Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator Jill Bartolotta was recognized by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network (GLSGN) last month for career excellence.
Bartolotta received the Mid-Career Award at the network’s meeting in Evanston, IL on Sept. 20. The award is presented to individual Sea Grant professionals who have shown noteworthy enthusiasm, performance, accomplishments, and impact in their careers.
“Jill is an invaluable member of our Sea Grant Extension team, and we’re thrilled to see her earn this well-deserved honor,” said Ohio Sea Grant Extension Specialist Tory Gabriel, who nominated Bartolotta.
Great Lakes Sea Grant Network Individual Achievement Awards are the only GLSGN-sponsored awards to recognize individual accomplishments during Sea Grant careers. The Mid-Career Award is designated for those with 7 years of service or more. Criteria for the award included excellence of performance, personal interaction, initiative and creativity, outstanding achievement, and impact.
“Jill has been with Ohio Sea Grant for 8 years and during this time has demonstrated great passion and dedication to her career,” Gabriel said. “She has developed an internationally recognized program focused on the prevention and removal of marine debris from the Great Lakes, educated tens of thousands of people about the Great Lakes, and secured over $1 million in external funding to support her research, outreach, and education initiatives.”
While working at Ohio Sea Grant, Bartolotta established a marine debris program focused on bringing awareness to the issue in the Great Lakes. She spearheaded efforts to recognize the issue locally, establishing Ohio Sea Grant as one of the experts on the issue of marine debris prevention.
“As an outdoor educator, Jill brings a hands-on and interactive approach to her education and outreach programs,” Gabriel said. “She utilizes stewardship and recreational activities as learning opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.”
Since 2015, Bartolotta has conducted hundreds of outreach or education events reaching more than 40,000 students, educators, resource managers, decision-makers, and coastal residents. She successfully developed an easily transportable education and awareness kit on marine debris in the Great Lakes called the “Trash Tote,” and recently started a workforce development program for trash removal technologies with students and teachers from underserved and underrepresented communities.
“I am very honored to receive this award. Sea Grant is an amazing program, filled with wonderful people helping their coastal communities,” Bartolotta said. “Congratulations to the other recipients who were honored alongside me.”
Through its network of extension educators and its use of engaging communication and education techniques, the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network plays a central role in supplying the region and the nation with usable solutions to pressing problems and providing the basic information needed to better manage Great Lakes resources for present and future generations of Americans.
Ohio Sea Grant is supported by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, and NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 34 Sea Grant programs nation-wide dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. Stone Laboratory is Ohio State’s island campus on Lake Erie and is the research, education, and outreach facility of Ohio Sea Grant and part of CFAES School of Environment and Natural Resources.