BCTC Instructor Named KAEE Outstanding Educator
Bluegrass Community & Technical College (BCTC) Professor Tracy Knowles was selected by the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education's (KAEE) Excellence in Environmental Education Awards as a 2018 Outstanding Educator.
"We admire your dedication and hard work in the field of environmental education and are delighted to recognize your achievement," stated Destiny McCauley, outreach coordinator, Kentucky Association for Environmental Education.
Knowles is chemistry department coordinator and professor of chemistry and environmental science technology. While at BCTC, Knowles has secured over one million dollars in grant funding.
"Professor Tracy Knowles has long been at the forefront of environmental education in our state. Her imagination, vision, and commitment to the success and development of her students have consistently extended beyond the technical requirements of her job description, making her an excellent candidate for this award of excellence in environmental education," stated her nominator.
In 2017, Knowles served as BCTC's coordinator for a nationwide, NASA-funded high altitude ballooning project that collected scientific data from the stratosphere and sent back images of the August 2017 solar eclipse. BCTC's balloon team was entirely student-driven, with Knowles serving in an advisory role. During this time, she administered multiple grants that also gave students the opportunity to travel to a national ballooning science conference in Minneapolis.
This year, she offered a new class in environmental communication, teaching students to present scientific data, prepare reports for professionals and write grants. Knowles is currently working with students to write storm water quality incentive grants to improve green infrastructure at BCTC's new Science Education Center, an opportunity that contributes both to the education of students and the long-term visibility of environmental education at BCTC.
Knowles was honored with other KAEE award recipients at the awards luncheon during the KAEE conference on Sept. 8, at the Historic Boone Tavern Hotel.