Auburn, Alabama — Doyle Keasal, an Alabama Extension 4-H environmental education specialist in forestry, wildlife and natural resources, was chosen as the 2017 Alabama Project Learning Tree Educator of the Year. He is funded through a partnership between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF).
Selection of Alabama’s PLT Outstanding Educator is based on commitment to environmental education, exemplary use of Project Learning Tree’s award winning curriculum materials and exceptional teaching skills.
Award Reflects Keasal’s Dedication
“Doyle Keasal’s recognition at Project Learning Tree Educator for 2017 in Alabama reflects his dedication to taking environmental sciences to Alabama school youth,” said Dr. Gary Lemme, director of Alabama Extension. “His students gain in their understanding of Alabama’s forests as an economic engine, their role in Alabama ecosystems and a place for reflection and relaxation. The partnership between ACES and AWF benefits Alabama schoolchildren and Alabama’s forests.”
Keasal first trained in the PLT curriculum in 1980 as a student at Eastern Michigan University. Later, when Keasal began teaching in Texas, he immediately integrated PLT lessons into his classroom curriculum.
In 1988, Keasal moved to Auburn and has continued using PLT resources in his classroom. Keasal became a PLT facilitator in 1993. Since then, he has conducted PLT workshops, as well as many other environmental education workshops.
Keasal is passionate about PLT and environmental education. “I believe it is extremely important that all children have the opportunity to explore nature firsthand so they can develop connections to the natural world. Only through developing a personal connection to nature can one really appreciate and understand one’s own role in nature,” he said.
Since 1970, the Alabama Forestry Foundation has helped thousands grow in their knowledge and appreciation of Alabama’s well-managed forests, and the role they play in protecting Alabama’s environment, economy and way of life. Forest businesses are important in Alabama, and many livelihoods depend on forestry. The Alabama TCW and PLT curriculum help others understand the connections of the forest products they use every day to the trees they see growing throughout Alabama.
About Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase students’ understanding of the environment. PLT provides educators with curriculum, professional development and resources to integrate environmental education into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas. It also encourages the use of the outdoors to engage students in learning about the world around them. Developed in 1976, PLT’s 50-state network includes more than 650,000-trained educators using PLT materials and 4,000 PLT Green Schools. PLT is a program of the American Forest Foundation. In Alabama, PLT is sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Foundation.