Hibbert Draws Heavy Influence from Nature

Growing up around the woods and marshlands of Marl Lake, 14 miles south of Eureka, Mont., Chris Hibbert developed a keen interest in science.

Whether it was playing with insects and animals, or splitting rocks to expose their mineral structures, Hibbert’s interactions with nature influenced him to sprout roots in the fields of geology and biology. Drawing from his childhood experiences, Hibbert sees the value in preserving the explorative nature of the human mind, especially in the classroom setting, where students go through extensive learning.

“My curiosity never got crushed. It lasted until adulthood,” Hibbert said.

Hibbert passes on this valuable characteristic, which he has maintained throughout life, to students taking geology and biology.

“We’re curious beasts…unless we get squashed,”Hibbert said.

Hibbert sees the importance in keeping students motivated to learn. A big part of this, as Hibbert says, is not knocking students down before they have a chance to lift themselves up.

“Learning is a game…like ‘How much can I know?’ And if you treat it like a game, it makes it much easier, and you have some kind of enjoyment in it,” he said.

Another part of learning, besides endlessly dishing in massive piles of information, is to have pleasure in the otherwise laborious process. Hibbert compares learning to games. Like a game, learning takes effort. And like a fun game, successful learning is always satisfying.