David Schindler, one of Canada’s most influential environmental scientists and former Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta, is CAUT’s 2015 Distinguished Academic.
The annual award
, which honors academics whose teaching, research and service have contributed noticeably to the lives of their students, to their institution, to their field of study, and to the community, comes with $1,000.
Schindler earned his D.Phil from Oxford University in 1966 and joined the faculty at Trent University. Two years later, as founding director of the Experimental Lakes Project at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans he started an innovative research program that would reveal how pollutants were destroying fresh lakes and waterways.
In 1989 he moved his career to the University of Alberta where he continued his groundbreaking research with studies into fresh water shortages and the effects of climate change.
Schindler is a prolific author, with more than 300 research reports and articles to his credit, and has served on multiple advisory boards and commissions on water quality and the environment. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Societies of Canada and London, a foreign fellow of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a founding member of the International Water Academy. His leadership and work has been recognized by a long list of Canadian and international scientific organizations and 12 universities that have awarded him honorary doctorate degrees.
His influence as an academic, leader and mentor over his 20-year career at the UofA has been instrumental in developing the next generation of researchers to address global challenges, and a veritable who’s who of ecology in Canada. His numerous international and national awards and honours pay homage to his stellar record of teaching, service and environmental science that has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the US and Europe.
Schindler received the award to a standing ovation during CAUT’s Council dinner on May 2.