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Volume 3, Number 2
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Tom Rippen with a seafood worker working with oysters - photo by Edwin Remsberg
Adam Frederick discussing estuarine dynamics with one of the REU students - phot by Harold Anderson
Extension in action: Tom Rippen (above), with a seafood worker; J. Adam Frederick (below right) talks with a student in the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates fellowship program (REU) coordinated each summer by Maryland Sea Grant.

Extension Faculty Excel

Two of Maryland Sea Grant's Extension's specialists have been honored recently with prestigious career awards for their outstanding work in the community. Seafood technology specialist Thomas Rippen was one of the recipients of this year's Excellence in Extension award from the University System of Maryland and education specialist J. Adam Frederick has been awarded the National Marine Educators Association's (NMEA) James Centorino Award, given for distinguished performance in marine education by professionals who are not classroom teachers.

Both of these awards reflect Rippen and Frederick's cumulative efforts to date. Rippen's major contribution to Maryland's citizens has been to worry about the safety of our seafood so, once at the grocery store, we don't have to. His specialties are thermal processing of crabmeat, developing packaging and pre-packaging methods to give the industry a 12-month shelf life for their product, and seafood safety education. He has helped to produce materials for a standardized training course that is administered through the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) alliance, a federal food safety program that seafood processors have been required to implement since December 18, 1997. The program requires seafood processors, which includes companies that pack, process or hold seafood for shipment, to thoroughly evaluate each step of their operation as it affects product safety. The key to its effectiveness, says Rippen, has been to help train instructors within the industry to identify where problems can crop up and to institute a set of monitoring practices at certain stages in the processing.

Frederick's efforts in developing resources for informal marine education in the state of Maryland draw from both his nine years working for Maryland Sea Grant and his preceding nine years as a classroom teacher in Frederick County, where he developed a keen sense for the kinds of materials that are useful to classroom teachers. As an informal educator now, Frederick does not write or teach formal curricula. He designs programs and enhancements that can be used with curricula and helps teachers decide how they are going to teach them.

Frederick and his colleagues' contributions include the Aquaculture in Action program, a collaboration with Carroll County Public Schools to create network of "aquaculture educators" in Maryland; a series of interactive marine education modules that allow students in different countries to share and discuss data through web-based video conferencing; and the SciTech Education Program, conducted with the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute in Baltimore to provide hands-on laboratory experiences for students in grades 3-12 that cover topics in microbiology, molecular biology, developmental biology, aquatic ecology, and natural products. Some of these programs have had far-reaching influences. Frederick is currently working with a group of non-traditional schools involved with the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice where their aquaculture program has been so successful that they want to offer their students a vocational certificate or diploma so they can illustrate their job skills. "It is these kinds of impacts that are especially meaningful to me," says Frederick.

Both Rippen and Frederick are quick to credit others and acknowledge collaborators for their recent honors. Rippen recognizes Extension leader Doug Lipton (Excellence in Extension Award recipient in 1994) for efforts in putting together a nomination packet on his behalf. "This award is largely about having a good program leader. Doug is terrific," he says. Frederick says that the best part about the award is receiving the nomination from the mid-Atlantic region. "Winning is almost secondary. It means a lot when the people within your own region nominate you," he says.

But win they both did. Rippen was recognized at an awards ceremony held on April 21 in Ellicott City, Maryland. Frederick received his award at the annual meeting of the NMEA at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida on July 22.

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