Bill’s job allows him to do all day what he likes best, so his vocational activities are almost indistinguishable from his hobbies.
Among Hilton’s awards are: South Carolina Science Teacher of the Year, and SC’s Outstanding Biology Teacher; one of “50 Best Brains in Science” in the December 2008 issue of Discover magazine; Carolinas Guardian of the Environment; the Outstanding Alumnus Dr. Bill Hilton Jr.Award and the Alumni Ring Award from Newberry College; the Luceo Mea Luce Award; and the Prize for Excellence from Yamagata University in Japan in an international competition for projects involving “Nature and Human Symbiosis.”
Hilton’s education consists of a BA in Philosophy from Newberry College, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Biology from Winthrop University, and an M.S. in Ecology & Behavioral Biology from the University of Minnesota.
Hilton has studied extensively and trained students, teachers, biologists, and “citizen scientists” in the U.S. and six other countries. Hilton continues his work as an educator through lectures and workshops; as a consultant in science curriculum design and implementation and in outdoor learning; and as a widely published author on nature and education.
In 1999 Hilton launched “Operation Ruby Throat: The Hummingbird Project,” a cross-disciplinary initiative that builds international collaboration among students and teachers. An active field researcher, Hilton is authorized to capture wild hummingbirds and has banded and released over 4,000 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Hilton Pond Center. Since 2005, Hilton has led field expeditions into Central America to band and observe ruby-throats on their wintering grounds in the Neotropics.
Hilton also works with outdoor learning and nature centers to design trails, interpretive exhibits, and comprehensive education programs. In 2008, Hilton began exchange work as Consulting Director for New River Birding & Nature Center at Wolf Creek Park in Fayette County WV. Hilton is based near York, SC at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, a non-profit research, education, and conservation organization.