Dr. John Smol Receives the 2016 Northern Science Award

News Release

Ottawa, November 17 2016

Polar Knowledge Canada is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2016 Northern Science Award is Dr. John Smol. The award was presented at a ceremony prior to the Annual Dinner of the Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, on November 16 in Ottawa, Ontario.

Dr. Smol has developed and refined techniques that have revolutionized the study of Arctic ecosystems. His pioneering work in demonstrating that microscopic algae preserved in pond and lake sediment are a powerful tool for understanding environmental change has brought paleolimnology from relative obscurity to the forefront of arctic climate change research.

Quick Facts

  • The Northern Science Award comprises the Centenary Medal, which commemorates the hundredth anniversary of first International Polar Year (1882-1883), and a cash prize of $10,000.
  • It is presented annually to an individual or a group who has made a significant contribution to meritorious knowledge and understanding of the Canadian North and, in the spirit of the last International Polar Year (2007-2008), recognizes the transformation of knowledge into action.
  • Polar Knowledge Canada is a Canadian Government agency that advances Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and strengthens Canadian leadership in polar science and technology.


“Congratulations to Dr. Smol on receiving the 2016 Northern Science Award. The research techniques he has developed have profoundly influenced climate change science and brought a much better understanding of how Arctic environments have changed over time. His work has been critical for northern communities by stimulating improvements to environmental stewardship, community management, and in a wide variety of other areas.”

Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

“Dr. Smol has made an exceptional contribution to the advancement of research in freshwater techniques and has become the go-to person to understand changes in the Arctic ecosystem.”

Dr. David J. Scott, President, Polar Knowledge Canada

Associated Links

Polar Knowledge Canada

Polar Knowledge Canada, Funding and awards for researchers 


Media Relations

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