TORONTO, July 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Helping to write a "history book" of
Canada's northern environment - home to some of the world's most prized
natural wonders and resources - Dr. John Smol's lifelong research has
been instrumental in helping the world understand global climate issues
and the effects of contaminants on the Arctic environment. Today, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation announced that Dr. Smol has been awarded the annual Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research for his work focused on the impact of environmental change on Arctic
The $50,000 prize recognizes a leading northern researcher in natural science, and is the
largest of its kind. It is administered by the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) and awarded by the Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
"Dr. Smol has dedicated the past 30 years to advancing our understanding
of a wide range of environmental issues affecting Northern Canada and
the world," says Michael Goodyear, Executive Director, Churchill
Northern Studies Centre. "His outstanding national and international
reputation among governments, organizations and leading researchers,
and impressive record of contributions to the scientific community made
his selection a natural choice."
A professor at Queen's University, Dr. Smol is a leading international
authority in the field of Arctic limnology and paleolimnology, which
looks below the surface of lakes and rivers to uncover the secrets of
our environmental history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of
Canada, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environment Change, and
became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013.
"Canada has stewardship over a vast, resource-rich and beautiful part of
the planet, but we need solid evidence-based policy to make sustainable
and informed decisions for our future," said Dr. John Smol. "I am
tremendously honoured to be recognized with the Weston Family Prize for
the work I love to do. It has been a privilege to work in the Arctic,
with the support and collaboration of highly dedicated and passionate
students and researchers."
"Throughout his remarkable career in northern science, Dr. Smol has
demonstrated a commitment to education and public outreach," noted
Peter Geller, President, ACUNS. "He has contributed to mentoring the
next generation of arctic scientists, many of whom now fill key
positions in Canadian universities and in the public service."
The Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research was created in 2011 to honour leading northern researchers who have
advanced our understanding of Canada's northern environment, and
significantly contributed to better understanding of the physical and
biological environments, ecosystems, demographics of the North, and
evolving climate issues. Previous winners have included Dr. Serge Payette (2011) and Dr. Louis Fortier (2012).
Since 2007, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has worked with ACUNS to
offer awards to Masters and PhD students who demonstrate academic
excellence and leadership in northern natural science research,
awarding over $2 million in support of their work, often completed at
research stations such as the Churchill Northern Studies Centre.
"We need to understand our past so we can anticipate future changes to
the unique and sensitive landscape of Canada's North," said Geordie
Dalglish, Chair of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation's Northern
Committee. "We are delighted to recognize Dr. Smol with The Weston
Family Prize for his lifetime dedication and enthusiasm in advancing
important research that will help us predict and manage the impact of
environmental changes in the North."
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family
foundation, established in the 1950's by Willard Garfield Weston and
his wife Reta. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable
organizations across Canada. Today the Foundation directs the majority
of its funds to projects in the field of land conservation, education,
neuroscience and science in Canada's North.
About Churchill Northern Studies Centre
Founded in 1976, the Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an
independent, non-profit research and education facility located 23 km
east of the town of Churchill, Manitoba. In addition to research, the
Centre facilitates a wide range of educational programming ranging from
general interest courses for the visiting public to university credit
courses for students.
For over thirty years the Association of Canadian Universities for
Northern Studies (ACUNS) has successfully promoted the advancement of
northern scholarship through its mandate and programs. Established in
1978, ACUNS is a registered charitable organization operating with an
office in Ottawa, and active volunteer representatives at over 40
member institutions across the country.
SOURCE: The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
For further information:
Nina Godard, 416-969-2667, firstname.lastname@example.org