Dr. Scott Hinch was named the 2011 recipient of the Excellence in Fisheries Education Award, presented to him during the annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Seattle,WA. The award is given “in recognition of continuous dedication to the teaching profession and personal contributions to the education of fisheries professionals”.
The mission of the American Fisheries Society is to improve the conservation and sustainability of fishery resources and aquatic ecosystems by advancing fisheries and aquatic science and promoting the development of fisheries professionals. It’s the world’s oldest and largest organization (started in 1870) dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources.
This year the committee is pleased to select Dr. Scott G. Hinch as the recipient of the Excellence in Fisheries Education Award. Dr. Hinch received his B.S. (with honors) in 1985in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Western Ontario, which he followed with a M.Sc. in 1988 in Aquatic Ecology from the same institution; in 1992 he finished a PhD at the University of Toronto. In 1992 Dr. Hinch arrived at the University of British Columbia as a post-doctoral fellow, and never left. In 1994 he was hired as an assistant professor and has risen through the ranks, being promoted to full professor in 2005. Scott became involved in undergraduate curriculum early in his academic career and has been credited in large part with shaping UBC’s Natural Resources Conservation program/major into a broader academic curricula which included increased emphasis on fisheries and aquatic ecology courses, which he teaches with high marks from students.
Dr. Hinch consistently ranks first among the 50-some professors in the Faculty of Forestry in the area of instruction. A former Teaching Assistant in Hinch’s course recounted watching every student make a point to thank Dr. Hinch personally, most shaking his hand as they left the final exam. As further testament, Scott won the student-nominated Killam Teaching Prize in March 2000. Dr. Hinch also has worked with undergraduates on more than 50 thesis and essays, which has demanded his time and one-on-one attention, for which he is known with an opendoor policy. Amazingly, he has advised over 1000 undergraduate student’s careers since becoming program director of Natural Resources Conservation in 1999.
Dr. Hinch is also an extremely successful researcher, which has helped staff his research lab, as he has mentored and supervised 22 MSc and 8 PhD students along with numerous post-doctoral fellows. Most are established as fisheries professionals and 4 are professors who still consider him a mentor that shapes and improves their careers. Dr. Hinch’s department head noted in a letter of support that Scott seems to seamlessly move between research and teaching, often bringing additional students into his projects and research group, effectively making research education and education research.