Robert Finton Award:

Outdoor Educator of the Year


MAEOE photo

Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education.

– David Polis


The MAEOE Robert Finton Outdoor Educator of the Year Award program recognizes an individual who demonstrates leadership and innovation in environmental and outdoor education. Bob Finton personified enthusiasm, innovation, and excellence in the field of environmental education. This award honors his memory by rewarding the efforts of those who strive for these qualities. The award is presented at the annual MAEOE conference.

Click here to learn more about Bob Finton

Download the application here

Email Nominations to Melanie Parker:

Award Criteria:

  • Recognition should be given to an individual who is a non-formal practitioner of outdoor education and works “in the trenches” as Bob did.
  • The nominee can be a representative, either paid on unpaid, of an outdoor education center, non-profit organization, service organization, resource agency, education-related business, or other organization whose mission is environmental education. (Classroom teachers should be considered for the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Teacher of the Year Award.)
  • The nominee should demonstrate innovation and excellence in environmental education programming. Examples could include:
    • A highly successful ground-breaking environmental education effort
    • Innovation in developing new interpretive or instructional methods
    • Development of a program that reaches new audiences or underserved populations
    • Work in a program that promotes or increases conservation practices
    • Programming that develops and supports a positive stewardship ethic
  • The nominee cannot be a sitting member of the MAEOE Board of Trustees

NOTE: Your nomination will be strengthened if you include testimonials from co-workers, peers and supervisors (although this is not required). The nominating committee needs to have a clear picture of specifically what this person has done to demonstrate the criteria.