Texas Sea Grant’s Looney wins Superior Service Award

January 09, 2015

By Cindie Powell

BEAUMONT, Texas — Terrie Looney, the Texas Sea Grant College Program’s Coastal and Marine Resources Agent for Jefferson and Chambers Counties, has been honored with an Extension Superior Service Award from the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Looney, who has a dual appointment with Texas Sea Grant and AgriLife Extension, received the award at AgriLife’s annual conference on Jan. 6.

“Terrie Looney has accomplished so much during her career at Texas Sea Grant and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension,” said Josh Gunn, Texas Sea Grant Extension Program Leader. “After visiting with people in her counties, it is great to see the wonderful relationship she has developed with so many. They all look to her to provide science-based education and knowledge to address coastal- and marine-related issues. She certainly deserves to be recognized for her hard work.”

According to her nomination, “Superior service by definition includes high standards and quality; both words that can be used when describing the work of Terrie Looney. She not only excels in her programming and collaborations but does so for two agencies in two counties.

“Holding a dual appointment with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas Sea Grant College Program is a challenge in only one county, yet Terrie Looney serves with distinction in two separate counties, one urban (Jefferson) and one rural (Chambers).”

Looney leads several education and outreach projects. Since 2011, she has served as a Regional Coordinator for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, recruiting teams and volunteers to hold two competitions in Texas each year. Hundreds of Texas high school students have participated in the ocean science quiz-style competition, which is managed nationally by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

She also is a co-founder and co-director of Camp SeaPort, a week-long day camp begun in 2008 that introduces high school students in the Port Arthur area to careers in the maritime industry, and is a partner in “Linking Inland to the Gulf,” a 4-H program that teaches West Texas students about the water cycle, watershed stewardship and how the coast and ocean impacts their lives, with classroom study that is capped off by an educational field trip to Corpus Christi.

Looney was among the Texas Sea Grant staff members whose work with the Shrimp Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for the Gulf and Atlantic shrimp industry was recognized with a Texas A&M AgriLife Superior Service Team Award in 2013. She also was honored with an Assembly of Sea Grant Program Leaders’ Superior Outreach Programming Award in 2010 with three other Texas Sea Grant staff members for their Hurricane Ike recovery efforts.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.