Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Courtney Hallacher Honored as 2023 Outstanding Project WILD Coordinator

Washington D.C- The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies proudly shares the news that Courtney Hallacher, Statewide Wildlife Education Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, is recognized as this year’s Project WILD Outstanding Coordinator of the Year. Each year the Association honors one Project WILD coordinator with this award at the annual Project WILD Coordinators’ Conference.

“Courtney has done a lot of great work and is widely respected in her field. She has a positive attitude and passion to connect youth and adults with the outdoors,” stated Elena Takaki, Director of Professional Development and Conservation Education at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Hallacher was introduced to Project WILD during a professional development workshop while teaching 7th grade Life Science. This was just the start of her journey with environmental education, especially with getting students outside. Courtney has worked for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and been a Project WILD coordinator for 3 years. Her enthusiasm, creativity, and professionalism are an asset not only to educators in Virginia, but across the country as she shares her ideas and demonstrates her leadership at the national level.

“Having the Project WILD curriculum felt like having a mentor helping me merge the required state standards of learning with my increasing desire to have my students learning hands-on and outside,” said Courtney Hallacher, Statewide Wildlife Education Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. “Project WILD continued with me as I transitioned to teaching high school environmental science and ecology classes to undergraduate Inquiry in the Natural Sciences courses for pre-service teachers. When the Virginia Project WILD Coordinator position at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) was posted, I jumped at the opportunity to bring this beloved program to educators across the state. I am honored and humbled by this award and thankful to be a part of the Project WILD team!”

Project WILD joined the Association in 2017. Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program that focuses on wildlife and habitat. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment resulting in informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. To learn more about Project WILD, go to www.projectwild.org.