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King’s professor Dr. Harry Spaling honoured by geographic society

Dr. Harry Spaling, founder of the Environmental Studies Program at The King’s University, received the William C. Wonders Award for Scholarly Distinction from the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (WDCAG) at its annual awards banquet March 4, 2017.

Spaling’s academic work has centred on international development and conservation agriculture in Kenya. According to his nomination, “Building on practical experience working as an agriculturist and country director for World Renew in Sierra Leone, Dr. Spaling has devoted his academic career to building meaningful relationships with African scholars, development organizations, and environmental initiatives and to applying the tools of environmental assessment to evaluate and improve development activities.”

Spaling is the director of the Environmental Studies Program and has also served in other roles at The King’s University, including as Vice President Academic.

Vice President for Student Life Dr. Michael Ferber said Spaling “has enhanced the scholarly life of The King’s University in countless ways and inspired many students to pursue the field of International Development.”

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Geography Dr. Joanne Moyer wrote in Spaling’s nomination that he has worked closely with numerous students over the years. “Many undergrad and graduate students have joined him in Kenya, researching and working within rural communities, coming back inspired and passionate about international development,” she said.

Spaling has been published in journals such as Environmental Assessment, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Development in Practice, EIA Review, International Journal of Educational Development, Conservation and Society and others.

Spaling has successfully secured over a half million dollars’ worth of funding for research, often obtained in collaboration with scholars from the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba, where Spaling has held adjunct faculty status since 2009.

Dr. Spaling has also been an important contributor to undergraduate students attending WDCAG meetings over the course of the last decade, including many who have won the best undergraduate poster or presentation for the conference

The King’s University is northern Alberta’s only Christian liberal arts university, with fully accredited programs and a diversity of degrees. The university’s mission is to provide an education that inspires and equips learners to bring renewal and reconciliation to every walk of life as followers of Jesus Christ, the Servant-King. Learn more at

The William C. Wonders Award for Scholarly Distinction recognizes both lifetime and single major contributions to the discipline of geography, and is named after a former and distinguished long-time member of the Department of Geography at the University of Alberta.


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