Ken Coates has held various administrative posts at universities across Canada and in New Zealand, including serving as the founding vice-president academic at the University of Northern British Columbia. A recipient of the 2009 Donner Prize for his co-authored work, Arctic Front, Coates has been recognized by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and has received awards from the Manitoba Historical Society, the BC Historical Society and the Yukon Historical and Museums Association.  As a Canada Research Chair and faculty member in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School, his research focuses on Aboriginal rights, science and technology policy and northern development.