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Dunham named Conservation Educator of the Year

December 6, 2000

Valgene Dunham, dean of Coastal Carolina Universitys College of Natural and Applied Sciences, has been named 2000 Conservation Educator of the Year by the Horry Soil and Water Conservation District.

The award is given annually to an educator dedicated to improving educational instruction and public awareness regarding conservation issues, according to Sam Ward, conservation specialist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. As chairman of the board of directors of the Playcard Environmental Education Center, Dr. Dunham has been instrumental in expanding student research opportunities at the center, said Ward. He has also played an important role in transferring the centers management to the Horry County School District.

Dunham joined the Coastal faculty in 1995. He earned a masters degree in general science in 1965 and a Ph.D. in botany in 1969, both from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. He also conducted post- doctoral research from 1969 to 1973 at Purdue University. Prior to joining Coastal, Dunham was a professor of biology and head of the Department of Biology at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. He is vice president of the South Carolina Academy of Science, a state- wide interdisciplinary science organization designed to stimulate the creative abilities of science students and provide opportunities which promote the development of their talents. Coastal recently hosted the Academy of Sciences Pee Dee region annual workshop, which was attended by more than 250 fourth- through eighth-grade students.