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CCU Atheneum: Environmental educator Karen Fuss holds the bowl that is awarded annually to South Carolina's Marine Educator of the Year.
Environmental educator Karen Fuss holds the bowl that is awarded annually to South Carolina's Marine Educator of the Year.

Fuss named S.C. Marine Educator of the Year

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Coastal Carolina University's environmental educator Karen Fuss has been named South Carolina's Marine Educator of the Year. She has worked in that capacity for the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at CCU since October 2005.

“Karen wears many hats and is at home in them all,” wrote Beth Thomas, who nominated Fuss for the honor. Thomas is the education coordinator at the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve at the Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences, University of South Carolina.

“As an environmental educator with Coastal Carolina University's Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, or as coordinator of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium, or volunteer coordinator for Waites Island Sea Turtle Monitoring Group (and sometimes as all three at once!), she is ultimately working toward the goal of making our coastline and its waters a healthier place for all of its inhabitants,” Thomas said.

Fuss teaches K-12 students, teachers and school administrators about stormwater and organizes positive action by storm-drain marking and rain gardens installation at area school campuses.

She also works with adult volunteer audiences that include sea turtle volunteers, water quality monitoring citizen scientists and homeowner organizations, working to make a difference in their communities, or lending expertise to local governments, municipal officials, stormwater managers and engineers, and regulatory agencies to help guide key local coastal decision makers on protecting the health of our coastline.

Fuss plays an active role in the marine and environmental education community, having most recently served as board member for South Carolina's Marine Educators Association (SCMEA) and as a secretary for the Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association (MAMEA) before moving to South Carolina.

Fuss earned an M.A. Ed. with an emphasis in marine science from the College of William and Mary in addition to a bachelor's degree from William and Mary and an associate's degree from Richard Bland College.

“For those of you that know Karen, it's obvious why she is so deserving of this award!” concludes Thomas. “Not only is she adept at working with audiences of all ages, but with audiences that are especially significant to the stewardship of our coastal aquatic resources.”

 

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