Environmentally Speaking

DEQ’s secretary, Michael Regan, made a visit to the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District this week to present Lisa Pope with her environmental education certificate. Pope is the resource program support coordinator for the Orange County Soil and Water Conservation District and recently completed the department’s Environmental Education Certification Program. Secretary Regan took this opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of educators like Pope to science education and environmental stewardship.

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After months of intensive training and completion of projects relevant to their job duties, six DEQ employees – two each from the divisions of Air Quality, Waste Management and Water Resources – have graduated from the Certified Public Manager (CPM) program. They were among the 51 state employees earning the nationally-accredited degree, all of whom were honored in a recent ceremony at the N.C. Museum of History. More than 2,245 mid-level managers have earned the degree since 1981, when the program launched with the goal of bringing greater effectiveness to public sectors across the state.

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Secretary Michael Regan recently met with fourth grade students visiting Raleigh from Salisbury Academy in Salisbury, NC. Students, their teacher and parent chaperones arrived by train and toured the State Capitol, the Museum of History, the General Assembly, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Executive Mansion. Their final stop was the Department of Environmental Quality’s Green Square building for a visit with Secretary Regan.

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The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs is offering several engaging and in some cases “spooky,” topics for their fall lunchtime speaker series. With a nod to the season, October’s sessions include “Soring Talons of Death,” “Oddities from the Vault,” “Our Mysterious Night Flyers,” “Spooky Spiders” and “Howling Misconceptions.” Tomorrow’s talk, “Ghosts Forest of the Sounds” with Marcelo Ardon Sayao of N.C. State University, will feature a unique citizen science project to investigate the changing shorelines of North Carolina.

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More than a Helping Hand For Division of Marine Fisheries staff, helping a co-worker is a daily occurrence, from holding a door for someone carrying a load to staying late to help meet a deadline. On March 14, one employee gave more than a helping hand when Cindi Hamilton (pictured on the left) donated a kidney to Carol Littrell (pictured on the right). Littrell, currently a part-time receptionist for the division, worked as an office assistant for the N.C. Marine Patrol for 33 years before retiring in 2012. Hamilton is an administrative assistant in the Director’s Office.

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The Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs and the N.C. Public Schools Science Section have coauthored an article that touts the unique collaboration between the two agencies to unite formal and informal educators in the state. The article, Collaboration + Good Coffee = Connected Science Learning Success was published in the spring edition of the Connected Science Learning journal, a publication of the National Science Teachers Association and the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

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