John England, Ph.D., FRSC (Northern Science Award 2017, Arctic Environmental Change)
John England, Professor Emeritus of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, has made a life-long study of the environmental and climatic history of Canada’s Arctic Islands. He and his graduate students have significantly advanced our current knowledge of the Innuitian Ice Sheet, the continental ice sheet that once covered an area the size of Europe. During half-century of fieldwork Dr. England has untangled the complex array of environmental changes that either drove or resulted from the behaviour of this ice sheet, including how it shaped the landscape and influenced the global sea level.
A passionate advocate for the protection of the northern environment and for northern science, Dr. England was instrumental in the creation of Canada’s northernmost national park, Quttinirpaaq, on Ellesmere Island. An inspiring teacher, he has introduced many graduate, undergraduate, and northern college students to the challenges and rewards of arctic fieldwork. Some of his former students are now at the forefront of research in arctic environmental history. The long list of awards and other honours bestowed on John England over the years bear eloquent witness to the esteem in which he is held by his peers. Through the Northern Science Award and Centenary Medal, Polar Knowledge Canada recognizes his distinguished achievements and his substantial contributions to the North and its people.
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