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Top prize for Arctic researcher


Kingston, ON – One of the world’s top Arctic researchers, Queen’s University professor John Smol, has been awarded the $50,000 Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. Dr. Smol’s collaborative work has been instrumental in helping the world understand global climate issues and the effects of contaminants on the Arctic environment.

Dr. Smol is a leading international authority in the field of Arctic limnology and paleolimnology, the field of study that looks below the surface of lakes and rivers to uncover the secrets of the Arctic’s environmental history.

“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,” says Dr. Smol. “I am tremendously honoured to be recognized with the Weston Family Prize for the work I love to do.”

The $50,000 prize is the largest of its kind for Northern research and is funded by the Weston Family Foundation.

“Throughout his remarkable career in northern science, Dr. Smol has demonstrated a commitment to education and public outreach,” says 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.”

“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, the group that administers the award. “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.”