Award Recipients since its inception in 1959
The information given below shows the place of employment
of the individual at the time of the award.
For his groundbreaking research on the tectonic evolution of the Canadian Cordillera.
For his thought-provoking and rigorous science, Michael Church — a specialist in how rivers and streams shape the landscape, and
professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia — has been awarded the 2009 Massey Medal for outstanding achievement in Canadian geography.
Bruce Mitchell is a Professor of Geography in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the
University of Waterloo. He is a well-respected leader in the field of resource and environmental
management, with a focus on water resources.
Climate oceanographer, for his leading role in ocean science.
Historical geographer, for his outstanding contribution to the knowledge of 19th and 20th
century society in Canada, particularly in Quebec.
Dr. Tim Oke
For his substantial contribution to our understanding of the microclimates of cities.
Stuart Bourne, Geographer and Planner, University of Toronto
For his outstanding scholarship in urban geography and his ability to bridge the worlds of
theory and practice in urban planning.
Colebrook Harris, Geographer, University of British Columbia
For outstanding scholarship in the field of historical geography and his exploration of history’s
imprint on the landscape and the relationship between people and place.
Dr. John Oliver
Wheeler, Geologist, Geological Survey of Canada
For his scholarship and exploration of the land, particularly of the Cordilleran region,
that has considerably advanced the understanding of Canada’s geological makeup and,
as a result, has had a tremendous influence on the teaching of Earth sciences in our country.
McCann, Geographer, University of Victoria
For outstanding personal achievement and interdisciplinary leadership in furthering the understanding
of Canada’s landscapes and its social, regional and urban geography.
T. Davidson, Geographer, retired
For outstanding personal achievement and leadership in the application of geography to the
development of public policies governing the use, management, conservation and protection
of Canada’s natural resources.
Dr. William C. Wonders, Professor Emeritus of
Geography, University of Alberta
For his accomplishments in research, teaching and institution-building which were instrumental
in establishing geography as a formal academic discipline and profession in Canada.
James A. Houston, Author and artist
For his efforts in bringing Inuit art, sculpture and print-making to the attention of Canadians
and the world.
James P. Bruce, Meteorologist
For his leadership of research, development and policy for such major Canadian environmental
issues as water resource management, Great Lakes pollution, acid rain and climate change.
Dr. Pierre Camu, Professor of Geography, University
For his contribution to the development of geography through his scholarly activities, particularly
through his research on the origins and development of maritime transportation in Canada.
Henri Dorion, Executive Director, Quebec Toponymy
For the significant contributions made to our understanding of Canada and the world through
his work in the area of political geography, notably on boundaries, and in toponymy, the
study of place names.
Dr. J. Gordon Nelson, Professor of Geography, University of Waterloo
For his practical problem-solving to greatly expand the knowledge of Canada’s geography
and assist in the creation of parks, protected areas and sustainable development projects
around the world.
Stewart Dixon MacDonald, Biologist, retired
Specializing in arctic ecosystems, who was instrumental in establishing the Polar Bear Pass
National Wildlife Area on Bathurst Island.
Dr. George D. Hobson, Geophysicist, retired
For distinguishing himself in the scientific exploration of many of Canada’s remote
regions, notably the Arctic. Recognized for his vision and vigour in helping many other Canadians
— including native people, students and artists — to share in the exhilarating experience
of discovering the physical and psychological reality which has so aptly been called ’la
Dr. Byron Boville, Meteorologist,
For his contribution in starting global action to save the earth’s protective ozone
layer from destruction by chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.
Dr. John D. Mollard, Civil Engineer
For his outstanding contributions to the application of remote sensing techniques in landscape
Dr. John Warkentin, Geographer, York University
For the excellence of his writings in and teaching of historical geography and for his leadership
and distinguished contribution in the production of a variety of historical atlases of
Dr. Charles Richard Harington, Paleobiologist, National Museum
of Natural Sciences
For significant contributions to the knowledge of northern fauna, past and present, and for
leadership in the study of climatic change.
Dr. David M. Baird, Geologist, Educator
For his contribution to the knowledge of the geology of Canada and to broadening the appreciation
of Canadians to our natural history and culture through the popularization of science and
the development of two major museums.
Mr. Morley K. Thomas, Climatologist, retired
For significant contributions to the knowledge of the climates of Canada and for leadership
in promoting the value of climatology in socioeconomic and resource management planning.
Captain Thomas Charles Pullen, Royal
Canadian Navy, retired, and Arctic Consultant
For personal achievements in contributing to the knowledge of the marine environment and
ice navigation in ice-infested Canadian waters.
Willis F. Roberts, Survey Engineer, retired
For his initiative and leadership in the establishment of the Land Registration and Information
System in the Maritime Provinces, as a basis for the storage, analysis and display of a
broad range of geographic information.
Dr. Trevor Lloyd, Geographer,
For his perceptive analyses and syntheses concerning the resource development of the Canadian
north, for his encouragement of students to take up careers in northern studies, and for
his leadership in various groups concerned with Arctic research.
Dr. Raymond Thorsteinsson, Geologist, Geological
Survey of Canada
For his pioneer work in exploring the geology of the Canadian north, work which to a large
extent laid the foundation for economic development and national policies, for his contributions
to knowledge of the geography and history of the Arctic, and for his continuing contributions
to fundamental geological sciences.
