SALT LAKE CITY — Alpine School District science teacher Doug Panee developed a love of Earth and its features while growing up near the ocean in Hawaii. He later received a degree in geology and has since taught hundreds of kids and has developed a team of ninth-graders who tour the state presenting science assemblies.

Distinguished University of Utah chemistry professor Peter Armentrout is known for his "development of guided ion beam tandem mass spectrometry as a tool for elucidation of thermodynamic data" — and other highly scientific research. His work has appeared in more than 400 publications.

Louisa Stark, who has mastered websites for the U.'s Genetic Science Learning Center, is known around the world for being able to translate science being conducted in Utah in ways that are engaging and understandable to students, teachers and the general public. The sites get more than 12 million visitors per year, from 189 countries and Stark's work on them has earned her accolades from around the world.

While the interests and outcomes of Panee, Armentrout, Stark and four other noted scientists in the state of Utah differ greatly, they are all being recognized as this year's Governor's Science Medalists — individuals who have made significant contributions to the furthering of scientific knowledge, education and industry in Utah and the nation.

In addition to Panee, Armentrout and Stark, Gov. Gary Herbert, along with State Science adviser Tami Goetz, will award medals to the following individuals at a Jan. 18 ceremony at the Discovery Gateway children's museum:

 Paul Israelsen, for his role as director of Utah State University's Space Dynamic Laboratory as well as his technical innovation.

 Denny Farrar, co-founder of Upstart Ventures, a seed fund that invests in university technologies that has developed 11 Utah-based health care and life science companies, four of which are now public.

 President and CEO of Aribex Inc., D. Clark Turner, who is responsible for NOMAD X-ray systems, the company's flagship technology.

 Kevin Jensen, a research geneticist at USU's Forage and Range Research Lab, who has spent 25 years studying the relationships of wild wheat grasses in various scientific disciplines.

Nominations are solicited from the public in four general categories for the once-in-a-lifetime prestigious award, including academia, science education, industry and government. The award was initiated in 1987 to specially recognize those who made career achievements and/or provided distinguished service benefiting the state and the country in areas of science and technology.