Bill Steer

Distinguished Lecturer 2015-16

Bill Steer

Making informed choices – modern mining “Standing still is going backwards!”

Modern mining is in good hands when it comes to educating teachers and their students.

One of Canada’s leading outdoor environmental education centres – the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) – is the home of the Teachers' Mining Tour. In its sixth year, sponsored, in part, by the CIM and other mining partners, it brings teachers together for a comprehensive PD opportunity. For an entire week teachers are exposed to and made aware of what modern mining is all about.

The founder and General Manger of the CEC is Bill Steer, an environmental educator who has spent most of his career making various audiences aware of making informed choices. Through the M.A.D.E. (Make A Difference Environmentally) principle, the Teachers' Mining Tour educates teachers who in turn, during the course of their careers, affect many students. Bill will describe what the tour is all about and why there should be more such tours, particularly in the Oil Sands. He will identify how the mining sector can help and why, as a sector, we need to embrace that “Standing still is going backwards!”


Bill Steer is the founder of the Canadian Ecology Centre (CEC) and General Manager/Head Master of one of Canada’s leading environmental education centres. The Teachers’ Mining Tour evolved from the CEC’s M.A.D.E. principle. The weeklong, comprehensive tours highlight modern mining – the environment, safety, technology and the many diversified occupations within the sector. At Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario, he teaches geography and outdoor experiential education courses for the Schulich School of Education’s B.Ed. candidates. At Canadore College he teaches geomatics to environmental technicians and to post graduate students. He holds degrees and diplomas from Laurentian University, McMaster University and Durham College. Last but not least, he is "Back Roads Bill" on CBC Radio. 

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