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Earth Sciences professor receives PEGNLís highest award

Dr. Derek Wilton, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, receives the PEGNL 2010 Award of Merit from Darryl Benson, PEGNL chair.

Professional Engineers and Geosciences of Newfoundland Labrador (PEGNL) recently honoured Dr. Derek Wilton.

The professor of Earth Sciences was given the association’s highest award, the 2010 Award of Merit, which is given for outstanding contributions to the geoscience profession. He previously received PEGNL’s Teaching Award in 2004.

The citation prepared for the ceremony describes Dr. Wilton as “a scientist of exemplary repute,” “a stalwart in his professional community, and a raconteur of some note.”

“These attributes make him a leader in the Earth Sciences faculty at Memorial University, both as a researcher and a teacher, and a major contributor to the public awareness of science in Newfoundland and Labrador; including publishing a children’s book, with Janet McNaughton and artist Cynthia Colosimo, called The Polar Bear and the Rock: Two Windows on Planet, that uses an Inuit legend to illustrate and describe the geology of Labrador,” it states.

Dr. Wilton has a B.Sc. in Geology from Memorial; an M.Sc. in Geology from the University of British Columbia; and a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Memorial. He began teaching in 1983 and brings humour and energy to his lectures to ensure the continued interest of his students.

He is a fellow of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and, was awarded the annual W. H. Gross Medal by the Mineral Deposits Division of the Geological Association of Canada given to a young geologist who made “outstanding contributions to the field of economic geology.” Most recently, he was elected as a Fellow in the venerable Explorers Club of New York, which has been promoting exploration and field sciences since 1904.