Dr. Ian Spooner Takes Research Helm of Acadia’s K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre

Dr. Ian Spooner Takes Research Helm of Acadia’s K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre
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Acadia University has announced the appointment of Dr. Ian Spooner as the Director of Research at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. A long-time Acadia researcher and teacher, Dr. Spooner will focus on strategy, planning, and communication to ensure that the Irving Centre and Botanical Gardens continue to be leaders in environmental study.

Dr. Spooner has been a professor and leader in Acadia’s Earth and Environmental Science Department for more than 25 years, supervising 30 master’s and 48 honours students to date. He has taught 11 different courses ranging from first-year Natural Disasters to graduate-level Quaternary Environments, and in a wide range of areas from Hydrogeology to Environmental Impact Assessment.

His primary research interest is investigating environmental change, and he conducts research in northwestern British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

He is an expert in environmental and risk assessment, groundwater and surface water contamination, and coastal erosion. Recently, he served as a consultant on the History Channel hit, The Curse of Oak Island.

The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens facilities were born out of a commitment to Acadia and are a testament to distinguished alumnus and successful businessman Kenneth Colin Irving and his wife, Harriet Irving. The Centre, which was declared by The Huffington Post as among the most beautiful buildings on a Canadian campus, is a gift from their children, James, Arthur, and Jack Irving.

Adjacent to the Centre, the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens occupy more than six acres and provide a captivating environment for the study of the native flora of the Acadian Forest Region.

The K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens will mark their 20th anniversary in 2022.

“I am proud to be part of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens—they are an exceptional nexus of learning and research,” says Dr. Spooner. “Humans rely on the natural world and, today, the natural world depends on us. The body of work that can be accomplished in the Irving Centre facilities is exciting, and there’s never been a more pressing time to develop the environmental researchers of tomorrow.”

In his new role, Dr. Spooner will mobilize Acadia faculty with an interest in environmental study to develop a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary strategy for the future as the Irving Centre and Gardens approach their 20th anniversary.

“Our location, facilities, and mandate are world-class,” Dr. Spooner adds. “My role will be to enhance the functions and impact of the Irving Centre and Gardens and mentor our Irving Scholars. I am looking forward to collaborating closely with my colleagues here and at field stations, particularly Beaubassin, to ensure Acadia maintains its reputation as a leader in environmental study.”