Dr. Nicholas Kinar joined the College of the Rockies in 2022, appreciating the unique intersection of environment, culture, and learning opportunities it offers. Dr. Kinar is known for pioneering innovative teaching methods that fuse electronics with environmental monitoring, and he takes pride in developing his own teaching materials, presentations, labs, computer programs, and student activities. His commitment to education extends beyond the classroom as he actively participates in events like Rockies Fest Open House, course outline editing, Universal Design in Learning initiatives, and teaching conferences. Furthermore, Dr. Kinar is deeply engaged in research related to environmental monitoring.
His academic journey includes the completion of a BSc (Honours), MSc, and PhD at the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned several prestigious scholarships and awards such as the Canadian Geophysical Union D. M. Gray Award and the American Geophysical Union Horton Research Grant. His unwavering belief in the value of regional education led him to pursue all his degrees at the same university. During his MSc and PhD, he specialized in Hydrometeorology, Hydrology, and environmental sensors. Dr. Kinar also holds a Marine Engineering certificate and a postsecondary teaching certificate. Notably, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and serves as an Editor for the Consilience and ConsiliARTe journals, which explore the nexus of science and the arts. Dr. Kinar’s prolific research portfolio spans topics such as environmental electronics, remote sensing, signal processing, environmental models, and mathematics. His research endeavors encompass heat pulse probes, snowpack and hydrological measurement sensors, and electronic circuits tailored for teaching and learning. Beyond his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Kinar is a published poet and writer. For over five years, he has dedicated himself to sharing a “Hydrology Paper of the Day” on Twitter @KinarNicholas.
In the classroom, Dr. Kinar crafts all instructional materials himself, opting for inventive presentations, lab experiments, and circuits instead of conventional textbook slides and activities. He employs figures, tables, and text directly from research papers during in-class discussions to illustrate the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Dr. Kinar also presents multiple hypotheses from primary references, emphasizing the dynamic evolution of knowledge over time. To facilitate collaborative learning, he provides students with electronic versions of classroom discussion slides, enabling real-time interaction.
Dr. Kinar’s teaching philosophy is rooted in constructivism, promoting active student engagement and knowledge creation based on information and concepts. He fosters an interactive learning environment driven by student inquiries, discussions, and mutual knowledge sharing. His pedagogical approach encourages students to tackle open-ended assignments and lab activities, with Dr. Kinar serving as a guide in the learning journey. He emphasizes to his students that despite his extensive academic credentials, their shared humanity bridges any perceived gaps in experience.