John Eadie, a professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology (WFC) recently received the UC Davis Award for Undergraduate Teaching and Academic Achievement, according to a recent press release. The award is given annually and recognizes a faculty member who is an outstanding teacher, lecturer and scholar. Eadie is the 36th recipient of the award.
Eadie came to UC Davis in 1995 and has served as both the Dennis G. Raveling Endowed Chair in Waterfowl Biology and WFC Department Chair.
“After 28 years of teaching here, I still love what I do and I’m still passionate about it,” Eadie said. “It’s an honor to work with students, and they keep me young. It’s like – wow, I’m getting paid for this?”
Alexandria Ginez, a third-year WFC major who currently serves as a peer advisor in the department, discussed her experiences with Eadie.
“My peer counseling office is right across the street [Eadie’s]so I see him a lot,” Ginez said. “He’s always just a ray of sunshine in the office; he’s great to work with and talk to. If anything were to change my life goal from working with fish to working with birds, it would be John Eadie.
Ginez has also taken WFC 111, “Biology and Conservation of Wild Birds,” with Eadie as his instructor. The course is offered each fall term.
“All the lectures were very interesting, and I was very interested in the subject and very passionate,” Ginez said. “I had almost everyone attending regularly. [It] it tells you something if a teacher can get everyone up before 9am to go listen to a lecture on birds.”
UC Davis alumna Annie Maliguine graduated from the WFC program in 2018 and is currently studying Arctic sea ducks through a graduate program at the University of Alaska. Maliguine talked about the influence Eadie had on his career goals.
“He’s someone who definitely influenced my entire career,” Maliguine said. “I initially chose the WFC major when I enrolled at UC Davis, but it wasn’t until I took [Eadie’s] bird class that I decided to pursue a career working with birds. I really didn’t even know it would be something I would be interested in.”
Maliguine said she still keeps in touch with Eadie and has even sought professional counseling from him.
“He’s very accessible to everyone because he’s such a crazy guy,” Maliguine said. “Especially when you’re in a class full of so many other students, it can be scary to approach the teachers. But with him, he’s just a big badass and talking to him feels so easy.”
The award also includes a $60,000 cash award, which Eadie has decided to use to establish a scholarship for underrepresented students in the WFC department.
“I want to focus on what we can do to help students get hands-on experience without being challenged financially or otherwise,” Eadie said. “And especially what we can do to incorporate new students who don’t know it’s even a possibility for them. We really need to be training our next generation of professionals to better represent society as a whole”.
Eadie explained that he and his wife, Jane Eadie, who currently serves on the Chancellor’s Board of Advisors, wanted to create this scholarship in order to increase the number of professionals in the field of wildlife biology with diverse cultural backgrounds and provide more opportunities for incoming students. .
“With the prize money, it was a no-brainer,” Eadie said. “It’s a big push, and we can establish it right away. Jane and I, and maybe others, look forward to continuing to contribute to it over the years.”
The scholarship has already been signed and will be available to incoming undergraduate students in the WFC department for the academic year 2023-2024.
Eadie reflected on his overall experience working at UC Davis, as he plans to leave the university next year.
“I [plan] retire in a year,” Eadie said. “[Davis] it has been a fantastic campus to work on; the students are great and the staff is great, and our department is amazing. It’s just been a great trip. I feel very lucky, I don’t know how I got so lucky.”