On June 14th 2016, Ryerson University conferred its highest degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa to Dr. John P. Smol.
Dr. Smol is internationally renowned for his study of northern lakes to assess the impacts and repercussions of globally impactful stressors such as climate change, calcium decline, and acid rain. He is a Professor in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University and also holds the prestigious Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.
Dr. Smol is a beacon for societal change given his tireless commitment to communicating the results of his research. He has published in nearly 500 journal publications and book chapters and has tirelessly lectured on all seven continents. He has been on the leading edge of climate change research long before the term was widely-known and had long suspected that the Arctic would prove to be the coal-miner’s canary, showing the drastic impact of climate change. In 2015, the Council of Ontario Universities chose Dr. Smol as one of the top 50 researchers who had conducted game-changing historical moments in Ontario research over the past 100 years!
His prestigious awards include NSERC’s Steacie Memorial Fellowship in 1990 and National Research Council’s Steacie Prize as Canada’s most outstanding young scientist in 1993. In 1996, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2004, Dr. Smol was award the Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist. By 2010, the prestigious scientific journal Nature had chosen John as Canada’s Top Mid-Career Science Mentor. In 2012, the Chinese Academy of Sciences named Dr. Smol one of their twenty Einstein Professors.
Dr. Smol has also received accolades for his teaching. In 1998, he received the Best Professor Award at Queen’s University for excellence in undergraduate teaching. In 2009, he won the 3M National Teaching Fellowship, considered by many to be Canada’s highest teaching award.
Ryerson University is proud to have chosen Dr. John P. Smol as the first Honorary Doctorate for the Faculty of Science, which became its own Faculty on July 1st 2012.