Marty Main, associate dean for University of Florida Extension and associate director of Florida Sea Grant, is being recognized for his educational outreach by the Ecological Society of America.
He has been awarded the Eugene P. Odum Award for Excellence in Ecology Education for the success of the Florida Master Naturalist Program.
The award will be presented in August at the 2013 Ecological Society of America meeting in Minneapolis. It recognizes ecologists for outstanding work in ecology education and their program’s ability to connect basic ecological principles to human affairs.
“I’m very honored to receive this award, and I do so in recognition of all the Florida Master Naturalist Program instructors who work with me,” Main said. “Their enthusiasm and expertise has made the FMNP a great success. Our graduates are making great contributions to their local communities.”
Main, a member of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, created the master naturalist program to “teach those that teach others” about conservation and natural history in Florida. Every year, more than 1,000 participants are certified by trainers throughout the state. Main developed multiple weeklong courses that take students through Florida environments and teach them about the biodiversity, conservation and interpretation of those ecosystems.
The program he initiated has been replicated in a number of other states.
Main received his doctorate in wildlife science from Oregon State University and a master’s in biological oceanography from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has been a professor in the UF department of wildlife ecology and conservation since 1996.