2006 Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher

The Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management proudly present the 2006 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award to Dr. Barry Irving from the University of Alberta. Dr. Irving teaches courses in range management, plant identification, and rangeland communities and has coached the Plant Identification and Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME) teams. For more than 20 years, Dr. Irving has challenged his students to achieve their highest personal best and he gives generously of his time and knowledge to help them reach their goals.

Dr. Irving is well known among his colleagues as one of the most successful coaches of Plant Identification and URME teams. Under his direction, more than 83 individuals and teams have received awards in international competition. Students and fellow instructors at the University of Alberta recognize and admire Dr. Irving for the hundreds of hours required to coach teams and advise the range club. Dr. Irving also works hard to make sure his students get summer work experiences and helps them find employment upon graduation. Students state that Dr. Irving is always trying to find ways to give them a great education and he gives generously of his time beyond the classroom.

In his teaching efforts, Dr. Irving employs innovative and effective classroom experiences and teaching tools that coax students to rise to excellence. He has created interactive computer modules that quiz students on plant identification and classification. Barry is also known for making education fun and engaging students by turning tests and assignments into games and team activities. For example, Dr. Irving created “Plantionary” a game a where students guess families, genera, and species based on a partner’s simple sketches. Students commonly note that Dr. Irving pushes them to do their best work and he guides them beyond “book learning” and helps them achieve critical thinking skills and confidence in their knowledge.

Dr. Barry Irving excels in the classroom and beyond to help students understand rangelands and achieve their career goals. The Range Science Education Council and the Society for Range Management are proud to recognize Dr. Irving with the 2006 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

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