DDCE Faculty Fellow Jay Banner is one of 26 recipients of the Board of Regents’ of the University of Texas System’s 2013 Outstanding Teaching Awards. The awards program is one of the nation’s largest monetary teaching recognition programs in higher education, honoring outstanding performance in the classroom and dedication to innovation in undergraduate instruction. A total of $1.6 million will be awarded to educators from all 15 UT System institutions during a ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on the UT Austin campus. You can see the full University of Texas at Austin press release here.
Banner is currently the Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the Jackson School of Geological Sciences and director of the Environmental Science Institute at UT Austin. He has been interested in science since he was a little boy growing up in New York City. After attending the University of Pennsylvania and SUNY Stony Brook, Banner joined the University of Texas faculty in 1990.
Through a series of lectures he has organized since 1999, Hot Science, Cool Talks, Dr. Banner has presented free, informal public lectures by nationally recognized scientists supported by interactive learning activities and teaching resources for an audience of 5th-12th grade students and teachers, university students and Austin residents. Funding he received as a faculty fellow in 2013 was used to sponsor “Environmental Justice: Progress towards Sustainability,” a talk featuring Dr. Robert Bullard, widely known as the father of environmental justice. Dr. Bullard discussed Hurricane Katrina and individuals and organizations that have shaped the environmental justice movement over the past two decades.
“It’s been an honor to become a DDCE Faculty Fellow,” Banner said. “ The resources associated with the Fellow position were instrumental in bringing a program on Environmental Justice to the Environmental Science Institute’s outreach series, Hot Science – Cool Talks. It was gratifying to hear the positive response to this program from so many members of the UT and Austin community.”
Much of Banner’s research investigates the impact of urbanization on aquifers and streams and the reconstruction of past climate change, soil erosion and ocean chemistry. His other recent awards include the Texas Exes Teaching Award (2012), the Friar’s Centennial Teaching Fellowship Award (2011) and the Jackson School of Geosciences Outstanding Educator Award (2010.)