Director of Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute earns environmental award

Director of Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute earns environmental award

Ed O'Gorman, awards committee chair for the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited; Melvin Zimmerman, Ph.D., director of Lycoming College's Clean Water Institute; Dave Craig, vice president of the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited and Tali MacArthur, program director for the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.

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Melvin Zimmerman, Ph.D., director of Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute, received the Outstanding Coldwater Conservationist, Professional award from the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited at the council’s annual meeting on Sept. 10.

According to Tali MacArthur, program director for the state council, the award recognizes Zimmerman for his “fine research, teaching, monitoring, expertise, and energetic support to environmental issues that he has contributed to the community and its surrounding area has been remarkable and of lasting impact.”

Zimmerman lead the efforts of the College’s Clean Water Institute, which he began more than 15 years ago, to better understand the health of local waterways. Focused on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and its tributaries, the institute provides a gateway to the natural resource heritage of North Central Pennsylvania.

“Mel’s passion for the environment and one-on-one work with students has inspired generations of students to pursue advanced degrees and careers in ecology,” said Philip Sprunger, provost and dean of Lycoming College. “We’re proud of the many contributions he has made to improve this part of the world and are pleased to have his hard work recognized.”

Under Zimmerman’s leadership, the institute has completed hundreds of projects that have analyzed, documented and restored the health of local waterways. He has garnered more than $500,000 in grants and other donations to fund the projects and has partnered with every major environmental agency in the area to identify needs. He also has mentored more than 500 students to take leadership roles of projects through paid internships and course practicums. More about the Clean Water Institute can be found at: www.lycoming.edu/cwi

Zimmerman recently retired from full-time teaching at Lycoming College and continues to teach on a part-time basis as a professor emeritus.

Zimmerman also continues to promote a strong respect for the environment in the community by offering training programs, seminars and workshops on environmental issues, stream restoration, habitat improvement, and water quality to watershed groups, schools and at other public forums.

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