Former tribal official honored for work on aquatic species

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GERMAINE WHITE accepts the Chris Ruffatto Excellence in Education Award presented by the Whitefish Lake Institute during the inaugural Montana Lakes Conference Thursday, March 14 in Whitefish. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

Germaine White, who recently retired from her position the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, was recently honored with an education award.

White served as Information and Education Specialist and Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes working in the Division of Fish, Wildlife, Recreation and Conservation, Natural Resources Department.

During the inaugural Montana Lakes Conference held last week at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, White was presented the Chris Ruffatto Excellence in Education Award by the nonprofit Whitefish Lake Institute.

The award recognizes traditional and non-traditional educators who dedicate their lives to engaging the next generation of environmental stewards.

Lori Curtis, Science and Education Director for WLI, said White has been an educator focused on environmental education and implementing outreach programs for diverse audiences.

“She has coordinated public involvement activities associated with the management of fish, wildlife and recreation; developed, produced and disseminated extraordinary educational materials, and has represented her organization in numerous forms of media with brilliance and grace,” Curtis said.

White developed and supervised the aquatic invasive species program including inspection stations and education and outreach.

A list of White’s previous awards include the U.S. Department of State, Professional Fellows, Alumni Impact Award: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fisheries Program, Special Recognition Award, Explore the River Education Project; the National Fire Management Award for Excellence in the Development of a Multi-Media Fire Education Project, Fire on the Land; the National Fire Plan Award for Excellence in Community Service, Phoenix, Ariz.; and the Montana Historic Preservation Awards. The Whitefish Lake Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to science, education, and community stewardship to protect and improve Whitefish Lake and Whitefish area water resources today, while providing a collective vision for tomorrow.

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