Distinguished Researcher Award - Spring 2000
The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes a faculty member's contribution to scholarship through the creation, expansion and critique of knowledge. The University has selected Robert Kerrich, Professor of Geological Sciences, as the Spring 2000 recipient of this award.
Prof. Kerrich earned his Master's (1972) and Ph.D. (1975) degrees at Imperial College, London, UK. In 1996, he was awarded an Earned Doctor of Science from the University of Saskatchewan.
One of Canada's most distinguished geochemists and a world expert on the geochemistry of gold deposits, Prof. Kerrich has established an internationally recognized reputation for research excellence, bringing credit to his department and the University.
He has contributed significantly to the understanding of how the Earth's crust evolved, work which has been important to the mining industry. He has applied his understanding of earth processes to environmental science, investigating problems in fields as diverse as the agricultural and health sciences.
His international profile and prolific research record led his department to seek his appointment to the George J. McLeod Chair in 1987. His subsequent award of a prestigious NSERC Steacie Fellowship confirmed his status within the Canadian scientific community.
Prof. Kerrich was instrumental in establishing at U of S one of Canada's finest geochemical analytical facilities. Using this high-tech equipment, hundreds of scientific papers have been generated by faculty, graduate students and other members of his research team.
Prof. Kerrich is a leading advocate of "earth systems science" which brings together earth sciences and life sciences to address both scientific and social questions. For example, he has collaborated with toxicologists and epidemiologists on environmental geochemistry issues. He was a key player in the $1.9-M Tri-Council Prairie Ecosystem study known as PECOS.
He has authored 156 refereed publications in major international geoscience journals. In addition, he has authored invited articles in a host of edited volumes on geochemistry, gold mineralization, global tectonics and geodynamics. Last year, he was invited by the influential international journal Science to write about recent Australian breakthroughs in understanding how gold deposits form.(/P>
Prof. Kerrich's expertise has been sought by various national and international research organizations. He has served on NSERC grant selection committees and on the Scientific Review Group of the Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office (FEARO) that reviewed CanadaÕs plans for nuclear waste management. Other notable honors include: Willett G. Miller Medal of the Royal Society of Canada (1999), awarded once every two years for outstanding research in the earth sciences; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1992 Ñ Kerrich was the youngest individual ever to receive the honor); and the W.H. Gross Medal of the Geological Association of Canada (1988), awarded annually to a young geologist who has made outstanding contributions to the field of economic geology in Canada. Prof. Kerrich has made exceptional, wide-ranging contributions to Canadian geoscience. He is a worthy recipient of this award.