GTM Research Reserve Receives St. Johns County Schools Business Partner Award

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR) received  the highest honor for businesses from the St. Johns County School District at the annual Career Academy Awards on May 17. The Outstanding Business Partner of the Year Award was given in recognition of GTM NERR’s participation with two high school career academies: the Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning and the Academy of Coastal and Water Resources.

“The GTM Research Reserve team’s work with the Career Academies exemplifies the reserve’s hands-on approach to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education”, said GTM NERR Director Dr. Mike Shirley. “Students in the Career Academy programs receive on-the-job exposure to science careers at the Research Reserve. Our staff and volunteers and the Friends of the GTM Reserve truly appreciate this recognition by our local community.”

The Career Academies emphasize work-based learning opportunities for students and tie classroom activities to internships with local businesses. Academies are small, personalized learning communities within a high school that selects a subset of students. Students enter the program of study through a voluntary process; they must apply and be accepted with parental knowledge.

Linda Krepp, Career Specialist at St Johns Technical High School, complimented Dr. Shirley on his vision as an educational opportunity for the students.

“Thanks for allowing for some of this learning to take place in your backyard,” she said. “We truly appreciate your partnership.”

For more information on the Reserve’s education, research, restoration and conservation programs, call the GTM Research Reserve Education Center at 904- 823-4500.

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