Massey Medal

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The Massey Medal was established to honour those who have contributed to the exploration, development or description of Canada’s geography.

Established in 1959 by the Massey Foundation, the Massey Medal is awarded annually by the Society. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding career achievement in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada. Eligibility is restricted to Canadian citizens, although in special circumstances, the Medal may be awarded to a non-Canadian, subject to agreement by the Massey Foundation. It is always awarded to an individual, never a group. In a year in which no nominee is deemed to qualify, the Medal may be withheld.

The presentation of the Massey Medal is usually made at Rideau Hall by the Society’s Patron, the Governor General, when His/Her Excellency’s schedule permits. In years when this is not possible, a special award ceremony is held in conjunction with the College of Fellows Annual Dinner in Ottawa, with the President of the Society presiding.

2019 Massey Medal recipient: Dr. Derek Clifford Ford

Derek Ford is recognized internationally as Canada’s leading expert on karst and cave resources in the Canadian context. Professor, scientist, researcher, author and consultant, Dr. Ford is credited with establishing major scientific principles of cave and karst development and the foundation of karstology. For his more than 60 years of dedication and achievement, he is acknowledged as one of the most renowned and respected cave scientists in the world.

A recipient of the Society’s Gold Medal in 1986, Dr. Ford’s global influence is predicated on his rigorous and voluminous research, his mentoring of graduate students, his papers and presentations at conferences, and his contributions to, and advocacy for, various UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada. Through the Massey Medal, the Society recognizes Derek Ford’s far-reaching and seminal contributions to field of karstology and its application in Canada.

Looking to nominate someone?

How to nominate

Please look outside your organization, as well as within, when considering who might be an outstanding nominee.

You may submit one or more nominations for the medal.

Deadline for nominations: January 15th

Massey Medal Nomination

Nominator Name
Is the Nominator an RCGS Fellow?*

Brief description of nominator including relationship to nominee

Nominee Name
Is the Nominee a Canadian citizen?*
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Please upload a two-page (maximum) nomination letter that: • specifically describes the nominee’s tangible accomplishments in relation to the award criteria • justifies why the individual is worthy of the Massey Medal

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Please upload an abridged version of the nominee's curriculum vitae, including a selected bibliography listing a maximum of ten (10) of the nominee's principal published works. A strictly enforced total maximum of ten (10) pages is available for both the CV and list of publications.

Drop files here or

Up to two additional one-page letters of support for particular aspects of the nominee's achievements may be uploaded.

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