Dr. Barbara Murck

Barbara MurckBarbara Murck (Ph.D., CCEP) is a Senior Lecturer in Geography and Environment at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She completed her undergraduate degree in Geological and Geophysical Sciences at Princeton University with High Honours, and spent several years in the Peace Corps in West Africa before returning to graduate studies in Geology at the University of Toronto. Her subsequent teaching and research has focused mainly on environmental issues in the developing world, including urban and rural environmental management, alternative energy, and waste management projects in Niger, China, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Her principal role in such projects has been as a curriculum development and training specialist, or gender equity consultant.

Dr. Murck is well-known to thousands of undergraduates who have taken her environmental science courses at UTM. She is responsible for delivering ENV100, a year-long introduction to Environmental Science to approximately 700 students each year. In addition, she teaches innovative courses on natural hazards and environmental issues in developing countries, and runs the internship capstone course for Environment, Geography, and GIS students. In addition to being an excellent lecturer and committed to empowering students through to exposure to science, Dr. Murck provides students with opportunities to use their training in the field. Furthermore, she treats the classroom as a dialogue where instructors and students learn from each other. She is devoted to providing guidance to students outside of the classroom, and continues to keep in touch with her students long after they have graduated. Dr. Murck won UTM’s Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence in 1997 and has been nominated to TVO’s “Ontario’s Best Lecturer” Competition twice.

Dr. Murck has authored a number of books and study guides. Most recently, she co-authored Visualizing Geology (2010), a text published by John Wiley and Sons that has been adopted by over 100 universities in North America, and Environment: The Science Behind the Stories (2010), a Canadian edition produced for Pearson Education Canada. She also carries out practical studies on pedagogy, including the impacts of experiential learning on undergraduates, the use of facilitated study groups in large first year classes, and the promotion of active participation in large undergraduate courses. She is particularly devoted to experiential and service learning, and to the development of community–university linkages. A perfect example is the active role she plays as a conduit of information and connections between UTM and its neighbours. She has played a major part in both the conception and development of the Mississauga Garden Park, which has evolved into the Riverwood Conservancy, a facility that has extensive connections with UTM. In recent years, Dr. Murck served as a Board Member for the Ontario Science Center and was a founding member of the Peel Environmental Network. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Citizens’ Environment Watch.