Peter Kang receives the Taylor Career Development Award

Assistant (but soon to be Associate) Professor Peter Kang received a Taylor Career Development Award. The Taylor Career Development Award recognizes exceptional contributions to teaching by a candidate for tenure during the probationary period. Faculty are considered for the award at the time they are being evaluated for permanent tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor.  Roughly 20 assistant professors in the College of Science and Engineering are considered for tenure each year, typically only one or two receive the Taylor Award. 

Peter has taught three key courses in the ESCI curriculum (ESCI3202 Fluid Earth Dynamics, ESCI4702 General Hydrogeology and ESCI4971 Field Hydrogeology), and several specialized topics courses/seminars. Fluid Earth Dynamics is a required course for the Earth Sciences major treating fluid phenomena ranging from surface processes (e.g., stream and groundwater flow) to mantle convection.  General Hydrogeology is a required course for the Environmental Geosciences major that serves as a quantitative introduction to fluid flow in geologic materials and is essential for understanding water as a resource.  Field Hydrogeology is a summer course that is one of two options for an advanced field experience in the majors.  This three-week course is an immersive exposure to modern, field-based hydrogeology that typically draws around 30 students. 

All three of these courses have in common a level of mathematics, physics and programming at or near the top of our undergraduate curriculum.  It is fair to say that many Earth and Environmental Science students are drawn to the field by the draw of field-based work and a strong interest in environmental resource management, not vector calculus.  In a department known for strong teaching, the fact that Dr. Kang consistently receives accolades from students is a strong testament to his ability to relate difficult concepts in clear and accessible fashion.  Bringing a combination of flipped lecture format, inventive visuals, strong pedagogical structure, an open and modest demeanor, and a sincere commitment to seeing students succeed, Dr. Kang has quickly developed into one of the finest instructors in the department. 

The Taylor adds to Peter’s rapidly growing list of awards received at the University of Minnesota, including the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, IonE Associate, and the 2022 Chin-Fu Tsang Coupled Processes Award.