Utah Educator Wins AAPG Foundation's 2018 Teacher of the Year Award

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation has named Deborah Morgan as the recipient of the 2018 Teacher of the Year award. Morgan is a geology teacher from South Sevier High School in Monroe, Utah.

The prestigious Teacher of the Year award (TOTY) is one of two Excellence in Teaching awards presented each year by the AAPG Foundation to a K-12 teacher within the United States who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of geoscience education. The Inspirational Geoscience Educator award recognizes a college or university professor who demonstrates excellence in higher education geoscience.

Upon learning that she had been honored with the award, Morgan said that “’Thank you’ does not seem adequate enough to express my gratitude to AAPG for this incredibly humbling honor.”

Deborah Morgan named 2018 AAPG Foundation
Deborah Morgan named 2018 AAPG Foundation's Teacher of the Year award recipient

Morgan asserts that science is “extremely critical to helping solve many of our twenty-first century problems“ and that “it is my job to contribute to that work by inspiring the next generation of geoscientists and ensuring that all students are earth science literate.”

The award will be presented to Morgan at the 2018 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), held in May, in Salt Lake City.  Her award includes a cash prize of $6,000, comprised of $3,000 for Morgan’s personal use, and another $3,000 for educational purposes to South Sevier High School’s use under Morgan’s supervision. In addition, Morgan also receives an expense-paid trip for two to ACE to receive the award.

Morgan is one of six finalists for the annual TOTY award – each one selected as the top geoscience educator in their respective geographic regions across the United States. Morgan was nominated by AAPG’s Rocky Mountain Section. The remaining finalists each receive honorable mention and $500 cash awards from the AAPG Foundation. The finalists are Matthew Brunner (Eastern Section); Leigh Marsh (Gulf Coast Section); Eric Woodard (Mid-Continent Section); Andre Raymond (Southwest Section); and Cory Weyhmiller (Pacific Section).

The AAPG Foundation was established in 1967 with the primary goal of providing a source of funding for educational, charitable and scientific objectives, which directly and indirectly benefit the geologic profession and the general public. The Teacher of the Year award honors that intention by giving this accolade to the heart of geoscience educational initiatives – grades K-12. The Teacher of the Year award began in 1996 and has since honored 21 outstanding earth science teachers across the country.