The Range Science Education Council (RSEC) and the Society for Range Management (SRM) proudly present the 2017 Early Career Teaching Award to Dr. Craig Carr, Assistant Professor of Rangeland Ecology in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University. The Early Career Teaching Award recognizes individuals in the early stages of their career who demonstrate excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring undergraduate students.

Dr. Craig Carr
Dr. Craig Carr

Over the past 5 years at MSU, Dr. Carr has served as the instructor for range science courses that focus on science-based knowledge concerning the sustainability of Montana’s livestock and rangeland resources. His teaching philosophy focuses on ensuring that each student receives a rewarding learning experience that not only provides them with the required subject information but also the skills that promote life-long learning. Dr. Carr embraces a teaching approach that encourages individual discovery through critical evaluation and discussion, and facilitates the development of problem solving strategies.
As stated by his nominator, “Dr. Carr’s dedication to instruction and professional development has made him a favorite among our students and a role model and mentor for other young faculty, including myself. Unequivocally, Dr. Carr is among the finest and most dedicated teachers I have ever worked with”.

Upon arrival at MSU, Dr. Carr invested significant energies to catalogue herbarium specimens, prepare study materials and rebuild the University’s Plant ID team, serving as both coach and advisor. One of his first students stated Dr. Carr “encouraged the students to invest time and effort, so we could increase our school representation during the annual SRM meeting, while developing plant identification skills for future jobs following graduation. Dr. Carr also planted the seed for many of the MSU Range Club members to continue their participation with SRM to further develop their professional and networking skills”. Clearly, Dr. Carr’s investment in student career development goes above and beyond the responsibilities of his faculty position.

One of his former students said “Dr. Carr is a fun and respected professor in the Animal and Range Sciences Department at Montana State… He is deserving of such an award and would make a great addition to the list of outstanding range management teachers that have received the award”. Current students say “Teaching and mentoring is in his blood. In addition to his teaching and advising duties at MSU, he also dedicates much of his free time to coaching youth hockey. [It is no secret that hockey is very important to him]. His traveling hockey team consumes much of his free time, but has never chewed into the time he dedicates to his students or his plant ID team”. Dr. Carr excels at teaching, advising and mentoring.

For his outstanding contributions in the classroom and beyond, the Range Science Education Council and Society for Range Management proudly recognize Dr. Craig Carr with the 2017 Early Career Teaching Award.