I received my PhD from the University of Toronto in 1971, and began teaching at the University of Lethbridge. In 1978 I joined the English Department at UBC, where I taught until retirement in 2010. My teaching and research initially focused on Canadian Literature, especially on regional approaches and articulations of place. In later years this work increasingly inclined toward what became known as ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. I particularly enjoyed developing interdisciplinary courses in what I called “Habitat Studies,” the programme for which can be found in the article listed here.
I was awarded a Killam Teaching Prize in 2002 and in 2012 was named a Life Member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment I received the Deb and Edith Wylder Award for exceptional service from the Western Literature Association (of which I was twice President) in 2007. In 2006, I was elected to the Royal Society of Canada.
- Vertical Man/Horizontal World: Man and Landscape in Canadian Prairie Fiction. University of British Columbia Press, 1973.
- Everyday Magic: Child Languages in Canadian Literature. University of British Columbia Press, 1991.
- A Field Guide to “A Guide to Dungeness Spit.” Oolichan Books, 1997.
- The Arbutus/Madrone Files: Reading the Pacific Northwest. NewWest Press/Oregon State University Press, 2002.
- Salal: Listening for the Northwest Understory. NewWest Press 2007.
- “Out of the Field Guide: Teaching Habitat Studies.” The Bioregional Imagination: Literature, Ecology, and Place. Tom Lynch, Cheryll Glotfelty, Karla Armbruster eds. Athens/London: U Georgia P, 2012: 347-364.