Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research

2018 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research

The Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research celebrates extraordinary and inspiring individuals who have devoted their career to natural science research and have demonstrated leadership and mentorship in the Canadian North.

The recipient will join a distinguished cohort deserving of recognition for their significant contribution and broad impact on the northern natural science community.

This prestigious award and designation includes a prize of over $100,000: $50,000 cash, $50,000 to support a postdoctoral fellow of the recipient’s choice, and additional funds intended for First Nations and Inuit engagement.

The call for nominations for the Weston Family Prize is closed. 

For full criteria and eligibility, visit the Nominate someone page.

Dr. Michel Allard – 2017

Congratulations to Dr. Michel Allard, recipient of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s 2017 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research.

From left to right: Dr. Monique Bernier, Geordie Daglish, Dr. Michel Allard, Garfield Mitchell at Arctic Change 2017 in Québec City, QC

Dr. Allard, a Professor in the Department of Geography at Université Laval, has been researching permafrost in Nunavik, northern Quebec, for almost four decades. Dr. Allard has initiated many multi stakeholder collaborations to carry out fundamental research projects aimed at discovering the physical processes of permafrost formation under past and current climates, and the impacts of permafrost thawing both in the natural environment and on infrastructure. In addition, he has authored over 130 scientific papers and mentored over 120 students, many of whom remain active in northern research at reputable institutions.

Over his three decades of work in the North, he has forged a trust with Inuit and First Nations and has made outstanding contributions to help northern communities adapt to a changing environment. His attentiveness to their concerns has led him to develop practical solutions that contribute to their overall wellbeing and safety.

In 2006, he received the Northern Science Award of Indigenous and Northern Affairs in Canada and is among the first recipients of the Polar Medal, awarded to him in 2015 by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of his extraordinary services in Canada’s North.

The $100,000 Weston Family 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).

 

Dr. John England – 2016

“The first thing you do is fall in love with the place. Then you fall in love with the science.”

Congratulations to Dr. John England, Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, winner of the 2016 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

Dr. England conducted his research in the Canadian Arctic for 50 years. His research includes the reconstruction of ancient ice sheets, sea ice and sea level changes that provide the necessary context to understand the impact of modern climate change. Dr. England’s findings led to a complete reassessment of the last glacial period in the western Arctic islands that has contributed new insights to international research in the Arctic Ocean.

In addition to his own research, Dr. England has been, and still is, a mentor and guide to early-career researchers in the Arctic and is a tireless polar advocate, promoting Arctic science, public outreach and education.

The $50,000 Weston Family Prize recognizes a leading northern researcher in natural science and is the largest of its kind. It is administered and awarded by the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS).

 

Dr. Ian Stirling – 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Ian Stirling, the 2015 recipient of the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime AchiStirling_photoevement in Northern Research by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. For more than forty years, Dr. Stirling has studied the ecology and behaviour of Arctic marine mammals, particularly polar bears, which las led to a new era of ecological understanding of the Arctic.

Dr. Stirling is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and an Emeritus Scientist with Environment Canada. A highlight of his body of work is a study published in 1999, which confirmed for the first time that the negative impact of climate warming on polar bears was statistically significant. Specifically, his long-term study of polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea led to the first scientific documentation on the sudden plummet of ringed seal’s reproduction, followed by a corresponding decrease in the survival of young polar bears.

The $50,000 Weston Family Prize recognizes a leading northern researcher in natural science and is the largest of its kind. It is administered and awarded by the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS).