Hugh M. French Award


This award, created by the Canadian Permafrost Association (CPA) in 2019, recognizes outstanding contributions to permafrost science and/or periglacial geomorphology over a career. It is named in honour of the late Professor Hugh M. French for his impacts on the field as a scientist, for his contributions to education through his textbook The Periglacial Environment, for his development of the domain through the founding of the journal Permafrost and Periglacial Processes which he edited for 16 years, and for his leadership within Canada and as President of the International Permafrost Association. The recipient is chosen by a Selection Committee or the Board of the CPA.






Dr. Sharon Smith (Geological Survey of Canada)


Dr. Sharon Smith was awarded the Hugh French Award in 2021 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to permafrost science over her career at the Geological Survey of Canada. Sharon has published a large body of highly-cited research on the effects of climate change on permafrost in Canada and has maintained some of the longest-running permafrost monitoring sites in the country. She has led and contributed to major syntheses, such as those for the International Polar Year, the State of the Climate, and Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme reports. She was a contributing member of the IPCC in 2007 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition to her impressive research output, Sharon has run the Secretariat of the Canadian National Committee for the International Permafrost Association since 2006 and has been responsible for compiling the Canadian content for Frozen Ground and Country Reports, the IPA’s annual news bulletins. She has served on NSERC committees, and acted as an expert for environmental assessments, including for the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. Over the years she has also provided valuable advice and contributions to Transport Canada and the Canadian Standards Association. Finally, Sharon has mentored numerous Arctic scientists over her career and has co-supervised graduate students as an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa. Her long-term dedication to the Canadian permafrost research community makes her a highly deserving recipient of the 2021 Hugh French Award.




Professor Michel Allard (Laval University)


Professor Michel Allard (Laval University) is the first recipient of the Hugh M. French award. He has authored or co-authored more than 130 papers in scientific journals and more than 50 reports relating to the impact of permafrost on communities and infrastructure. He has mentored over 120 students, inspiring the next generation of northern scientists. He is particularly well-known for his engagement with indigenous groups to solve the problems of northern communities relating to permafrost and hazards. He previously received the Government of Canada Northern Science Award (2006), the Canadian Polar Medal (2015) and the Weston Family Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research (2017).