Hall Haycock, Geologist and Artist,
For a remarkable career which has contributed in many ways to geography — cultural,
historical, human, physical and economic, especially his contribution to historical and cultural
geography through his paintings of the Canadian north from Newfoundland to the Yukon to the
Pole and his pioneering work in geology.
Dr. Ernest Frederick Roots, Science Advisor,
Department of the Environment
For the whole of his work in a broad range of disciplines, and notably in geology, geophysics
and geography, embracing much of Arctic North America, the Canadian Cordillera, the Himalayas,
and Antarctica, also his activities having to do with energy, natural resources and the environment.
Dr. Edward Gustav Pleva, Geographer, University of Western Ontario
For his unique contribution to the development of modern geographical education in Canada,
and especially to the training of university and high school teachers now to be found from
coast to coast.
Thomas Henry Manning, Geographer,
For outstanding contributions to exploration and mapping in the Canadian north.
Dr. Louis-Edmond Hamelin, Professor of Geography,
For the whole of his work as a scholar, teacher, writer, and administrator, and especially,
for his contributions to better understanding of the Canadian north and its people.
William M. Gilchrist, Chairman of
Eldorado Nuclear Ltd., and President of Northern Transportation Co. Ltd.
For outstanding contributions to the development of Canada’s north, which have combined
to advance geographical knowledge. His activities have embraced both air and water transportation
as well as mining throughout all of northwestern Canada.
Dr. Frederick Kenneth Hare, Geographer,
University of Toronto
For the excellence of his scientific writings, in particular his contribution to the understanding
of the climatology of Canada, and for the role he has played in the development of geographical
research in our country.
Dr. Pierre Dansereau, Ecologist, Professor, Université du
Québec à Montréal
For major contributions in the fields of biogeography and ecology which make a significant
contribution to the understanding of our environment. His writings are used as reference
books in many Canadian universities.
Isobel Moira Dunbar, Geographer,
Defence Research Board
For her excellent work in arctic geography and sea ice, notably important findings on the
climatology of ice distribution and the interpretation of ice in photographs, including satellite
and infra-red photography.
Dr. John Lewis Robinson, Professor of Geography, University of
For his contribution to knowledge of the geography of Canada as investigator, teacher and
writer, and for his work in curriculum development in the teaching of geography.
Mr. Murray Edmund Watts, Mining
For his outstanding contribution to the knowledge and development of Canada’s mineral
resources in the course of his career as prospector, mine director and operational planner.
Dr. Donald Fulton Putnam, Professor
of Geography, University of Toronto
For his outstanding contribution to the development of knowledge and teaching of Canadian
geography as researcher, professor and scholar, particularly in his chosen fields of land
forms and their evolution, land use and the science of soils.
Colonel Cyril Horace Smith, Spartan
For outstanding contributions to Canadian mapping while Director of the Canadian Army Survey
Establishment and for his work as Canadian representative on international mapping committees
Dr. John Ross Mackay, Professor of Geography, University
of British Columbia
For geographical research in the western Canadian Arctic and sub-Arctic resulting in new
knowledge of permafrost phenomena and the influence of glaciers on landforms, and for a substantial
contribution to the methodology of geography in the field of cartography.
Dr. Alf Erling Porsild, National
Museum of Canada
For his contributions to knowledge of the Canadian Arctic, particularly its botany and the
use of arctic plants for food, and with special reference to his work in the establishment
of the Canadian reindeer herd.
Dr. Hugh Samuel Bostock, Geological
Survey of Canada
FFor outstanding work in the field in the Yukon Territory and his description of the geology,
mineral resources and economic resources of that territory as discovered by his investigations.
Dr. Yves Oscar Fortier, Geological Survey of
For exploration and study of the Arctic Islands and description of the geological structure
of them. He was the first to recognize the oil-bearing potential of the Islands and to direct
a geological program to verify his deductions.
Graham Westbrook Rowley, Department of Northern Affairs and Natural
For outstanding geographical work in the Canadian Arctic as explorer and archaeologist and
for his continuing contribution to the success of numerous expeditions and developments in
Dr. Diamond Jenness, Anthropologist
For his authoritative studies of the Canadian Indians, the Copper Eskimo and the pre-historic
Old Bering Sea and Cape Dorset Eskimo cultures, based on field studies commenced with the
Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913-1916 and continued as a member and as Chief of the Anthropological
Division of the National Museum of Canada.
Owen Connor Struan Robertson, Royal
For outstanding performance of duty and contributions to geographical knowledge of the Canadian
Arctic while in command of HMCS Labrador. In addition to the collection of scientific data,
the award recognized his work as Commodore of the first DEW line supply mission when stores
were transported and landed under extremely difficult conditions without loss to materials
Keith Rogers Greenaway, Royal Canadian Air Force
For outstanding achievement in the development of navigational techniques for flying at high
latitudes, including the twilight computer, an instrument which permits northern flights
to be planned simply and effectively so as to avoid the difficult navigational conditions
which occur at twilight.
Henry Asbjorn Larsen, Royal
Canadian Mounted Police
For outstanding contribution to Canadian geographical knowledge while master of the patrol
vessel, St. Roch, and in recognition of the first west to east voyage through the Northwest