Public Service Recognition Week, which concludes on Saturday, May 12, is a time to honor the dedication of those who serve as federal public servants. One of the ways in which outstanding contributions are recognized is through the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the Sammie Awards. Considered the “Oscar” of government service, this premier award is bestowed to exceptional individuals after a rigorous selection process.
This work of three Forest Service employees was recognized this year. In the “Science and Environment” category, Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager Alice Ewen is a member of the interagency Urban Waters team honored for creating public-private partnerships to clean up and revitalize urban waterways and surrounding lands. This initiative has spurred economic development and helped reverse decades of neglect.
In the “Promising Innovations” category, Research Ecologist Sarah Jovan and Research Forester Geoffrey Donovan from the Pacific Northwest Research Station were honored for leading the first-ever study using tree moss to detect air pollution in a major city, including cancer-causing heavy metals. Their work makes available a new, cost-effective way to identify threats to public health.