Cynthia Hagley (Minnesota Sea Grant College Program)
The Ramón Margalef Award is given to scientists and educators for excellence in teaching and mentoring in the fields of limnology and oceanography. Cynthia Hagley of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant College Program has been awarded this distinguished honor for her vision and success at developing career-long relationships among scientists and educators, for impacting thousands of students and for making environmental and aquatic data understandable to nonspecialists. The award will be presented at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Summer Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, in June 2018.
Since completing her graduate research at Castle Lake in California, Cynthia Hagley has dedicated most of her career to engaging the public, agencies, teachers and students of all ages in aquatic science. With training in education skills such as science teaching standards and best education practices, Hagley is seen as an invaluable asset to Great Lakes scientists in their outreach activities.
Hagley’s resume features an extensive and diverse list of partners and projects. In the past two years alone, Hagley’s efforts as a co-lead of the Center for Great Lakes Literacy helped over 370 educators bring aquatic science to more than 3,500 students through over two dozen workshops. She has been a co-principal Investigator on dozens of grants that educated society on key water problems. Many of these grants left lasting legacies such as the website Water on the Web that provides science information and data to public audiences.
Hagley has led multiple shipboard education workshops in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and many other partners. Hagley and her collaborators achieved their vision for these day to weeklong shipboard experiences to provide educators with a rare opportunity to conduct aquatic research alongside scientists. The workshops often resulted in career-long, mutually beneficial relationships between the scientists and educators. Workshop participants have gone on to initiate stream monitoring programs, incorporate limnology and oceanography into their curricula, implement Great Lakes science days at their schools and in their communities and participate in other teacher-at-sea programs. Educators who have worked with Hagley praise her as “an exceptional communicator and a passionate and gifted educator who possesses the gift of being able to make complex subjects understandable.”
Hagley’s aquatic research background combined with training as a facilitator makes her sought after for mediating science-based decision-making processes. She recently facilitated follow-up sessions from the governor of Minnesota’s “Water Summit,” which brought together government, industry and agricultural interests to discuss a sustainable water future. Researchers say Hagley also “serves as a facilitator to scientists working in the Great Lakes, making connections between scientists that they might not have made themselves.”
Hagley has been an active member of the ASLO education committees for years and played a key role in the establishment of the ASLO Meeting Mentoring Program. Her sustained efforts over several years resulted in a well-designed, executed and evaluated program that it is now a regular feature of ASLO meetings.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cynthia Hagley for many years through the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Network and the ASLO education committee. Cindy is truly an expert both in aquatic science and the delivery of educational content. ASLO established this award for scientists who, like Ramón Margalef, exemplify the highest standards of excellence in education. Cindy is most certainly deserving of this award,” said ASLO President Linda Duguay.