PHILADELPHIA -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Liam McGranaghan of Loudoun Valley High School in Purcellville, Va. with the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators (PIAEE).
“Liam McGranaghan’s dedication to developing a stimulating environmental science curriculum inspires students to get involved in community environmental projects,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “Through his hard work and dedication, students leave the classroom with a better understanding of the delicate balance between humans and our environment, and share that knowledge with families and communities.”
As an avid naturalist and environmentalist, McGranaghan emphasizes that students need to recognize the surrounding world beyond what can be learned from textbooks. He engages students in hands-on learning opportunities that include bringing raptors and reptiles into the classroom to reinforce lessons, identifying suitable owl habitats in the community, developing an informational brochure on owl nesting for local landowners, and locating owls and gathering nesting data in the field.
McGranaghan’s students also work with the community to maintain a nature trail that the school uses as an outdoor classroom where students learn about topics that include native flora and fauna, stream monitoring, tree identification, the importance of pollinators and the impact of erosion.
In addition to being an educator, McGranaghan is also a nationally renowned expert on birds of prey and is the founder of the Loudoun Amphibian Monitoring Program.
For more information on the PIAEE awards, visit http://www2.epa.gov/education/presidential-innovation-award-environmental-educators-piaee-winners .