The New Hampshire Science Teachers Association (NHSTA) honored Antioch New England faculty member Tom Wessels with the Howard I. Wagner award at their annual conference March 24. 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 New England as the founding director of ANE’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 ANE’s Department of Environmental Studies. He is an ecologist and founding director of ANE’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 the NHSTA’s 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 was one of the founders and an early president of the Council of State Science Supervisors and he served as a director of the National Science Teachers’ Association.
About the NHSTA
The NHSTA is the professional science teaching organization for New Hampshire. Its purpose is to promote and improve science education in the state. For more information visit the NHSTA web site.