Marc Bell Scholarship in Environmental Studies

Marc Bell has had a long association with Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. He was born in 1935 and schooled in Victoria, then obtained two degrees in forestry: BSF from University of British Columbia (1957) and MF from Yale (1958). He returned to UBC to complete his PhD in Forest Ecology (1966) as a student of the famed forest ecologistProf. Dr. Vladimir J. Krajina. Marc joined the Department of Biology of UVic as a faculty member in the early 1960s. He founded the Department’s Herbarium at that time and taught a range of courses in botany and plant ecology.

A popular and much-loved teacher, he inspired many students over the years. His research focused on vegetation ecology, mine reclamation, ocean pollution, and environmental governance and decision-making. In 1968 he taught an initial environmental studies course through the Department of Biology, bringing in notable speakers including zoologist Marston Bates, well-known author of “The Forest and the Sea.” Marc was one of the founding professors of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program at UVic, and in 1970 – the year that Earth Day was initiated – Marc taught the University’s first Environmental Studies course: ES 300. (Today, the ES program, now the School of Environmental Studies, is still broadly interdisciplinary as it was first conceived. It embraces “a full range of learning opportunities spanning natural and social sciences, humanities and traditional ecological knowledge,” with over a dozen full time faculty, and a full graduate program.) Many of Marc’s undergraduate and graduate students went on to undertake important work in a range of environmental fields.

He retired from UVic in 1991, but as Associate Professor Emeritus he has continued to teach and motivate countless people in environmental studies, environmental protection, ecology and natural history through UVic Elderhostel and Continuing Education courses. Marc established this scholarship to support students financially while completing their studies in Environmental Studies.

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