He received the distinguished Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Individual Award for 2009. NAAEE is the professional association for environmental education.
Duane Keown began his education career in 1960 at the isolated Hide Out Mine School on Deer Flats in San Juan County. It was a one-room school, long ago abandoned, with 14 students, K-8. Later he taught Biology and other sciences at the Monticello High School.
The year he left Monticello, while he was at Ball State University in Indiana working on the doctorate degree in biology, the graduating seniors at Monticello High School invited him back to give the commencement address, which he titled, “Our Environment: Promise or Peril.”
Keown left San Juan County to become a Professor of Science Education at the University of Wyoming in 1975. He is well known at the College of Education’s lab school for the Science Club ten-day trips he conducted for secondary students to sites of natural phenomena throughout the West.
Trips included, among others, Salt Creek Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Grand Gulch in southern Utah, Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, and Mt. St. Helens and the Oregon Coast.
Dr. Keown is best known in Wyoming for his work with teachers and environmental education workshops throughout Wyoming. While leading the Wyoming Conservation Connection in UW’s Science and Math Teaching Center he worked with teachers from more than thirty Wyoming school districts on the UW campus during the summers 1995-98 to write and compile the environmental education activity manuals Wild Wonderful Wyoming: Choices for the Future, for both elementary and secondary teachers.
With funding from many sources, and with his associate David Rizor, he took the manuals to elementary and secondary workshops in 45 of the state’s 48 school districts.
One third of Wyoming’s K-12 teachers attended the workshops and received the manuals. The activities are currently going on line at WyAEE.org.
In 1993 Keown pioneered the development of the NAAEE affiliate Wyoming Association for Environmental Education. He served as president of that organization twice. He has authored numerous professional articles in science education and environmental education.
Other significant awards he has received include Wyoming Educator of the Year presented by the Wyoming Wildlife Federation (1993), Outstanding Service to the Educational Profession from UW’s College of Education (2000), Wyoming Environmental Educator of the year from the Wyoming Association for Environmental Education (2001.)
Dr. Keown has spoken at many national and international conferences, including the Best of Both Worlds Conference on Environmental Education in Pretoria, South Africa (1998), and most recently (January 2009) at the International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, and Economic Sustainability in Mauritius.