Volunteer of the Year, Robert Field with Community Engagement Coordinator, Justina Dacey

2016 Volunteer of the Year
Robert Field

A “Rising Tide” member since 2013, Robert Field join the Rising Tides Steering Committee in 2016 in order to help build, plan and execute the outreach objectives of the Young Professionals of St. Johns Riverkeeper. Robert devoted numerous Sundays to lead McCoys Creek cleanups and organized innovative events for the group. In addition, Robert has been instrumental in the implementation of our new volunteer initiative, “the Waterway Clean Up Team”, volunteering his time to scout for areas on the river in desperate need of community service cleanups. He eagerly volunteered to be the Site Captain for various community partner cleanups and has been a leader in ensuring the event was a success. At River Ruckus this year, Robert organized and led the “Poke Crawl Cleanup”, helping to bring new participants into the event from the Poke fad, encouraging children and families to “catch them all” while also protecting the river from litter and debris. In the workplace, Robert promotes sustainable practices for restaurants starting at Hawkers with plans to influence more local businesses to follow suit. As a local advocate, Robert was able influence the City to educate their workers on ways to reduce litter from entering the St. Johns River along the Northbank Riverwalk. Robert is an ideal example of how one person can transform citizens to make change in our community. It’s been a pleasure to work with him over the course of the year and we’re excited to see what he will accomplish in 2017!

2016 Educator of the Year
Diane Krug, Greenwood School 

Dianne Krug is our 2016 Educator of the Year for her dedication to environmental education. She and her students have been assessing the heath of Jones Creek, which flows across the campus of the Greenwood School, for over 5 years. Though her leadership, students are monitoring water quality, surrounding vegetation, mollusk populations, and aquatic invertebrates that live in the creek. Under her guidance, students have asked the school to make changes to landscaping practices that will benefit the creek such as: leaving a dense watershed buffer, reducing irrigation, and reducing fertilizer use on campus. We are truly grateful for Diane's commitment to cultivating environmentally conscious students by providing hands on experience and tools to make a difference.

2016 Advocate
Karen Chadwick

As a Florida native, Karen Chadwick spent a great deal of her childhood exploring and enjoying the woods and waterways of her home state. Following a decision to pursue the arts, she received a BFA for sculpture and painting from the Ringling School of Art and Design in 1988. Since that time, Karen has worked with many environmental education centers and museums to fabricate exhibits, which provide interpretation, illustration and display structures for various fields of study. The subject fields include paleontology, archaeology, geology, and hydrogeology and historical events. Project dimensions range from an articulated Mammoth skeleton and a life size section of a sinkhole to small-scale dioramas including a hunting scene depicting an event concluded to occur in Silver River during the Paleo-Indian Period. 

Karen works with experts in the field to convey accurate information provided by state agencies. For example: Three dimensional, interactive aquifer exhibits which depict regionally specific dynamics require input from the Florida Geological Survey, Water Management Districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. A cross section of a particular regions geologic structure is sculpted in detail. These exhibits convey to the public the hydrologic cycle and the relationships of the effects of rain, stormwater runoff, withdrawals via wells, sinkholes, karst conduits, springs and the salt water interface. The public can interact with the exhibit by pushing buttons to illuminate the various features highlighted in the display. The goal of these exhibits is to help the public gain an understanding of how the hydrologic cycle functions above and below ground.

Expanding on her enjoyment as an avid boater, Karen obtained her OUPV license and started her North Star Charter service. Heritage tours are her specialty. While plying the rivers and lakes of north central Florida, Karen describes many of the paleontological, archaeological and historical events that took place along the shorelines to her interested passengers.  www.northstarcharters.net


Special thank you to Will Dickey for the fantastic images used in this years' volunteer awards, and Ryan Buckley at Gallery Framery for framing.