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When Professor Nick Eyles talks Earth, people listen

Professor Nick Eyles, seen here during his presentation for UTSC's 50th Anniversary Fund, recently won the E.R.Ward Neale Medal from the Geological Association of Canada. (Photo by Ken Jones)

If U of T Scarborough Geology professor Nick Eyles has one teaching mission in life it’s to get people excited about Canada’s abundant geologic treasures.

For his work in communicating earth science through television, books and mass media, Eyles is this year’s recipient of the E.R. Ward Neale Medal from the Geological Association of Canada. The Neale Medal, named after legendary Canadian geologist Ernest Ward Neale, is awarded for outstanding efforts in sharing earth science with Canadians.

“I knew Ward Neale at Memorial University when I was a graduate student in the 70’s, so it's truly an honour to receive this recognition,” says Eyles, a professor in the Department of Physical and Environmental Science at UTSC.

Eyles most notably hosted the highly popular mini-series Geologic Journey and Geologic Journey-World  on CBC’s The Nature of Things with David Suzuki and has written several books including Ontario Rocks,  Canadian Shield: The Rocks that Made Canada, and the award-winning Canada Rocks: The Geologic Journey with a colleague Andrew Miall. His most recent book, Road Rocks Ontario, is paired with a mobile app that takes users on a digital road trip to 500 geologic wonders around the province. It also received the Geoscience Information Society’s Best Guidebook Award in 2013.

Most recently, he was a recipient of UTSC’s 50th Anniversary Legacy Fund for his idea to create a “Rock Walk” on campus. Once completed the landscaped geology display will educate and inspire future generations by showcasing different rock types from across Ontario.

Eyles, who is also a past recipient of the McNeil Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, hopes his work can make geology more accessible to the public.

“When I talk about geology I try to take people into the field with me,” says Eyles. “Many can’t make it out of the city, so I try to bring the natural beauty of Canada to them.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough