University of Portland environmental science professor Robert F. Butler has received the Neil Miner Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). The award honors individuals for their exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in Earth sciences. The NAGT has presented the award since 1953 and is named after Neil Miner, who was known for his contagious enthusiasm for geology and unselfish dedication to his students and his profession. Butler was nominated by fellow geoscience professors and will be honored November 3 at the annual NGAT luncheon.
Butler has been a professor of geophysics at the University since 2004. He teaches earth system science, natural hazards, and oceanography and is known locally as an expert in the field of earthquakes and earthquake preparedness. He is also the project director of Teachers on the Leading Edge (TOTLE), a K-12 Earth Science teacher professional development program featuring Pacific Northwest geology and geological hazards. Among his many awards, Butler was named the Oregon Academy of Science 2013 Outstanding Higher Education Teacher in Science and Mathematics and received the 2014 Fred Fox Distinguished Service to Science Education Award from the Oregon Science Teachers Association.