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Educational Director Awarded

Wednesday, March 9 2016 11:36 AM
By Lucas Knuass

Erinn Stiles is the amazing Educational Director and Volunteer Coordinator for Tanganyika Wildlife Park and she does a simply stellar job at it!  All her hard work is being recognized at the 2016 KACEE awards!

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The Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2016 Excellence in Conservation and Environmental Education Awards.  Nominated by their peers, these awardees exhibit outstanding innovation, leadership and achievement, as well as collaboration and cooperation within and beyond the environmental education field.  “KACEE is pleased to honor these deserving individuals and organizations, who contribute so much to environmental education in Kansas,” said KACEE President Jared Bixby, Curator of Education at the Sunset Zoological Park.

Awardees will be recognized at an Awards Celebration hosted by KACEE on Friday, April 1, 2016, at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan.  The event is sponsored by KACEE, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Sunset Zoo.

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KACEE is excited to honor Erinn Stiles for her excellence in environmental education.  Ms. Stiles began her pathway toward environmental education while attending Kansas State and as a docent and part-time seasonal educator for the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, KS.  Upon graduation, Erinn moved to the Wichita area and took a position with the Tanganyika Wildlife Park as a volunteer coordinator.  Though Erinn greatly enjoyed the challenge of starting a volunteer program, she also wanted to add an environmental education component to her position. In 2009, Erinn began to develop education programs for Tanganyika and in early 2010, she took the official title of Education Coordinator.

In a short period of time, Erinn was able to develop assembly shows, classroom programs, overnight programs, and scout workshops, all with an environmental-education focus. Now, Erinn facilitates over 200 education programs and shows per year. Her environmental-education based programs and tours impacted over 30,000 students and adults in 2015. As if developing and delivering school, scout, and community programs wasn’t enough, in 2014, Erinn developed a Safari Summer Camp for Tanganyika. Recognizing the need for students to experience, explore, and engage with the natural world during the summer, Erinn developed a series of week-long camp curricula for elementary-aged students. Over 80 individual campers attended the six weeks of programming offered in 2015, a huge success for a first-year camp. Though she has only been working full-time in the field of environmental education for 6.5 years, Erinn Stiles has already made a tremendous impact on both Tanganyika and the Wichita Metro Area. Her dedication to conservation-based environmental education has grown by leaps and bounds since her start in college, and it is only poised to grow exponentially in the future. KACEE is pleased to honor Ms. Stiles with this award.

You deserve every bit of it Erinn! Thank you for providing Tanganyika with so much of your time and experience and for working so hard to make Tanganyika Wildlife Park more terrific than ever before!4ews

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