Dr. Pat Maher

Dr. Pat Maher portrait
Professor / Faculty of Education and Professional Studies
Full-time Faculty
Dr. Patrick T. Maher is a Full Professor of Physical and Health Education at Nipissing University. He is an interdisciplinary scholar, who has previously held full-time appointments at Cape Breton University, the University of Northern British Columbia, and the University of Otago.

Pat was the inaugural Dean of Teaching at NU (2019-2023), and has also held Visiting Scholar positions at Trent University, the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Southern Denmark University, the University Centre of the Westfjords (Iceland), Vancouver Island University, the University of Edinburgh, and Cambridge University. He has also collaborated extensively with colleagues across the University of the Arctic network as former Associate Dean of Circumpolar Studies and the lead for the Thematic Network on Northern Tourism.

Pat has been named a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (2013), a 3M National Teaching Fellow (2014), and a Fellow of International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2020). He held a Commonwealth Scholarship in New Zealand for his doctoral research in Antarctica and was both a University Teaching Chair in Community-Engaged Teaching and Scholarship and a SSHRC Exchange University Research Chair in the Social Sciences and Humanities during his tenure in Cape Breton.

Pat is currently the managing editor of the Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning and former editor of the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (2017-2023), and the Journal of Experiential Education (2010-2016). He also sits on the Editorial Boards of the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the Journal of Tourism Futures, and Pathways: The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education.

BA, Lakehead University
HBOR, Lakehead University
PhD, Lincoln University

Pat’s research focuses on three overlapping areas:

  1. the meanings that people take from their experiences visiting remote/peripheral/Polar regions;
  2. the pedagogical approaches, such as experiential learning, that help people create action from these experiences, and;
  3. the linkages to global sustainability challenges that result when people change their values and behaviours.

Past projects have been funded by agencies such as:

  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • The Canadian Rural Secretariat
  • The Ministry of Environment (British Columbia)
  • The Department of Economic Development and Transportation (Nunavut)
  • The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (Ontario)
  • Universities Canada
  • The Lawson Foundation
  • The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU)
  • The Nordic Council of Ministers (Nordregio)
  • Antarctica New Zealand
  • The Department of Conservation (New Zealand)

Selected recent publications include:

  1. North, C., Hills, D., Maher, P., Farkić, J., Zeilmann, V., Waite, S., Takano, T., Prince, H., Pedersen Gurholt, K., Muthomi, N., Njenga, D., Karaka-Clarke, T., Houge Mackenzie, S., & French, G.  (2023). The impact of artificial intelligence on adventure education and outdoor learning: International perspectives. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning (Online First). https://doi.org/10.1080/14729679.2023.2248302
  2. Maher, P.T., Jóhannesson, G.Þ., Kvidal-Røvik, T., Müller, D.K., & Rantala, O. (2022).  Touring in the Arctic: Shades of grey towards a sustainable future. In D.C. Natcher & T.  Koivurova (Eds). Renewable Economies in the Arctic. Milton Park, UK: Routledge.
  3. Jóhannesson, G.Þ., Welling, J., Müller, D.K., Lundmark, L., Nilsson, R.O., de la Barre, S., Granås, B., Rantala, O., Tervo-Kankare, K., & Maher, P.T. (2022). Arctic Tourism in Times of Change: Uncertain Futures – From Overtourism to Re-starting Tourism. TemaNord series. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.
  4. Graci, S., Maher, P.T., Peterson, B., Hardy, A., & Vaugeois, N. (2021). Thoughts from the think tank: Lessons learned from the sustainable Indigenous tourism symposium. Journal of Ecotourism, 20(2), 189-197https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2019.1583754
  5. Hehir, C., Stewart, E.J., Maher, P.T., & Ribeiro, M.A. (2021). Evaluating the impact of a youth polar expedition alumni programme on post-trip pro-environmental behaviour: A community-engaged research approach. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29(10), 1635-1654. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1863973
  6. Normandeau, M., Kolomitro, K, & Maher, P.T. (2020). Joining a Scholarly Conversation: Publishing Your SoTL Work. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(2).
  7. Tin, T., Peden, J., O’Reilly, J., Bastemeijer, K., & Maher, P.T. (2019). Preservation amenity, research laboratory, or mineral reserve? International perspectives on the values of Antarctica. Polar Record, 55(2), 61-71.
  8. Rantala, O., de la Barre, S., Granås, B., Jóhannesson, G.Þ., Müller, D., Saarinen, J., Tervo-Kankare, K., Maher, P.T., & Niskala, M. (2019). Arctic Tourism in Times of Change: Seasonality. TemaNord series. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.
  9. Snow, K., Wardley, L., Carter, L., & Maher, P.T. (2019). Lived Experiences of Online and Experiential Learning in Four Undergraduate Professional Programs. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 12, 79-93.
  10. Strean, W.B., Maher, P.T., & Brooks, K. (2019). Train Wrecks: 3M National Teaching Fellows Explore Creating Learning and Generative Responses from Colossal Failures. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, 12, 119-126.
  11. Maher, P.T. (2018). Conversations across the Pond: Connections between Canadian and Western European outdoor studies over the last 20 years. In P. Becker, C. Loynes, B. Humberstone, & J. Schirp (Eds.). The Changing World of Outdoor Learning in Europe (pp. 251-263). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  12. Maher, P.T., MacPherson, S., Doucette, M.B., Tulk, J.E., & Menge, T. (2018). Sustainability, ethics, and authenticity in Indigenous tourism: The case of Eskasoni cultural journeys on Goat Island. Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development, 11(1), pp. 90-106.