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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Laurier researcher Philip Marsh after receiving the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal.
Laurier researcher Philip Marsh after receiving the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal.

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Laurier researcher Philip Marsh wins prestigious J. Tuzo Wilson Medal

May 21/14| For Immediate Release


Philip Marsh
Canada Research Chair, Cold Regions Water Science
519-884-0710 ext. 2856 or


Abby Goodrum, Vice-President, Research
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3601 or

WATERLOO – Laurier researcher Philip Marsh was recently named the winner of the J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, presented by the Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU). The Wilson Medal has been awarded annually since 1978 to recognize a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the solid earth, biogeosciences, geodesy or hydrology fields. 

Marsh, a professor of Geography and Environmental Studies and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science, is the first Laurier researcher to win the prestigious award.   

"Laurier is proud of Dr. Marsh’s extraordinary research accomplishments," said Abby Goodrum, vice-president: Research at Laurier. "Research into cold regions water science is of critical importance to current and future Canadians, and we are thrilled to learn that Dr. Marsh has been recognized by the CGU for his contributions to this field.”

Since his first trip to the Arctic as a graduate student in 1975, Marsh has devoted himself to researching hydrology — the study of the quality, distribution and effects of water on the earth’s surface — in Canada’s north. Before joining Laurier in 2013, Marsh spent nearly 30 years as a research scientist at Environment Canada's National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon, studying the effects of snow, ice and permafrost on the hydrology of key northern ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic islands, the western Canadian Arctic and the Mackenzie River Basin, while also working as an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan.  

A leading authority on Arctic hydrology, Marsh has sat on several international and national societies and commissions, served as the editor of numerous journals and conferences and supervised and collaborated with an array of notable researchers in the field, including William Quinton, Laurier’s Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Hydrology and director of the university’s Cold Regions Research Centre. 

Marsh was also named a fellow by the Arctic Institute of North America in 2002. 

“This honour means a great deal to me as the CGU has been an important part of my scientific career since 1993 when the CGU-Hydrology Section was formed,” said Marsh. “It is extremely humbling to join the list of previous Wilson Medalists, including those whom I have known well: Don Gray, Hok Woo and Garth van der Kamp. Thank you again to the CGU. It is a great honor.”

Currently, Marsh is working as part of Laurier’s 10-year partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) — signed in 2010 — to provide infrastructure and expertise for environmental research in the Northwest Territories. His hope is that water science can help the GNWT address its environmental needs. 

Marsh received the Wilson Medal in early May at the CGU’s joint annual meeting with the Canadian Society of Soil Science and Mantle Convection workshop in Banff, Alberta. His son Chris, a PhD candidate in Physical Geography at the University of Saskatchewan, was also awarded a major CGU scholarship at the meeting.


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