Robert Hastings
Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station
Hammond, Louisiana

It has been said that an excellent teacher does not educate the mind at the expense of the heart. Robert Hastings-who embodies that tenet in spirit and in action-has designed programs, administered grants, organized and conducted workshops, led field excursions, promoted partnerships, and developed educational materials to assist educators throughout the Lake Pontchartrain Basin in teaching our students’ minds and hearts. Dr. Hastings teaches best through example, and he serves as a source of personal inspiration to the students, community volunteers, and science educators with whom he works.

During his years in Louisiana, Dr. Hastings effectively used his role as professor of biological sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University and director of the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station to develop environmentally literate citizens able to make informed personal, professional, and political decisions. He supervised the development of Turtle Cove as a quality education center for teachers. He developed the “Lessons on the Lake” weekend workshops for teachers, offered quarterly since 1991, and served as primary instructor. He encouraged the use of Turtle Cove as a site for school field trips and scientific research.

Dr. Hastings has authored a variety of professional manuscripts, received many grants for scientific research, and served on numerous advisory boards, councils, and committees. Whether working with environmental professionals or with students and teachers, Dr. Hastings provides leadership in the battle for the restoration of the ecological health of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. We are empowered by his work, and we treasure his rich legacy.

— Sue Ellen Lyons, Holy Cross High School, New Orleans, Louisiana