This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

Massey Medal winner's lasting legacy

  • Sep 30, 2014
  • 166 words
  • 1 minutes
Left to right: Alberta Lt.-Gov. Donald Ethell, Derald Smith (with his Massey Medal), Nancy Smith and Linda Ethell Expand Image

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society remembers the late Derald Smith, an outstanding geographer and the 2014 Massey Medal winner, for his exploration and explanation of Canadian landscapes. The Society was saddened to learn that Smith died on June 18 at age 75, after a brief battle with cancer.

Smith was internationally recognized for his work in identifying and mapping the effects of glaciation in western and northern Canada, and discovered the processes and deposits of river systems that create oil and gas reservoirs. He was also a pioneer in the application of ground-penetrating radar, and his research has helped Alberta’s oil and gas exploration and development. Smith’s work also helped the oil and gas industry to reduce the environmental footprint of deep-oil extraction sites.

Perhaps his biggest impact, though, was as a teacher. At the University of Calgary, Smith taught his geography students to see the “the big picture” in a way that helped them apply geography to their everyday lives.


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Steve blasco massey medal

People & Culture

Nominations open for RCGS Massey Medal

Award recognizes exemplary work in the exploration, development or description of the geography of Canada. Nomination deadline is January 15th, 2017.

  • 265 words
  • 2 minutes

People & Culture

Royal Canadian Geographical Society Awards 2020

Award recipients honoured in the first virtual Annual General Meeting and Fellows Show.

  • 2630 words
  • 11 minutes
rcgs awards ceremony

People & Culture

Presenting the 2019 RCGS award winners

In celebration of its 90th year, the RCGS handed out awards to a diverse and star-studded roster of honourees

  • 2464 words
  • 10 minutes

People & Culture

“We have it in our hands to shape the future,” says 2012 Massey Medal winner

It’s been two years since Graeme Wynn learned that he’d been awarded The Royal…

  • 514 words
  • 3 minutes