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Feb 27, 2012

Dick Peltier leads the pack with the Herzberg Gold Medal

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Dick Peltier leads the pack with the Herzberg Gold Medal

University Professor Dick Peltier has added the prestigious Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal to his collection of awards. (U of T photo)

Five U of T researchers and students have been awarded prizes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) in recognition of their scholarly achievements.

The marquee award, the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, went to a U of T physicist, University Professor Dick Peltier, a pioneer in Earth system science. Watch a video of him talking about his research.

The medal, which comes with $1 million, is named for Canadian Nobel Laureate Gerhard Herzberg and awarded annually for outstanding and sustained contributions to Canadian research in the natural sciences and engineering. It is widely considered the most prestigious award a natural scientist or engineer can win.

Peltier was cited for seminal contributions to geophysics, atmospheric sciences and climate change research. Using sophisticated mathematical concepts, Peltier builds models that depict how climate has evolved over the past 750 million years and project how it will change in the future. His research on ice-age climate variability is considered the gold standard for scholarship on past climate change. The Herzberg Medal is the latest in a long line of honours for Peltier, which includes the 2002 Vetlesen Prize (often called the Nobel of earth sciences) and the 2010 Bower Award. He holds the title University Professor, which is the highest honour U of T bestows on its faculty members.

Further reading:

NSERC description http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/ForMedia-PourMedias/Herzberg-Herzberg_eng.asp

CBC article http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/02/27/science-peltier-herzberg-gold-medal.html