Law professor wins national teaching award from mineral law foundation

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas School of Law Professor John Peck was awarded the 2018 Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award by the trustees of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. 

The award recognizes excellent teachers who foster a broad understanding of the law, mentor students and teach in an innovative style. 

"I was surprised, humbled and honored to receive the Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award," Peck said. "Mr. Martz was a leader in the field of mineral law and helped found the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. I know or have known many of the past recipients of this award and have great respect for them as teachers, scholars and people. I’m very grateful to the foundation for this designation." 

Peck is widely recognized as a dedicated teacher and one of the leading authorities on water law in the United States. His teaching combines immense expertise with humility and a keen interest in learning from his students, according to the foundation.

Peck was named a Connell Teaching Professor of Law in 1999, and he received both the Dean Frederick J. Moreau Award and the Immel Award for Teaching Excellence in 1998. In 2004, the university awarded him a William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. 

In the law school, Peck teaches water law, contracts, family law and land transactions. Throughout his career, he has educated Kansas students, legislators, governors, judges and practitioners on water law. He has principally authored numerous statutory changes in Kansas water law since the 1970s. Peck has twice served as the water section chair for annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institutes, represented KU as a constituent law school trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation for 11 years and diligently served as the Kansas Reporter for the Foundation’s Water Law Newsletter since 1978. 

Nigel Bankes of the University of Calgary Faculty of Law also received the 2018 Clyde O. Martz Teaching Award.  

The mission of the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation is to promote the teaching of the law of mining, oil and gas, water, public lands, energy, environmental protection, international and other related areas of natural resources law. 

"The foundation is an outstanding organization that provides continuing legal education seminars and institutes for lawyers and others who practice or work in natural resources law, both in the U.S. and abroad," Peck said. "It was my honor to serve for several years as KU’s representative to the board of trustees of the foundation and for two years as chair of the Water Law Section."