August 4, 2021

Texas Forestry Association Announces Dr. Paula Griffin as PLT Leadership In Education Award Winner

SFASU Associate Professor Dr. Paula Griffin, center, receives the Texas Project Learning Tree Leadership in Education award, sponsored by Georgia-Pacific, from Dr. Alan Sowards, Dr. Cheryl Boyette, Beverly Richard, Jacey Tosh, Jordan Herrin, and John Boyette during Texas Forestry Association’s annual convention held October 16-18, 2019 held at The Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas.

LUFKIN, TEXASTexas Forestry Association presented the Project Learning Tree (PLT) Leadership in Action Award, sponsored by Georgia-Pacific to Dr. Paula Griffin during the Association’s annual convention held Oct 16-18, 2019, at The Fredonia Hotel in Nacogdoches, Texas.

“Dr. Griffin began serving as a volunteer with Bugs, Bees, Butterflies, and Blossoms (BBBB) in Spring of 2008,” said John Boyette, co-coordinator of Texas PLT. “BBBB is a partnership program between Texas PLT and Stephen F. Austin State University Elementary Education Department to train pre-service teachers in PLT. Partnering with the SFASU Gardens and area schools, these new PLT educators provide four days of PLT activities for classroom teachers and their elementary students.”

In 2010, Dr. Griffin assisted in the development of a hybrid PLT training combining on-line training with face-to-face training during the required campus visit. During her Fall semester Dr. Griffin’s students also participate in a partnership with Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, where they learn additional PLT activities and developed outdoor lessons that are taught to area upper elementary students.

Dr. Griffin also assisted in the development of Wild About Science (WAS), the newest PLT partnership at SFASU that focuses on how to use PLT to meet state mandates in science content and skills.

After finding that pre-service teachers that participated in PLT training and an outdoor teaching even had significant gains in content knowledge and science teaching efficacy, Dr. Griffin made the PLT PreK-8 Guide one of her required textbooks.

She has served on the Texas PLT Steering Committee since 2014, bringing valuable academic experience and knowledge to our efforts. She also served on the Texas Forestry Literacy Plan Committee and she has received funding through SFASU Faculty Research Grants to conduct research on the impact of PLT contributing to the growing wealth of knowledge on the importance of environmental education in teaching. 

In March of 2018 she presented her experience and research at the twelfth Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources. This presentation was then published in the July 2019 Journal of Forestry. She continues to share her knowledge and passion for PLT and teaching outdoors through her connections with professional educator organizations. She will be presenting on Wild About Science, on October 24th in Norfolk Virginia, at the Kappa Delta Pi International Convocation.

“Dr. Griffin is a true visionary with a passion for environmental education,” said Boyette “She has proven her commitment to PLT through her innovative use of the curriculum to train pre-service teachers, while simultaneously impacting area school children.”


Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for over 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.