Joe Wyatt
Published October 26, 2017

Dan Porter, professor of biology at Amarillo College, received national recognition in October when the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) named him the 2017 recipient of its Two-Year College Teaching Award.

Dan Porter art home pagePorter will receive the prestigious accolade at the NABT’s Professional Development Conference Honors Luncheon Nov. 11 in St. Louis.


The award annually honors a college biology educator who employs new and creative techniques in classroom teaching.


The primary criterion is skill in teaching, but serious consideration also is given to scholarship demonstrated through publications or innovative techniques relating to teaching strategies, curriculum design, or laboratory utilization.


In recent years, Porter has successfully restructured his classes and labs to incorporate active learning strategies featuring student-centered pedagogy and a statistics component. As a result, Porter says, students have begun asking better questions and have demonstrated noteworthy conceptual improvements in their scientific experiments.


In addition to his dynamic teaching in AC classrooms and labs, Porter is highly involved in science education throughout the community.


As a courtesy, he provides a biotechnology-training framework on Fridays for area high school students; conducts Science Day at a local elementary school for the deaf; judges elementary school sciences fairs; leads tours of the Natural History Museum at Amarillo College; and, as a certified Texas Master Naturalist, leads nature hikes and presents natural history workshops (at least 70 volunteer clock hours this year alone) at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.


Porter’s award includes a $500 travel honorarium to attend the NABT’s Professional Development Conference, a recognition plaque, and one year of complimentary membership to the NABT.