Hans Schreier was born in Basel, Switzerland. After receiving a Diploma in Organic Chemistry in Basel, Switzerland, in 1961, he proceeded to the University of Colorado ,Boulder, where he obtained a BA in Physical Geography in 1969. Further studies at the International Institute of Aerial Surveys and Earth Sciences, Enshede , Netherlands , led to the award of a Diploma in Air Photo Interpretation/Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (distinction) in 1972. Graduate studies led to the award of an MSc in Geomorphology and Resource Management from the University of Sheffield, UK, in 1973 and a PhD in Geomorphology from UBC in 1976.
After two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Soil Science, Dr Schreier was appointed Assistant Professor associated with the Land Resource Science group in 1979 to teach courses on soil and watershed management and on soil and land evaluation and to conduct research in these areas. His research reflects his specialization in three areas: land evaluation, soil processes and water chemistry, with a particular interest in land/water interactions. His projects include watershed analysis (system dynamics, simulation modeling), geographic information systems (GIS), land/water interactions (land use and its impact on water resources), non-point source pollution and cumulative effects, water and soil quality and pollution (excess nutrients, trace metals, sediments), geomorphologic and pedagogical processes, and land degradation processes and rehabilitation. He has conducted research projects in Lower Fraser Valley of BC, the Himalayas (Nepal Bhutan and China and the Andean Mountains (Columbia, Bolivia).
In 1996 Dr Schreier was honoured by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, Ottawa) for significant contributions to science in the developing world. His contributions cited were the effective use of computer and GIS techniques in mountain resource management in Nepal. He was one of only five Canadian researchers given the award during IDRC’s 25th anniversary celebration. Further awards in 1999 included a New Zealand Manaaki Tangata Fellowship to allow him to undertake landcare research in Hamilton and Auckland, New Zealand and for a lecture tour and workshops on integrated catchment management research (November 1999). That same year the IDRC awarded Dr Schreier a Senior Sabbatical Fellowship to allow him to review the Asia program and assist IDRC project teams in the Andes and Himalayan region in using internet and multi-media communication tools in their research and to identify future research priorities. He was recently invited to deliver keynote addresses on watershed management topics at the Kyoto Water Forum in Japan (UNESCO, 2003), at the Kovacs Colloquium (UNESCO, Paris, 2004) and Integrated Watershed Symposia (FAO: Sardinia , 2003; Rome, 2004, and Cracow, Poland, 2004).