Associate Professor Jon Harding

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

School of Biological Sciences , College of Science, University of Canterbury

“A passion for the natural environment.”

Jon Harding’s infectious enthusiasm for our natural environment rubs off on his learners. A freshwater ecologist, he shares his sense of wonder about the beauty and complexity of natural ecosystems and the urgent need to protect them in a polluted world.

A strong believer that science is learned by doing science, he takes all his learners into the field, literally getting his feet wet as they study biology in the wild. Second year learners create insect collections covering all New Zealand’s insect groups, research learners accompany him to Tonga to count mosquito larvae.

Lately he has experimented with preparing virtual field trips. His lectures are spiced with humour and anecdote. A learner wrote, 'he manages to capture the class's attention and promote discussion so easily you forget you are in a lecture'.

Jon is generous with his time, mentoring new staff, sharing resources, figuring out alternative ways to teach a blind learner in his class and helping learners win prizes at national and international conferences. No wonder a learner wrote 'Jon’s teaching got me excited to go to class again'.