Photo: Dr. Rick Hammer prepares students in the HSU Honors Program for their field trip to the Guadalupe Mountains by illustrating with string how all ecosystems connect.
Dr. Rick Hammer, assistant professor of biology at Hardin-Simmons University, will be honored by the Taylor County Extension Education Office for training volunteers as master gardeners and master naturalists.
Hammer is one of the Big Country’s foremost authorities on horticulture with expertise in both botany and plant ecology and has been conducting workshops for the Taylor County program for several years.
“Dr. Hammer has been an outstanding supporter of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension program and has been a staple instructor in both the Big Country Master Gardener training program and Big Country Master Naturalist training program,” says Robert Pritz, Taylor County Extension Agent for Natural Resources and Agriculture.
“Dr. Hammer has been gracious to host several of our extension trainings at HSU, and while fully committed to teaching and educating his students, he brings that same passion to the interns he teaches in the Extension Service program. His commitment to the horticultural community, combined with his level of commitment to our program, makes him a natural choice for this recognition,” says Pritz.
At HSU, Hammer teaches undergraduate courses in botany, ecology, computers in science, and various elective courses such as environmental ethics. He also teaches students in the HSU Honors Program and is a faculty member in the Environmental Management Graduate Program.
Hammer recently led students in a field ecology class in search of rare plant life located in the Big Thicket, one of only three places in the world where Texas Trailing Phlox can be found. Earlier this year, Hammer helped to lead a group of HSU Honors students in the study of ecosystems in the Guadalupe Mountains.
He is a master educator with the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics program, is active in his church as an adult leader for Royal Ambassadors, a Cub Scout den leader, and serves as the Outdoor Ethics Advocate for the 17-county Abilene area Boy Scouts of America.
The ceremony and dinner will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, November 8, 2012, at the extension offices located in the Big Country Hall at the Taylor County Expo Center.