2021 AWW Volunteer Awards

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 AWWard Winners! Thank you all for your dedication, enthusiasm, and incredible contributions to the AWW Program. You are an integral part of our team! 

The Mullen Award for Monitor of the Year recognizes the volunteer monitors who submitted the most water data records in the past year. A few years ago, we named this award the Mullen Award because when it comes to collecting water data, no one can ever beat Mike and Alice Mullen. This year Mike submitted 407 records. Alice joined collecting 132!  

The 2021 Mullen Award winner is Janne Debes who submitted a total of 352 records. This is the fourth consecutive year Janne has received this award. 

Janne was first certified as an AWW monitor in Dec. 2016. She spends time in both Auburn and at Lake Martin, and is part of several groups including: Save Our Saugahatchee and Lake Watch of Lake Martin and the USFS Tuskegee National Forest group. She has been heavily involved with investigative bacteriological monitoring with the City of Auburn.  

Anyone who meets Janne will be blown away by her great energy and passion for life and especially water watchin’.  She is great and identifying and solving water quality problems all over the place. Recently she detected a leaking sewer line in Auburn, and through her patience and persistence she was able to work with the City to solve and resolve this problem. A great example of what Water Watchers can do in their own communities.  

We would also like to recognize other Volunteer Monitors with the most number of records submitted this year: 

  • Lisa L. who collected 63 total records 
  • David S. who collected 59 total records 
  • Nicholas W. who collected 58 total records 
  • Mimi F. and Mike S. who each collected 50 total records 
  • Theodore H., Allen S., and Jeff and Linde L. who each collected 48 total records 
  • Brian D. and Gary W. who each collected 47 total records 
  • Frank V. who collected 46 total records 
  • Eric R. who collected 43 total records 
  • Debra G.H. who collected 41 total records 
  • Renee F., Karen J., and Dianne J. who each collected 40 records 

Thank you all for your dedication to monitoring and keep up the great work! 

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and accomplishment related to the protection and restoration of watersheds through water monitoring.  

We are so excited to recognize Isabella Trussell with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Isabella has been a dedicated volunteer with AWW and Logan Martin Lake Protection Association.  

She says that her emphasis has always been on making things easier for the group’s monitors, from color coding kits and instructions starting back in the 90s to delivering chemicals and providing local recertification as a Volunteer Trainer and Quality Assurance Officer.  

While Isabella credits the Lifetime Achievement Award to the volunteers of LMLPA, and we recognize their amazing efforts(!) would not be possible without her leadership.  

Isabella has helped lead the water quality group with LMLPA along with Linda Reuthemann, and have supported not only monitoring efforts, but outreach and education activities including water quality demonstrations at local schools, “Frog Night,” “Learn to Cast,” “Renew Our Rivers,” and “Lake Fest.”  

Isabella, thank you for your years of dedication to ensuring the success of your groups monitors, and we are so thankful to have you on the AWW team! 

The Lone Ranger Award is a new award for 2021 that recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and accomplishment related to the protection and restoration of watersheds through water monitoring without the support of a local watershed group.  

Carl Woida is the recipient of the first ever Lone Ranger Award, and we all agree that he is deeply deserving of this honor. We are so impressed by Carl’s continued enthusiasm and consistency as he has monitored two sites on the Paint Rock River for nearly 20 years, collecting a total of 290 records!  

We feel that it takes an extra level of dedication and motivation to keep on with monitoring when you are going at it alone in your watershed.  

Keep up the great work, Carl!

The 4-H AWW Team of the Year Award is another new award for 2021 and is intended to recognize the 4-H AWW volunteers and educators who have worked together as a team over the last few years to bring 4-H AWW Opportunities to their local students. 

Kevin England, Keri Roberts, Rebecca Parsons, and Zach Brannon are the recipients of the first ever 4-H AWW Team of the Year Award for their work in Walker and Winston Counties, and in particular their continued efforts to reach youth in the face of COVID. We also have appreciated their involvement with the USFS Partnership Project.


This team truly sets an example for how 4-H Regional Extension Agents, County Extension Coordinators, and local K-12 Educators can work together to accomplish great things. We want to make sure we shine a light on their hard work, team spirit, and creativity! 

Although 2020 was a challenging year, AWW Volunteer Monitors hit a major milestone by hitting over 100,000 water quality data records submitted to the AWW Database!  

The 100,000th Data Record was submitted by Gary Wagoner, who started monitoring with the USFS project in the Tuskegee National Forest in the beginning of 2020, and who has been involved with monitoring with great enthusiasm ever since!  

We recognized Gary by gifting him with an AWW shirt that he showed off during the meeting! 

Each year, we usually recognize the Trainer of the Year who has conducted the most workshops in the past year. 

2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and for the most part workshops were put on hold. So instead of recognizing one trainer, we would like to express gratitude to all of our Volunteer Trainers for sticking with us and being so patient and encouraging as we shift to different forms of workshop delivery and to keeping the momentum growing and going with your groups and volunteer monitors! 

Thank you to the trainers who conducted workshops in 2020-2021! 

  • Hana Berres 
  • Bill Deutsch 
  • Mimi Fearn 
  • Jason Kudulis 
  • Jackie McGonigal 
  • Stephen Morros 
  • Mike Mullen 
  • Judy Palfrey 
  • Eric Reutebuech  
  • Mike Shelton 
  • Jim Woodrow  
  • Frank Varisco 

Thank you to the trainers who have dedicated many years to the AWW Program and who have retired this year. We are so lucky to have had you as part of the AWW Family, and our program’s success would be impossible without you! 

  • Soos Weber 
  • Flo Peter 
  • Judy Palfrey 
  • Homer Singleton 

We would like to recognize the AWW Monitoring Groups who have submitted the most data records this year:   

  • Coastal Plain Streams Water Watch 
  • Dog River Clearwater Revival 
  • RSVP/ Marshall County 
  • Lake Watch of Lake Martin 
  • Wolf Bay Watershed Watch 
  • Save Our Saugahatchee 
  • Logan Martin Lake Protection Association 
  • Weeks Bay Water Watch 
  • Lake Jordan HOBO 

Last but certainly not least, we would like to recognize the 4-H AWW Monitoring Groups who have submitted the most data records this year:   

  • 4-H AWW Etowah County 
  • 4-H AWW Calhoun County 
  • 4-H AWW Walker County 
  • 4-H AWW Colbert County 
  • 4-H AWW Jefferson County 
  • 4-H AWW AUUF 
  • 4-H AWW Marion County 
  • 4-H AWW Chambers County 

Thank you to our 2020-2021 AWWard winners, we love working with you all, and keep up the AWWesome work!