Dr. John Slater

NH Envirothon

John Slater educates Middle School and High School students 
through the NH Envirothon, a statewide environmental science competition. 
In recent years he has helped to guide the Envirothon’s “land-based 
problem,” and has steered it towards topics that encourage students not 
only to engage with the subject matter, but also with their surrounding 
communities. One of his colleagues observes that, “Getting the students out 
to explore issues in their home areas has led to enlightenment for the 
community leaders and municipal groups, businesses including farms, other 
students and educators in their schools, their families and neighbors, [and 
that’s] in addition to what the students discover. There has been an 
important exchange of information as the students learn how the topic will 
affect people in their daily lives, municipal rules and laws, and impact 
businesses. Some of the students repeat their presentations for their 
Planning Boards +/or Conservation Commissions, and other students.” 

John manages the content for this statewide competition, and also 
provides direct support for students, even inviting them to use his 
personal e-mail if they have questions about presentation parameters or 
other concerns. As one colleague notes, John often plays the important role 
of reminding judges in the competition that “these students are not 
doctoral candidates and should be treated in a positive and supportive 
manner to help build their skills in making effective presentations in 
challenging situations.” These are just some of the many ways that he makes 
sure he’s on the same page as the students, working with them to help them 
gain the most positive experience possible. 

Perhaps the most telling part of his deep commitment to teaching and the 
environment is the fact that all of the work he puts into the Envirothon is 
on a volunteer basis, all in addition to his job at SNHU. We are proud to 
present this year’s NHEE Middle/Secondary Educator of the Year Award to Dr. 
John Slater.