Distinguished Academic Award Recipient 2019: Dr. Brian Menounos
Feb 13, 2020
Dr. Brian Menounos is Professor in the Department of Geography and holds a Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Glacier Change at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Dr. Menounos was nominated for his research in building connections between historical climatology and ongoing work on climate forecasting, and the significant consequences for public policy planning. His research to date provides a detailed picture of the current health of glaciers and ice in western North America, outside of Alaska.
Another important outcome of his research has been the influence on organizations like the Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia who, as a direct result of Dr. Menounos's advocacy, formally accepted global climate change as a result of human activities, and passed a motion of expectation that its members "consider the impact of their work on climate." This position represents a philosophical and practical shift in approach from previous beliefs about extreme climate-related events. Furthermore, it will encourage engineers and geoscientists to develop different measures and approaches in support of better preparing for extreme climate-related events.
Commenting on Dr. Menounos's work, nominees describe him as follows:
"Dr. Menounos is a creative and accomplished scientist who has made major contributions to Canadian earth science. His research exemplifies the emergence of physical geography as a geophysical science, where great questions are broken down using sharp quantitative tools. Brian is widely recognized nationally and internationally by his peers."
"Whether being sought for his opinion and advice by national political leaders, academic leaders or local high-school teacher[s], Dr. Menounos has shown tremendous energy and dedication to his public engagement related to his scientific work."