2017 Faculty of Science Awards

2017 Faculty of Science Awards

2016-17 Award for Research Excellence

Colin Goldblatt, Earth and Ocean Sciences

Colin came to UVic in 2011 after postdocs at NASA Ames Research Center and the University of Washington.  He received a PhD in 2008 at the University of East Anglia. 

Colin is an exciting young researcher who is making his presence felt internationally.  A citation from an international referee says:

“Colin has worked on some of the most high-profile questions in Earth and planetary climate, including the rise of oxygen and its consequences, the long-term carbon cycle, global glaciation on the Early Earth, and the runaway greenhouse…. His work shows a flair for obtaining deep insights from idealized models which can be thoroughly understood, which is exactly what the subject demands but an all-too-rare skill. “

The broad span of his work has led to publications in leading international journals across disciplines ranging from geology and climate to planetary science.  Colin is poised to be a future leader as exciting new measurements of planetary atmospheres in our solar system and of “exoplanets” come on-line.  His focus on basic models of how atmospheres form and interact will be crucial to understanding these measurements, and even in deducing if planets in our galaxy may harbour life. 

2016-2017 Award for Staff Excellence

Duncan Johannessen, Earth and Ocean Sciences

Duncan has been a Senior Lab Instructor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences since 2006, during which he has led a good portion of the undergraduate laboratory sections, with particular leadership in first-year labs.

In this role he has lead innovations in SEOS’s education program on many fronts:   

  • He pioneered a program whereby senior undergraduates help run the junior undergrad labs under the supervision of TAs, allowing these students to re-enforce their own learning through teaching.     
  • Coordinating a small army of Teaching Assistants, mostly graduate students, Duncan has taken a very proactive role in mentoring these students to be better teachers.     
  • He worked with a faculty member in making a version of an enquiry-based first-year lab for Education students, with many of the activities finding their way into the normal labs.   
  • He has a strong commitment to field-based experiential learning, leading field trips and field courses in SEOS.  His interest in field work has lead to serve on the Editorial Board of a new book published by UVic faculty called “Learning Out There: Critical Reflections on Off-Campus Study Programs”   
  • He is an excellent ambassador for UVic, and helps fulfill our public outreach mandate, co-ordinating demos and displays for IdeaFest, Experience UVic, Science Venture, and Cub Scouts.

Most importantly, Duncan is beloved by our students, who love his infectious enthusiasm for earth science, clear explanations of difficult concepts, and for sharing his personal rock collection!  He is the first point of contact for many students in SEOS, and his love of science and education are a key component to encouraging student success.