Dr Bill Hilton JrBill’s job allows him to do all day what he likes best, so his vocational activities are almost indistinguishable from his hobbies.

Among his 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; Outstanding Alumnus, Alumni Ring, and Luceo Mea Luce Awards from Newberry College; and the Prize for Excellence from Yamagata University in Japan in an international competition for projects involving “Nature and Human Symbiosis.” In 2023 the Governor of South Carolina recognized Hilton's accomplishments in science, education, and conservation with The Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian award.
Bill holds 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. Newberry also awarded him an honorary doctorate (D.Sci) for professional achievements and commitment to the College.

Bill has studied extensively and trained students, teachers, and biologists in the U.S. and eight other countries. He 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. Bill 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 and designed the Wetlands Boardwalk.

In 1999 Bill 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 birds and has banded and released more than 7,500 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History, a non-profit organization where he has banded an addition 77,00-plus birds of 126 species. He has led 30 “citizen science" expeditions into Central America to band and observe ruby-throats on non-breeding grounds in the Neotropics.

To learn more about Bill and his work as an educator-naturalist, go to rubythroat.org and hiltonpond.org and "Like" his Facebook pages facebook.com/HiltonPond for timely updates on nature topics, and facebook.com/rubythroats for info about hummingbirds. Follow him on Twitter @hiltonpond.