Raven Rock State Park staff are beaming with pride for their colleague, Ranger David Brown. Ranger Brown was awarded the North Carolina Science Teacher Association’s prestigious Distinguished Service in Science Education Award for a non-school setting. This award, presented on Nov. 30, is in honor of his years of service in environmental science education in our state parks system.
A North Carolina native, David served in the Coast Guard before starting out as a seasonal employee at Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher. He graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a bachelor of science degree in marine biology and has served as a park ranger as well as lead interpretation and education ranger and acting superintendent at Raven Rock State Park.
Referred to by school children as the “Rock Man,” David is passionate about helping others understand science in proactive, experiential ways. He focuses on accommodating various dispositions, abilities, and needs of educators and students. In his daily work, he builds curiosity, promotes discovery, and encourages engagement using inquiry-based teaching strategies. This helps accomplish his ultimate goal in environmental education, which is to foster an appreciation of science and the natural world in his participants.
David develops and teaches innovative programs including Project Wild, Rock Raps, and Geo Jeopardy, creating enthusiasm and willing participation in science learning. His extensive work in Harnett County with nearby Campbell University includes 800 pre-service teachers and science majors in the last 15 years. He has worked with educators to develop and adapt activities and instructional materials for the natural world. Notably, he has incorporated creative inclusion practices to address the needs of visually, mobility, and hearing-impaired learners to allow better engagement in both field and in-class science activities.
David is a role model for his co-workers, future teachers, fellow educators, park visitors, and school children. Raven Rock Superintendent John Privette, his colleagues at the park and across the division are so proud of his work. Please join us in congratulating Ranger Brown for this well-deserved recognition!