UACES Facebook Benton County stormwater educator honored with 2016 Tatom Award
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Benton County stormwater educator honored with 2016 Tatom Award

By U of A System Division of Agriculture
Oct. 28, 2016

Fast facts:

  • Trish Ouei earns Tatom Award
  • Ouei’s love of the environment inspires work 

(380 words)

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark.  – Her love of Arkansas and ability to work toward long term goals has helped earn Trish Ouei the 2016 Ginger Tatom Award from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. 

10-28-2016 Trish Ouei-Tatom Award

Ouei (pronounced “WAY”), a Benton County extension service urban stormwater educator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, was presented the honor on Friday at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality/Arkansas Natural Resources Commission Watershed Conference Awards in Eureka Springs. 

The award was named for Ginger Tatom, an Arkansas Department of Health employee who was instrumental in forming and planning the former Arkansas Watershed Advisory Group, who died of cancer in 2003. This award, a memorial to her legacy, was created to honor a professional who exemplifies extraordinary dedication to work in conserving and protecting Arkansas’s water. 

“I am honored to receive this award,” Ouei said. “Working on water quality issues is a long-term process. The immediate benefits of your actions are not necessarily noticeable so you have to be dedicated.  

“Knowing that the work I am doing now will have lasting benefits for the different watersheds in Northwest Arkansas really helps keep me going,” she said. “I am a native Arkansan and I love the Natural State. My love for the environment and my background in community health really makes working on water quality a perfect fit.” 

In his nomination, John Pennington, executive director of the Beaver Watershed Alliance, said “Trish Ouei goes above and beyond what is required of her professional duties. She works long hours to provide excellent service to the public.”  

From October 2015 through March 2016 alone, the stormwater outreach program provided more than 40 programs to more than 2,000 Benton County youth. During her time as an extension agent, she has conducted more than 340 presentations and programs.

Ouei isn’t the first Cooperative Extension Service employee to be so honored for water quality work. Pennington, a former Washington County agent, earned the Ginger Tatom Award in 2012. The same year, Jane Maginot, also a Washington County extension agent, received the Best of Show Community Poster Award for outreach efforts to communicate the importance of local storm drains to our streams through the Upstream Art mural program. 

For more information about stormwater education, contact your county extension office or visit



The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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