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CFES Mentorship Medal


The CFES mentorship award was created in 2008 to recognize the sustained and inspirational mentorship of colleagues and employees including peers, graduate students, undergraduate students and technicians. The award was set up in honour of Paul F. Williams, a geologist known for scientific and mentoring excellence, candour and integrity.


Mentorship is recognized as a critical part of professional and academic development and is vital to the health of any professional community. With this award, CFES recognizes an earth scientist from Canadian industry, academia or government. The award is given annually, provided someone who meets the criterion is nominated.


The sole criterion for the award is excellence in mentoring over a sustained period of time.


CFES Mentorship Medal Nominations

Download the application form here.

Nominations for the CFES Mentorship Medal are due by the 15th January in the year of the award.  Nominations are carried by the committee for a period of three years, and the nominations can be submitted at any time. 


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2024 Recipient

Dr. Christopher R. Burn

Dr. Christopher R. Burn has trained a legion of researchers who have led the rapid development of northern earth sciences, in climate change impacts, permafrost, infrastructure, and policy, many of whom he helped to pursue professional careers located in the North and have thus expanded and enriched the field.

The medal will be presented at the 12th International Conference on Permafrost (ICOP), which will be held 16 - 20 June in Whitehorse.

Citation by Steve Kokelj


2023 Recipient

Dr. Brendan Murphy

Brendan Murphy is the 2023 winner of the CFES Mentorship Medal for his selfless dedication to his mentees and colleagues in the Canadian and global geoscience communities, and his scientific contributions to plate tectonics and the supercontinent cycle.

The medal will be presented at Sudbury 2023 GAC-MAC-SGA in May 2023.

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2022 Recipient

Hendrik Falck

Left: Hendrik Falck received the CFES mentorship medal from CFES Mentorship Medal Chairperson Shoufa Lin and CFES President Beth McLarty Halfkenny during the 2022 GAC-MAC-CNC-IAH-CSPG joint meeting in Halifax, NS. 

Citation by Beth McLarty Halfkenny.

Acceptance by Hendrik Falck.

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2021 Recipient

Dr. Sandra Barr

Left: Dr. Sandra Barr received the CFES mentorship medal from CFES Mentorship Medal Chairperson Shoufa Lin and CFES President Beth McLarty Halfkenny during the 2022 GAC-MAC-CNC-IAH-CSPG joint meeting in Halifax, NS. 

Citation by Beth McLarty Halfkenny.

Acceptance by Sandra Barr. 

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2020 Recipient

Dr. Dominique Weis

Left: Dr. Dominique Weis receives the CFES mentorship medal from CFES Past Communications Director Diane Hanano socially-distanced during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Citation by Diane Hanano.

Acceptance by Dr. Dominique Weis

2019 Recipient

Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper

Left: Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper receives the CFES mentorship medal from CFES Past President Iain Samson at the GAC-MAC-IAH conference in Québec City in May 2019. 

Citation by Iain Samson.

Acceptance by Dr. Georgia Pe-Piper

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2018 Recipient

Dr. Herb Helmstaedt

Left: Dr. Shoufa Lin (Chair of the Medal Award Committee) presents  Dr. Herb Helmstaedt (left) with his medal on September 29, 2018 in Saint Martyrs Canadiens, Quebec, during the annual field trip and meeting of the Canadian Tectonics Group of the Geological Association of Canada.

Citation by Kathryn Bethune.

Acceptance by Dr. Helmstaedt

2017 Recipient

Prof. Anthony E. (Willy) Williams-Jones, McGill University

Left: Iain Samson presented Dr. Williams-Jones with his medal at SGA (Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits) meeting in Québec City in August.


View the citation here.

Acceptance by Dr. Williams-Jones.

2016 Recipient

Valerie Jackson, Northwest Territories Geological Survey

Left: Scott Swinden presents Valerie Jackson with her Mentorship Medal at GAC-MAC 2016. Photo credit: James Conliffe (GAC).

Citation read by Scott Swinden.

Acceptance by Valerie Jackson

2015 Recipient

Professor John Thompson, Cornell University


Left: CFES President Scott Swinden (right) presenting Professor John Thompson with National Earth Science Mentorship Medal at GAC President's Reception during the Joint Assembly in Montreal on May 4, 2015. Photo by Vivien Cummings. 

Citation read by Scott Swinden.

Acceptance by John Thompson.

2014: Fred Longstaffe, Western University

2013Andrew Hynes, McGill University

2012Otto van Breemen, University of British Columbia

2011Douw Steyn, University of British Columbia

2010 : Bob Hodder, University of Western Ontario

2009Paul Williams, University of New Brunswick 


On the occasion of awarding the inaugural CFES Mentorship Medal to Paul Williams, a symposium celebrating his contribution to the Geosciences was held at the annual GAC-MAC Convention in Toronto. This symposium resulted in a special issue of the International Journal of Structural Geology. The foreword to this issue can be found here.

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