UW Tacoma professor honored

Cheryl Greengrove, associate professor, environmental science, at the University of Washington Tacoma, has received the university’s 2006 Distinguished Teaching Award. Each year, teachers at UW Tacoma are nominated by their students and selected by a panel of their peers to receive this honor.

“This is the one award that means more to me than anything else,” said Dr. Greengrove, who also coordinates the Environmental Sciences Program for the university. “To be recognized for doing something you love and doing it well is great.”

Students nominated Greengrove because of “her exceptional commitment to science and teaching, which they say has been instrumental to the success of the program.”

Greengrove, a physical oceanographer, has helped develop opportunities for students to perform marine field research aboard ships, collecting oceanographic samples from a sailing ship that traveled from Tacoma to San Francisco, and from other ships that have sailed Puget Sound and the Vancouver Island coast. Students involved on these cruises have presented their findings at local meetings, UW undergraduate research symposia, Puget Sound research conferences and national ocean sciences meetings.

Greengrove is also conducting research funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration project to study harmful algal blooms, which cause shellfish poisoning in Puget Sound waters. This project provides opportunities for undergraduate students to gain valuable research experience to prepare them for future employment in environmental fields.

“Our goals for the program are always to create opportunities and pathways for students, to provide a solid science foundation for students at all levels, from those getting a bachelor of science in environmental science to non-majors,” Greengrove said. “Not everyone will be a scientist. We want to make better-educated citizens.”

The environmental science degree program at UW Tacoma offers classroom coursework in topics such as ecology, evolution, conservation biology, biodiversity, atmospheric science, geology and energy resources, limnology, hydrology, marine biology and oceanography, agro-ecology and entomology, and environmental chemistry, which is enhanced by required lab and field courses and a capstone internship or undergraduate research project. The focus of the degree program is on global, conceptual issues with practical, local applications.