Shibu Kar, left, IISG associate director, congratulates Ashley Belle, right, for her 2023 Extension Excellence Award. (Photo courtesy of University of Illinois Extension)

Ashley Belle, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) specialist, was honored recently with a University of Illinois Extension (UIE) award in the category Individual Extension Excellence—Field-based Academic Professional (9 years or less). This, and other 2023 UIE awards, were presented in mid-November at the annual meeting.

Belle, who is located in the U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office, provides outreach and education to empower stakeholders in Great Lakes AOC communities to interpret and apply science and engineering-based information to sediment remediation projects.

This award encompasses Belle’s work with IISG since 2021 and during her previous position as an environmental and energy stewardship educator with Extension. The award criteria focused on service, organizational leadership, professional improvement, and teamwork participation. In her Sea Grant role, Belle has developed a variety of outreach products to inform AOC residents as their communities undergo environmental cleanup. 

Belle will likely display this award next to her two previous UIE awards—Interdisciplinary State Team Excellence in 2019 and Program Evaluation Excellence in 2020.

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a partnership between NOAA, University of Illinois Extension, and Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources, bringing science together with communities for solutions that work. Sea Grant is a network of 34 science, education and outreach programs located in every coastal and Great Lakes state, Lake Champlain, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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