UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page -
UBC Home Page UBC Home Page -
News Events Directories Search UBC myUBC Login
- -
UBC Public Affairs
UBC Reports
UBC Reports Extras
Goal / Circulation / Deadlines
Letters to the Editor & Opinion Pieces / Feedback
UBC Reports Archives
Media Releases
Services for Media
Services for the Community
Services for UBC Faculty & Staff
Find UBC Experts
Search Site

UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 01 | Jan. 11, 2001

Oceanographer earns Japan Prize

Past recipients include five Nobel Prize winners

by Andy Poon staff writer

A UBC Oceanography professor emeritus has become the first Canadian to win the Japan Prize -- Japan's equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

Timothy Parsons, whose career in oceanography spans more than four decades including 21 years as a professor at UBC, was one of two laureates of the 2001 Japan Prize announced recently in Tokyo.

The award recognizes Parsons' contributions to the development of fisheries oceanography and for conservation of fisheries resources and the marine environment.

"UBC is extremely proud and pleased to see Dr. Parsons receive such prominent recognition," says UBC President Martha Piper. "He has made enormous contributions to the field of fisheries oceanography, and his work has signaled the beginning of a new interdisciplinary era in renewable resource management and conservation. He is a truly worthy laureate of the Japan Prize."

Parsons joins an illustrious list of past recipients for the prize that includes five Nobel Prize winners.

"The Japan Prize really has come from my background in working with so many different people -- colleagues, researchers, staff and students," says Parsons. "It is a result of their ideas as well."

Parsons was recognized for the award by UBC and Fisheries and Oceans Canada at an event held in his honour at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Piper, Japan's Consul General Yuichi Kusumoto, Advanced Education, Training and Technology Minister Cathy McGregor, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada's regional director of Science, Laura Richards, were among those on hand.

Parsons' career includes serving as a research scientist from 1958-71 at the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in Nanaimo. From 1962-64, he served at the Office of Oceanography, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.

"Dr. Parsons' innovative work earned him a great deal of respect from peers around the world and winning this prestigious award exemplifies his distinguished and successful career," says Herb Dhaliwal, minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Parsons has focused on developing a method of fisheries management based on the dynamic relationships between marine life and their physical, chemical and biological environments -- how they fit into the sea's food web.

His work has shown how accurate measure of environmental factors leads to a better understanding of ecosystem structure and function. His efforts have influenced a new school of holistic ocean scientists and managers.

Parsons joined UBC's oceanography department in 1971. He is also an honorary scientist emeritus at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, a Fisheries and Oceans Canada research facility in Sidney on Vancouver Island.

The Japan Prize, now in its 17th year, is given worldwide by the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan.

It recognizes original and outstanding achievements in science and technology that have advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind.

Parsons will be presented with a medal, certificate of merit and a cash prize of 50 million yen (approximately $685,000) at a ceremony in Tokyo in April. The Japanese emperor and empress will be present at the event.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

to top | UBC.ca » UBC Public Affairs

UBC Public Affairs
310 - 6251 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1
tel 604.822.3131 | fax 604.822.2684 | e-mail public.affairs@ubc.ca

© Copyright The University of British Columbia, all rights reserved.