2020 Awardee - Dr. Lori Ziolkowksi (Dr. Z)

Dr. Lori Ziolkowski has been awarded the 2019 Neil Miner Award by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Dr. Lori Ziolkowski, affectionately known by her students as "Dr. Z" and as a passionate advocate by her colleagues, is known for her thoughtful approach to teaching in the classroom, her research lab, and the community. She combines basic scientific knowledge with hands-on activities, active discussions, and creative, ever-evolving labs.

Lori is an innovative scientist, whose research focuses on the origin and fate of organic matter in both oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. This global perspective moves beyond the examination of net carbon fluxes, focusing on the molecular scale and the myriad of mechanisms that influence carbon composition and the storage of various compounds within Earth's biomes. Lori has made it her mission to translate this work for others, often as part of conversations with members of the community who simply do not "trust" the science or the scientists.

Lori is also an excellent communicator, committed to educating the community on topics ranging from basic science to societal impacts of climate change. At the University of South Carolina, she has taught courses ranging from non-major science electives with 350+ students to smaller, required major courses. Lori has made substantial modifications to her courses, including creating new laboratories, and bringing in cutting-edge technology and pedagogies. Outside of the classroom, Lori has given a growing number of lectures to retired Navy members, church groups, neighborhood associations, and alumni.