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High school student laying out a standard
100 meter by 100 meter grid at Hilton Pond Center as part of his mentored research on small mammals of the Piedmont.

Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History has since its inception in 1982 been a location for student research. The Center was the site for an intensive three-year research project on the ecology of small mammals of the Piedmont--a significant study conducted by a high school student (Billy Hilton III, above right) whose work received top awards at the 1994 and 1995 International Science & Engineering Fairs and led to a natural history trip to China and to being selected as a delegate to the National Youth Science Camp.

Another student project on Pine Siskins (Carduelis pinus) was accepted for presentation by Kelly Dunlap at the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science research competition. A third student, Garry Hilton, had similar regional science fair successes at the elementary and junior high levels for research on bird abundance and avian habitat preference. Advanced Placement Biology classes have conducted short-term projects at the Center, and other students have banded birds and helped compile checklists and photographic records of flora and fauna that occur on-site.

Hilton Pond Center is available for a limited number of natural history research projects, particularly those conducted by high school and undergraduate college students. Local university students, for example, have worked on amphibian and reptile inventories. Student projects are co-mentored by Bill Hilton Jr., executive director of the Center, and sometimes by outside experts. Hilton has more than 30 years of experience in the classroom and working with student projects in informal settings; he collaborates closely with the student's in-school instructor to assure that the highest academic and research standards are met.

Unpaid Internships are sometimes available at Hilton Pond Center. Interns must have completed at least one year of college (two or more preferred), be majoring in some aspect of environmental education or natural history, and be willing to work at least 10 hours per week during a spring or fall semester or for the summer months. Along with work done in support of the Center, each intern is required to select and complete during the internship session an independent project in education and/or research. Since the Center has no lodging facilities, interns must provide for their own local room, board, and transportation. Interns are supervised by Bill Hilton Jr., executive director of the Center, who implemented and supervised internship programs at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (Pennsylvania), Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (North Carolina), and the South Sarolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (Hartsville). Through their home institutions, interns may be able to arrange for college credit for the internship experience.
For information about
student research projects
or internships at
Hilton Pond Center, contact

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.