Don Daugs, professor of elementary education at Utah State University, received the Water Educators Award from the Utah Water Education Committee of the Utah Division of Water Resources.
The award was presented at the Governor's Conference on Water Education in November to recognize "the person in the state who has gone beyond the call to provide water education information and service to the state," said Virginia Jensen of the Utah Water Education Committee.Daugs and Earl Israelsen, professor of civil and environmental engineering at USU, authored the textbook being used in the state's kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms. Daugs and Francine Fukui, also an educator at USU, recently created "Utah Water: A Precious Resource," a comic book to be used with fourth-graders throughout the state.
Involved in water education efforts statewide since it began 12 years ago, Daugs helped found the International Office for Water Education housed at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at USU.
"We are trying to teach rational and responsible use of water free of the propaganda that often ensues," Daugs said. "The information we deliver to Utah's elementary students is scientifically sound water management.
"We want to shape attitudes and behaviors related to responsible citizenship as adults - certainly water will be an issue in every person's life. Water is an extremely important issue worldwide," Daugs stressed. "There's no place on earth where water quality and quantity is not an issue."
In honoring the USU educator, the Utah Water Education Committee called Daugs "someone long overdue for this recognition."
"Don is someone who contributes greatly to the effort-teaching teachers of water education. He is a tireless worker and one of the earliest believers and movers in thinking that a water education program in the schools was important," Jensen said. "While other programs have been introduced, Don's program has stood the test of time."
The sponsoring committee comprises representatives from education, water conservancy districts, state government and Utah citizenry.