Dr. Judith Silverberg, Legacy Award Winner
Judy Silverberg was presented with this award to recognize the many years she has served as an advocate for environmental education.
When Judy moved to New Hampshire from Wisconsin in the 1970’s, she served as the Chief Parks Naturalist for the New Hampshire State Parks. She created and implemented an interpretive plan for the state park system. The Student Conservation Association, through its NH Parks AmeriCorps Program, is still following Judy’s model to provide interpretation to thousands of park visitors each season.
Following her years in NH State Parks, Judy worked as a 4-H and youth development educator for UNH Cooperative Extension before moving to NH Fish and Game, where she stayed for 27 years. She launched many innovative conservation programs including NH Project Wild in 1985, Aquatic Resources Education in 1988, Wonders of Wildlife in 1990, and the Schoolyard Habit Program (Project Home) in 1991. Under Judy’s direction, conservation education at NH Fish and Game addressed the challenges facing science and conservation education statewide
Judy’s wisdom, energy, and vision moved NH Fish and Game and its conservation education unit into partnerships that have greatly increased their impact on conservation and environmental education in the state. Through the years, Judy encouraged collaborations that made Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitor Center a reality, as well as the Project Web Newsletter, the state Watchable Wildlife Program, Barry Conservation Camp, Discover Wild New Hampshire Day, and the N.H. Education and Environment Team (NHEET) which provides cutting-edge professional development opportunities for teachers.
Judy has been a leader in the environmental education community and a proponent of quality science education in New Hampshire. She helped shape the N.H. Frameworks for Science, chaired the group that developed the state’s Environmental Literacy Plan, and was a founding member of the N.H. Children and Nature Coalition. At the national level, Judy is known for her work as the principal investigator for the Association of Fish and Wildlife agencies in developing the North American Conservation Strategy and her service on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.
Although Judy is officially “retired”, she continues to work in the environmental education field with many groups in the state. She is the part-time coordinator of New Hampshire Project Learning Tree and is an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University.
It would be hard to count how many tens of thousands of the state’s youth have been touched by Judy herself or through her initiatives. It would also be difficult to count how many environmental educators have been mentored by Judy as they followed their own paths. She continues to be a strong advocate and practitioner of environmental education in the state. Judy truly demonstrates the commitment and qualities that represent an outstanding non-formal environmental educator.