Plenary 2: Bringing the joy of discovery into our classrooms: Blending research and teaching

Thursday, June 19, 2014, 8:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., McArthur Hall Auditorium

Over recent years, growing tensions in colleges and universities seem to be arising over the apparently competing goals of research and teaching. Research is exciting and the results of research programs can change the world. The same is true for teaching. There are no reasons for accepting that such tensions should exist, although clearly both good research and good teaching require considerable effort and time. This presentation explores how research experiences can enhance our teaching programs, and vice versa. It also proposes some practical ways that research can be more effectively blended into our university curriculum, despite financial and logistical challenges.

Dr. John P. Smol, Queen's University

John Smol is a biology professor at Queen’s University, where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. Dr. Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of over 30 students and other scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change, and especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. An ISI Highly Cited Researcher, Smol has authored over 450 journal publications and chapters since 1980, as well as completed 19 books. He was the founding Editor of the international Journal of Paleolimnology (1987-2007) and is the current Editor of the journal Environmental Reviews. Since 1990 he has been awarded over 45 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist or engineer. He has won 10 teaching, mentoring and outreach awards, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, and was chosen by Nature magazine (London, UK), following a nation-wide search, to be Canada’s Top Mid-Career Scientific Mentor. In 2013, the Governor General of Canada named John an Officer of the Order of Canada.