2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 10:05 AM


DRISCOLL, Fletcher G., 28 Peninsula Rd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110-1504, fdriscoll@usinternet.com

Everyone has had numerous teachers during their lives; some have left a mark while most have vanished without leaving a trace. The key to being successful does not lie in the amount of the teacher's academic training or experience or in the maturity of the student, but rather in the subtle ways in which the teacher finds to guide the students in their pursuit of knowledge and beyond. This skill is based on relating the teacher's field of interest in such a way that the practical value to the student is obvious. Thus, teachers with the ability to communicate and understand their students effectively will have the most profound effect on the lives of their students. This understanding leads to higher levels of learning by the students and enhanced research objectives. It is the social maturity of the teacher that plays the most important role in these tasks.

Effective teachers bring the non-academic world to the classroom so that students envisage how to prepare for and then integrate themselves into that world successfully. Students whose teachers create opportunities to question theories and the intrinsic value of the principles they have learned, are far more prepared to accomplish difficult research goals and to understand the practical limitations of their knowledge. Finally, teachers who are true leaders in their discipline reach out to individuals employed in related fields to seek areas of common interest. Ideally, these relationships often lead to future job opportunities for their students. It is not sufficient for teachers to communicate only with students and other academics.

The career of Hans Olaf Pfannkuch demonstrates how the combination of practical application of groundwater principles and the insightful ability to motivate students to seize opportunities of their own choosing has led to an impressive proliferation of groundwater scientists engaged in making the world a better place to live.