Announcing the 2016 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner: Dr. George Scotter
By: Jennifer Siviero, Donor Communications and Stewardship Coordinator
Dr. George Scotter is the 2016 recipient of Nature Canada’s Douglas H. Pimlott Award. A dedicated conservationist, fervent researcher and scientist, and engaging writer and speaker, George’s extensive and dutiful advocacy for nature is limitless.
Born and raised near the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Alberta, George owes his passion for nature to the numerous trips to the mountains of Waterton-Glacier National Park with his family as a child. Not knowing where his vocation and avocation for nature truly begins and ends, swimming, hiking, and horseback riding in the countryside quickly turned into a successful career in research and academia, an adoration for exploring native animals, birds, and wildflowers, and a life-long commitment to protecting nature.
George’s early work focused deeply on northern Canada. He worked closely with residents and indigenous peoples of northern Canada on the forage and range requirements of with Barren-ground Caribou and studied the reindeer industry in the Mackenzie Delta.
As his commitment to protecting nature evolved, George shifted his focus to national park lands pioneering many studies on trail use and visitor impacts to sensitive landscapes like Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park.
As an academic, George has severed as a professor, researcher and lecturer at multiple universities in both Canada and the United States. He served as a professor and lecturer at the University of Alberta in the Department of Recreation Administration, the Department of Geography and the Faculty of Science. He served as an adjunct professor in Forest Science at the University of Alberta and at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute, and directed research at Utah State University for the Utah Division of Wildlife.
After leaving active research George served as the Canadian Wildlife Service representative on the Beverly- Kaminuriak Caribou Management Board for many years. As the team leader in preparing planning documents for establishing national parks reserves in northern Canada, like the South Nahanni area, George realized that public knowledge and awareness is one of the greatest assets to protecting and preserving areas like South Nahanni.
George continues to be an active member of the nature conservation community having served as a member or chairman for many boards and committees including the Canadian Committee for the International Biological Programme, Conservation of Terrestrial Communities, Northwest Section of the Wildlife Society, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization. George even served as the national director and Vice-President of Nature Canada (formerly Canadian Nature Federation) from 1972-1975 and as President from 1975-1976.
Since his retirement in 1991, George has served as a member as chairman of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for southeastern British Columbia and director of the Central Okanagan Land Trust.
In 1998, he undertook a study of the Interior Dry Plateau for Parks Canada. As a result of that study, George recommended that part of southern Okanagan, with its host of endangered species and habitats, be considered for national park status.
The author of four books and more than 180 articles published to major scientific journals and popular magazines, he is a sought after speaker, leader, teacher, and mentor. George dedicates much of his time as an advocate for youth and public awareness, education and appreciation of nature and continues to fight for the interests of establishing and protecting national parklands in Canada.
While George is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the J.B. Harkin Award and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, this award earns a special place in his heart. A long-time friend and colleague of Douglas H. Pimlott, was the first to encourage George to work with Nature Canada. George is acquainted with many of Mr. Pimlott’s graduate students and has read all of his published work closely.
Nature Canada congratulates Dr. George Scotter on his impeccable life-long achievements and on being awarded the Douglas H. Pimlott Award.
About the award
It honours individuals who have demonstrated a significant contribution throughout their lifetime through words and deeds to the conservation of Canada’s biodiversity, landscapes and wilderness. Douglas H. Pimlott was a renowned conservationist, wildlife biologist, ecologist and environmentalist. He was the founder of the modern environmental movement in Canada. The award was created over 30 years ago and is Nature Canada’s pre-eminent award.