Dorchester native nationally recognized for her new book

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Salisbury University Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie share “Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest” with Patterson Elementary School students.

SALISBURY — A Salisbury University professor and her new book have been nationally recognized by The Nature Generation with the 2014 Green Earth Book Award.
Inside A Bald Eagle’s Nest: A Photographic Journey through the American Bald Eagle Nesting Season, co-authored by Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow of SU’s Teacher Education Department and Craig A. Koppie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office, won the award for young adult nonfiction. The honor was bestowed recently during a ceremony and “green tie” reception at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“We extend our sincere appreciation to The Nature Generation for their recognition of Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest,” Ms. Gorrow said. “To be named a distinguished author, whose book best inspires young readers to appreciate and care for the environment, is a tremendous honor.”
Collaborating as the book’s authors and photographers, Ms. Gorrow and Mr. Koppie explore the Chesapeake Bay bald eagle’s nesting season through 160 images captured in natural habitats. They offer a rare glimpse of America’s national symbol as it prepares a nest and raises its young.
“Our goals include helping others understand the eagle’s way of life and inspiring environmental stewardship,” Mr. Koppie said.
Ms. Gorrow, Mr. Koppie and other winners of the 2014 Green Earth Book Award visited schools in and around the nation’s capital last week as part of The Nature Generation’s Read Green Festival activities. They talked with students about environmental literature, answered questions about their books, and discussed how students can take care of the environment.
As a part of their presentation to fifth graders at Patterson Elementary School, Ms. Gorrow and Mr. Koppie partnered with Jessica Conley, lead ranger for the Tuckahoe State Park Complex, to include a live American bald eagle.
“Most of these students had never seen a bald eagle in the wild,” Ms. Conley said. “To see the excitement and look of awe on their faces was priceless. They had no idea how large an eagle is until I came out from behind the curtain.”
Ms. Conley and Ranger Ashlee Reinke performed portions of their Scales & Tales Outreach Program, available through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Maryland Park Service. An egg-crushing activity helped students understand the devastating effects of DDT. In addition, Mr. Koppie shared telemetry research and allowed students to interact with transmitting devices.
Ms. Gorrow and Mr. Koppie gave each fifth grader a signed copy of Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest. Books were provided by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
“Patterson Elementary School’s mascot is the bald eagle,” Ms. Gorrow said. “Partnering with Rangers Ms. Conley and Mr. Reinke to create a personal experience for students with this majestic raptor hopefully inspired a new generation of conservationists, scientists and teachers.”
During a culminating event at Patterson, all of the award-winning visiting authors led an activity to help fourth and fifth graders visualize what the environment might be like in three decades. The students placed artwork depicting their favorite places in nature and hopes for the future in a time capsule. The authors also contributed signed copies of their books. The time capsule will be reopened in 2044.
Hoping their book will be used as a learning resource, Ms. Gorrow and Mr. Koppie are partnering with organizations including the National Eagle Center, Cornell Lab of Ornithology NestWatch, Pennsylvania Game Commission and Smithsonian National Zoo. Inside a Bald Eagle’s Nest is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Schiffer, as well as some 30 Delmarva retailers including the SU Bookstore, Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Barnes & Noble and Barb’s Hallmark stores in Salisbury, the News Center in Easton and Ocean City, Nest in Berlin, Bay Country Shop and Craig’s in Cambridge, and the Children’s Book Garden in Ocean City.
Ms. Gorrow and Mr. Koppie will sign copies of their book at George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Oct. 25, the Annapolis Bookstore on Nov. 8, Barnes & Noble-Annapolis on Nov. 12, and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 6.
Established in 2005 as the nation’s first book honor for environmental stewardship, the Green Earth Book Award is presented to authors and illustrators whose works inspire a deeper appreciation, respect and responsibility for the natural world among children and adults alike.
The Nature Generation’s Honorary Read Green Committee includes SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach and Dr. Ernie Bond, chair of the Teacher Education Department.
MS. Gorrow earned her doctorate in education leadership from the University of Maryland College Park and has worked as a public educator for more than three decades. She also co-authored the award-winning book, The ABC’s of Wellness. She is the daughter of Paul and Ellen Ruark of Hoopersville in Dorchester County, and enjoys observing eagles with her husband, Wayne, near their Eastern Shore home.
For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at www.salisbury.edu.

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Special to Dorchester Banner/Salisbury University Craig A. Koppie, Bald Eagle ambassador; Jessica Conley, Tuckahoe State Park lead ranger; Ranger Ashlee Reinke; and Dr. Teena Ruark Gorrow during presentation at Patterson Elementary School.

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