The News Tribune's "Northland Nature" columnist, Larry Weber, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education on Sunday for his outstanding service and contribution to the field of environmental education in Minnesota.

Weber, a Barnum resident, was a dedicated science teacher for over 40 years at Duluth’s Marshall School, where he “ignited passion, curiosity and wonder in the thousands of students that were fortunate enough to wind up in his classroom. He used phenology, the study of seasonal phenomena in nature, to connect students to their natural world around them,’’ the association said in announcing Weber’s award.

But even after retiring as a teacher, he’s still teaching people every week in his nature columns and his books.

“Simply put, Larry Weber is an institution in Minnesota environmental education. His educational reach and impact over the last 50 years is truly astounding,’’ said Bryan Wood of the Osprey Environmental Learning Center.

The latest awards adds to Weber’s already long resume. He has won the Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year and the National Biology Teacher Association's Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year. He has shared his knowledge and passion for phenology as a featured instructor at the University of Minnesota, Hamline University, Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center, Minnesota Master Naturalist Program and several MAEE conference workshops. Larry has helped naturalists across the state hone their skills, expand their knowledge, and gain confidence to share what they’ve learned with others.

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“Thanks to Larry, many Minnesotans have discovered everyday wonders in their own backyard, realizing that nature is not a place you visit but something you are part of. Through this award, we hope to recognize all that Larry has accomplished for environmental education in Minnesota,’’ said Elissa Mallory of the Minnesota Association of Environmental Educators.