To foster increased high school student awareness, concern, and involvement in local ecological and environmental preservation, the Lehigh Gap Nature Center announced it is seeking nominations of Lehigh Valley area high school students to receive the 12th annual Student Ecologist Awards. Harleysville National Bank/East Penn Bank sponsors the awards.

Students in grades 10 through 12 from high schools, public or private, in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties are eligible for the awards. As a minimum basis for consideration, each candidate must have demonstrated through tangible activities, a continuing concern and involvement in local ecological and/or environmental preservation. Examples of such activities include conducting a conservation project at a local park, conducting ecological research, volunteering at a nature center, or leading an ecologically based project at their school.

Final selection of the award winners will be made by LGNC staff based upon information provided by teachers, naturalists, and the general public. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Nature Center on March 9.

As part of the selection process, LGNC is contacting science teachers in local high schools and staff members at area nature centers and parks to recommend potential students as candidates for the awards. Members of the public also may nominate potential high school students for the awards.

Each student receiving a Student Ecologist Award will receive a free 2010 membership at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center, a certificate of accomplishment, a book, and the opportunity to participate in research and activities at the Nature Center. Students may also have the opportunity to publish their work in one of the Center's publications.

Contact the LGNC at 610-760-8889 or lgnc@ptd.net and provide your name and address to obtain a nomination form. The form is also available at www.lgnc.org. All nominations must be received in the Wildlife Information Center's office no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8.

The Lehigh Gap Nature Center is a member-supported, nonprofit, wildlife conservation organization based at Lehigh Gap. Its mission is to protect and restore wildlife and habitat through education, conservation, and research for the benefit of people, wildlife, and the earth. To learn more, contact the Center or visit its Website at www.lgnc.org.