Tom Wessels Honored by NH Science Teachers Association

Contact: Jan Fiderio at 603.283.2107

March 24, 2009 for Immediate Release

Tom Wessels Honored by NH Science Teachers Association

Summary – He receives the Howard I. Wagner Award for outstanding contributions to
science education in New Hampshire.

(Keene, NH) March 24, 2009 – The New Hampshire Science Teachers Association (NHSTA) honored Antioch University New England faculty member Tom Wessels with the Howard I. Wagner award at their annual conference March 23. The award recognizes Tom’s outstanding contributions to science education in New Hampshire.

Lisa Lavalley, president of the NHSTA, presented the award. She noted Tom’s work at Antioch University New England as the founding director of AUNE’s conservation biology program, the books he has written, his workshops throughout New Hampshire and the United States, and his “gift of speaking in a way that makes you feel like you are on a trip with him.” She also added that she had been on a guided walk with Tom long ago. “I remember more of that one-hour walk, now, many years later, than any lecture I have ever attended.”

Tom is a core faculty member and associate chair for external relations in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies. He is an ecologist and founding director of AUNE’s master’s degree program in conservation biology and former chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, an organization that fosters environmental leadership through graduate fellowships and organizational grants. He serves as an ecological consultant to the Rain Forest Alliance’s SmartWood Green Certification Program. In that capacity Tom helped draft green certification assessment guidelines for forest operations in the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Tom has conducted landscape level workshops throughout the United States for over thirty years. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, and The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future.

About The New Hampshire Teachers Association Howard I Wagner Award
Howard I. Wagner was a long time science teacher and department chair at Laconia High
School. In 1953, he served as the president of our predecessor organization, the Science Section of the New Hampshire State Teachers’ Association. From 1959 to 1970, he served as the first science education consultant in the New Hampshire State Department of Education. In that capacity, Howard actively promoted the improvement of science education in New Hampshire and throughout the nation. His influence on the many science education reforms of the 1960’s was truly significant. During this period, he wasone of the founders and an early president of the Council of State Science Supervisorsand he served as a director of the National Science Teachers’ Association. In 1965, hewas the single individual most responsible for the formation of the New HampshireScience Teachers’ Association.

About Antioch University New England”s Conservation Biology Program
AUNE’s master’s program in Conservation Biology gives students the research and field skills to understand the linkages between ecology and real-life conservation issues. Central to the program is the thesis or project, which allows students to define research questions, collect conceptual and background information from related studies, identify protocols for appropriate data collection and analysis, and follow the work through to its completion. AUNE’s program emphasizes the importance of practical field experience. Core requirements include a mix of conceptual and practical classes, research, and practica. Graduates leave with a well-rounded education, and are able to do rigorous science and understand the social perspectives essential to forging effective conservation initiatives.

About Antioch University New England
This is Antioch University New England’s forty-fifth year as an institution of higher education. Based in Keene, New Hampshire, AUNE offers rigorous, practice-oriented, values-based master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs to more than one thousand students. Degrees in education, leadership and management, environmental studies, and psychology reflect a dedication to activism, social justice, community service, and sustainability. Antioch University New England is the oldest and largest of Antioch University’s graduate campuses.

About Antioch University
Antioch University is a five-campus university located in four states. Each campus has its own distinct academic programs, community life, and regional or national identity. Antioch University is founded on principles of rigorous liberal arts education, innovative experiential learning and socially engaged citizenship. The multiple campuses of the University nurture in their students the knowledge, skills and habits of reflection to excel as lifelong learners, democratic leaders and global citizens who live lives of meaning and purpose. For more information visit:

For more information about Antioch University New England visit our web site at: