Environmental scientist and activist Dr. Brad Walters receives Mount Allison’s top teaching honour
Geography and Environment professor to be awarded the Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award during 2016 Convocation ceremonies
SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison University Geography and Environment Professor Dr. Brad Walters, long-time co-ordinator of the environmental studies program, has been named this year's recipient of the Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award. The Tucker Award is the highest teaching honour at Mount Allison.
Walters joined Mount Allison in 1999 as a member of the Department of Geography and Environment, where he also developed the Environmental Studies program, one of the University’s most popular programs.
“Brad Walters is renowned for his in-the-field approach to teaching, getting his students out into the community to learn about those environmental issues that affect us all,” says Mount Allison University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell. “This kind of experiential learning opportunity helps better prepare our students to make meaningful change in their current and future communities. I wish to congratulate Dr. Walters on this well-deserved award for his exceptional teaching.”
“I'm honoured to receive the Tucker Teaching Award this year,” says Walters. “Geography and environment, and environmental studies in particular, work very well in a setting like Mount Allison where interdisciplinary studies are encouraged. I am pleased to be building on this tradition; focusing on this very important topic."
While his research focuses primarily on human ecology and the relationships between people, trees, and forests in southern climates, Walters is also a sought-after media commentator and public educator about local environmental issues, such as climate change, forestry, and energy development.
These interests have helped shape his award-winning teaching, developing courses that encourage hands-on projects and community involvement by his students.
“Along with colleagues in my own and other departments, we’ve worked to create many interdisciplinary offerings focused on the environment,” says Walters. “One of our most innovative courses focused on environmental activism, which saw Mount Allison students develop their own advocacy campaigns and participate in community events across the Maritimes as part of their course work. This kind of experiential learning is beneficial to everyone, especially in a field like environmental studies.”
As one of his nominators writes, “Research about climate change can be ominous, yet Dr. Walters wants his students to feel empowered and hopeful. A champion of and catalyst for action, his role as an educator is to give students courage, to instill life-long intellectual curiosity, a passion for environmental and social justice issues, and the confidence that they can effect change in their own way.”
Walters has received the University’s Paul Paré Award, in recognition of scholarly excellence, four times, and also delivered Mount Allison's Commencement address in 2008 and the George F.G. Stanley Lecture in Canadian Studies in 2016. He has been involved in many environmental groups and organizations both on campus and in the wider community.