have nominated her for. Because of her passion for teaching about wetlands, this middle school teacher has become a recognized leader in education from Louisiana to New York; a partner in research projects from Maine to Florida; and an instructor of university faculty to promote and involve technology in the teaching of science.

He added, Through her CD-ROM, workshops and classroom and university teaching, Linda has touched the lives of thousand of middle school children and teachers. Her ongoing legacy is to make the children of Louisiana the wetland stewards of the future.

A teacher at Edgard Martin Middle School, Lafayette, from 1982 to 1999, Beyt spent time working with research scientists at the National Wetlands Research Center to help her develop the educational CD-ROM Kneedeep in Louisiana Wetlands. Beyt has become involved in the biodiversity program of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and has brought the program to Louisiana. She participates in Reef Watch with scientists to discover factors affecting coral reef biodiversity and has suggested a hypothesis that a scientist at Bigelow in Maine is testing.

Beyt is developing, with the Lafayette Parish biodiversity program, a field trip activity at ULLs experimental farm. She has also helped develop the Louisiana Wetlands Education Web site. Beyt has presented more than 50 workshops on wetlands including ones sponsored by Project Wet, Louisiana Computing Educators, Louisiana Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, Communities Working for Wetlands and Hands on Outdoor Training Camp.

Beyt has a bachelor of science degree in education from New Mexico State University and a master of education degree from the University of Southwestern Oklahoma and has done postgraduate work at Louisiana State University and ULL.

She is currently an instructor and trainer under a three-year grant by the Department of Education to conduct workshops for education professors of 19 Louisiana universities in methods to encourage their student teachers to incorporate technology in the classroom.

For more information about the awards program, see http://www.eli.org. For more information about the USGS, see http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov.

Note to Editors Black and white or color photos of Linda Beyt are available by mail or electronically by contacting Gaye Farris at 337-266-8559.

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