"Tom is recognized by his peers in conservation education throughout America as an exceptionally dedicated, passionate, and creative educator," said Judy Braus, Senior Vice President of Education and Centers for Audubon. "Perhaps more importantly, he has inspired thousands and thousands of people—both young and old—to see nature with new eyes and take an active role in protecting our natural resources. All of us at Audubon applaud his work and are extremely proud of what he does every day to inspire people to learn, care, and act."
Hissong has been the education coordinator for the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, one of the first Audubon Centers established, since 1994. He is responsible for all aspects of education programming for the Center, including programs for both children and adults. Previously, Hissong served as Interpretive Naturalist at the North Reserves for the Five Rivers MetroPark in Dayton, Ohio, where he planned and conducted natural interpretive programming in six Park District reserves in Montgomery County, and curator of education for The Dayton Museum of Natural History, where he directed all aspects of nature history education at the museum.
Tamar Chotzen served as Audubon's Vice President of Centers and Education from 1999-2005. During her tenure, Chotzen led the organization's efforts to grow its network of nature centers across the country. Today, there are more than 50Audubon Centers either in operation or under development. All Audubon Centers are designed to provide environmental education and conservation programming to youth, families and adults. The Tamar Chotzen Audubon Educator of the Year Award was established through private funding in 2005.
The Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, which has been connecting people of all ages with nature for more than fifty years, has developed a reputation as a pace-setting pioneer in effective environmental education. Located in a diverse and beautiful natural area, Aullwood's facilities include a newly renovated and expanded nature center and an organic farm. Specially trained staff and dedicated volunteers offer a wide range of programs and exhibits. To learn more about the center, visit http://www.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/aullwood/index.html.