Medals on wooden table

Past Massey Medal winners

Yvan Bédard

Dr. Yvan Bédard, geomatics engineer and pioneering researcher in geographical/geospatial science, has pioneered the way we think about geospatial data — from creating better database design to enhancing data definition. The energy Dr. Bédard brought to his career in geographic data modelling has persisted into his passion for fine art landscape photography, in which he seeks to educate people about Canada’s geography and advocate for protection of the environment. 

Barbara Sherwood Lollar

Geologist Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar has advanced our understanding of the history of Earth’s geography. From the billion-year-old water that Dr. Sherwood Lollar collected from deep beneath the surface of the Canadian Shield — now residing at the Ingenium Centre, Ottawa — to her research into the microbial communities in the deep gold mines of South Africa, her work is transforming our understanding of Earth science.

John Smol

Awarded to Queen’s University professor John Smol, paleolimnologist specializing in responses of Arctic and alpine ecosystems to environmental change.

Dr. Derek Clifford Ford

Derek Ford is recognized internationally as Canada’s leading expert on karst and cave resources in the Canadian context.

Arthur J. Ray

Professor Ray, FRSC is a distinguished, internationally-recognized, historical geographer who pioneered the use of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s vast archives to derive economic and ethno-historical data to interpret the historical geography of Canada’s First Nations from the time of first European contact.

Dr. David Morrison

Dr. David Morrison is one of the world’s foremost scholars in Arctic archeology and a leader in the museum field. Much of what is known about the long-term history of Inuit and Inuvialuit culture across the Canadian Arctic results directly from his prolific fieldwork and ground-breaking publications.

Dr. Steve Blasco

Dr. Blasco has recently retired from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Geological Survey of Canada, after a career of more than 39 years focused on scientific research in marine environments of Canada.

Brian Osborne

To Dr. Brian Osborne, a scholar of historical and cultural geography, for his extensive contributions to settlement research in Wales, Colorado, Western Canada and Ontario, and his decades of inspiring students at Queen’s University.

Dr. Derald Smith

Dr. Smith earned an international reputation as the leading authority on anastomosing rivers — a distinct type of multi-channeled and stable river pattern found in low-gradient conditions such as deltas, but also for his pioneering work on ground-penetrating radar.

David Ley

A social and urban geographer, David Ley is known for his formative research on ‘gentrification’ in North American cities. He is also recognized for his work as founding director of the Vancouver Metropolis Centre of Excellence, an interdisciplinary research centre founded in 1996.

Graeme Wynn

Graeme Wynn is a world-renowned historical geographer and environmental historian. Over his nearly 40-year career, Wynn has contributed to the study of forest exploitation, conservation and management; histories of migration and settlement; and the intersections of environment and empire.

David Livingstone

David Livingstone knows full well the challenges of treading a fine line between the conflicting interests of resource development and conservation. At one point during his 16 years as director of Renewable Resources and Environment for the federal Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in the Northwest Territories, he was responsible for mining development as well as the remediation of abandoned, contaminated mine sites.

Raymond Price

Price, a professor emeritus of geology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., has devoted a large part of his career to determining how mountains form, particularly in the southern Canadian Cordillera. 

Michael Church

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

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.

Eddy Carmack

Climate oceanographer, for his leading role in ocean science.

Serge Courville

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.

Dr. Larry Stuart Bourne

For his outstanding scholarship in urban geography and his ability to bridge the worlds of theory and practice in urban planning.

Dr. Richard Colebrook Harris

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

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.

Dr. Lawrence McCann

For outstanding personal achievement and interdisciplinary leadership in furthering the understanding of Canada’s landscapes and its social, regional and urban geography.

Dr. Alexander 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

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

For his efforts in bringing Inuit art, sculpture and print-making to the attention of Canadians and the world.

James P. Bruce

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

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

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

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

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 nordicité canadienne’.

Dr. Byron Boville

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

For his outstanding contributions to the application of remote sensing techniques in landscape interpretation.

Dr. John Warkentin

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 Canada.

Dr. Charles Richard Harington

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Dr. Maurice Hall Haycock

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

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

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, Explorer, Zoologist For outstanding contributions to exploration and mapping in the Canadian north.

Dr. Louis-Edmond Hamelin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 and projects.

Dr. John Ross Mackay

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

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

For 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

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

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 that region.

Dr. Diamond Jenness

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

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 or ships.

Keith Rogers Greenaway

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

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 Passage.