Kelowna geologist wins national medal

Murray Roed, author, artist and geologist, has been honoured by his peers with a national award for sharing earth sciences.

Geographer Murray Roed

Kelowna author, artist and geologist Murray Roed has been presented with a national award for his “sustained, outstanding efforts in sharing earth science with Canadians.”

Roed received the 2013 E.R. Ward Neale Medal at the end of May at the annual Geological Association of Canada conference in Winnipeg.

As a member of the Kelowna Geology Committee, Roed spearheaded production of Geology of the Kelowna Area and more-recently, Okanagan Geology South, books written about the landforms and creation of the Okanagan Valley, in a language that assured the information would appeal to the layman.

He was nominated for the award by a fellow member of that committee, John Greenough, a geochemistry professor at UBCO, who was chairman of the committee and contributed to both books.

He commented in his nomination letter: “These books have impacted pre-schoolers to politicians.”

In addition to the books, he said Roed is a regular public speaker to groups of people of all ages and repeatedly asked back because of his “infectious enthusiasm for geoscience.”

As an accomplished artist, his ‘geoscape’ paintings illustrate the evolution of landscapes, putting geoscience on the walls of homes, noted Greenough.

Proceeds from sales of the books have gone into scholarships to encourage students to enrol in geoscience programs, yet all of his work has been on a voluntary basis, he added.

“The groundbreaking accomplishments attest to a passion and devotion to geoscience that comes straight from the heart,” he wrote.

In 2010, when the new intersection was being constructed at Highway 97 and Westside Road, he explained the significance of the fact that the work uncovered a soil deposit that may be one of the oldest undisturbed soil deposits in Canada—at least 1.6 million years old and possible even older.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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