2019 Awardee - J Bret BenningtonJ Bret Bennington has been awarded the 2019 Neil Miner Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers
Dr. J Bret Bennington's tremendous contributions to the geoscience community as a scientist, an educator, a mentor, and the Chair of the Geology, Environment, and Sustainability Department at Hofstra University are so numerous that they are difficult to list. Bret is an excellent geoscience professor who leads hands-on activities that reinforce the main principles of each lesson, while emphasizing the real-world applications of the concepts. He is funny, insightful, and warm, and makes every student feel welcomed and inspired.
Bret leads great field trips: frequent local weekend trips in New York or New Jersey during the semester, but also longer national and international trips during breaks and summers. He has taken several groups of students to the Galapagos Islands, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and investigating the geology and ecology of the unique area. Participants rave that this trip forever changes the way that they see the world and their place in it.
Bret is also a wonderful mentor, having inspired many students to pursue graduate school for paleontology, and nurtured a network of successful alumni in the hydrology consulting business on Long Island. Bret also organizes many engaging extracurricular geoscience activities, and has enhanced geoscience education, and STEM education more generally, through several awards. Bret is an amazing colleague, a fabulous geoscientist, and an inspiring teacher, who shares with Dr. Neil Miner a "contagious enthusiasm for geology and unselfish dedication to his students and his profession" (https://nagt.org/nagt/awards/miner.html) and could not be more deserving of this award.