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Dr. Ruth Jackson’s contributions to BIO recognized with Beluga Award

By Patrick Potter

On Tuesday May 21, the 2019 Beluga Award was presented to Dr. Ruth Jackson, Scientist Emerita at Geological Survey of Canada Atlantic (GSCA). The Beluga is a peer-driven award that was initiated in 2001 by the Bedford Institute of Oceanography Oceans Association to recognize employees who have exhibited unselfish dedication to community spirit at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), making exceptional contributions to the success of BIO projects, initiatives or programs, that encourage cooperation and fosters the teamwork approach of BIO.

Ruth’s long career as a seismic refraction geophysicist began in the 1970s and has persisted into her "retirement" as she has continued to make enormous scientific contributions to Canada’s Arctic United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) submission.

The award is in recognition of the collaborative nature of Dr. Jackson’s work with academic and international partners throughout her career, particularly in the Arctic; an expensive and logistically challenging place to work. As one who had the great pleasure to take part in field programs led by Ruth, I was most gratified to share my fond memories and observations of her unique personality and style. The nomination was accompanied by several letters of support, two of which came from previous GSCA Beluga Award winners – Claudia Currie in 2014 and Borden Chapman in 2008.

As UNCLOS Director Mary-Lynn Dickson said in her letter of support, "Ruth is a positive role model for all of us working at BIO; she is a delightful colleague who is humble, kind and gracious. Ruth is a giver, not a taker. She has improved […] our institution by having the vision and drive to establish the Fossil Garden and working with others in community gardens."

In her acceptance speech, Ruth talked about how fortunate she has been throughout her career, humble as usual, wanting to share the credit with others. But, we are the lucky ones, to have such an intelligent, hard-working, considerate and pleasant friend and colleague to work with these many years.

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