Centralia College botany and biology professor Lisa Carlson is the most recent recipient of a Hanke Faculty Achievement Award and accompanying grant from the Centralia College Foundation, the foundation announced this week.
The grants allow college employees to “cover expenses outside the scope of state resources, including special projects, activities, or equipment,” according to the foundation.
Carlson plans to use her award to develop a study-abroad program focusing on tropical ecology.
“I really wanted to do it in college myself but to do it now in a way that I can share with my students would be even more fulfilling,” she said.
Carlson has narrowed down her possible destinations to either Puerto Rico or Costa Rica.
“Plants in both those places are totally amazing,” she said. “Both are tropical and they’ve got environmental variability in both.”
Carlson is planning a service component for the trip.
“I want to do something to give back in appreciation of letting us come to visit,” she said. “It’s not just about seeing amazing plants and ecosystems – we’ll learn what it’s like to live in these places and how locals are interacting with the ecosystem.”
Centralia College Foundation Executive Director Christine Fossett said Carlson’s plans will be a great benefit to the college’s students.
“She plans to also explore and determine new locations for study abroad travel that will focus on local environments, botany and natural resource programs,” Fossett said, in a statement. “Lisa’s instruction programs for our students are extremely valuable and her willingness to grow and enhance programs that benefit the instruction for our students makes her stand out as an extremely qualified recipient of this award.”