Environmental and Resource Science / Studies
- Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation (2013-14)
Prof. Whillans has a strong interest in university-community research linkages, service learning and boundary organizations between universities and communities and between aboriginal communities and governments. His legacy of work in this area has led him to being selected for the 2014 Award for Educational Leadership and Innovation. Through this award, he is recognized for his instrumental role in founding and sustaining the Centre for Community Based Education and its sister organization U-Links in Haliburton; his vision for the innovative joint degree/diploma in Ecological Restoration with Fleming College; the meaningful and lasting applied learning opportunities he has enabled for two decades of students; and his profound influence on the active engagement of ERS graduates in civic and public affairs.
Prof. Whillans has worked since 1975 on questions related to long-term degradation and rehabilitation of near-shore fisheries and wetlands in the Great Lakes and Great Lakes basin. His research since the mid-1990’s has been mostly community-based team research.
Recent policy research reflects his revived interest in the historical ecology, community management/self-regulation of natural resources and ecological rehabilitation, comparative case histories for understanding ecosystem scale degradation and rehabilitation. Applications have included Hamilton Harbour, Long Point Bay, the north shore of Lake Ontario, Imbakucha watershed in Ecuador, the St. Mary's River, and the Haliburton Highlands.
Prof. Whillans earned a B.A from the University of Guelph, a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.