J England

Pronouns: he, him, his



Area of Study / Keywords

Arctic Environmental Change climate change Quaternary environments ice sheet dynamics glacioisostasy sea level Arctic policy


John England, O.C., FRSC, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta. His scientific contributions result from more than 50 years of fieldwork across Canada's Arctic Archipelago documenting the nature of environmental change spanning Ice Age to present. This research focuses on the reconstruction of the extent, chronology, and dynamics of former ice sheets; related and ongoing sea level change; and associated records concerning permafrost, sea ice, and ocean currents. Collectively, these provide a time-lapse reconstruction of the Arctic environment that places modern change in a necessary, long-term perspective.

He is an advocate for the value and importance of northern science and increased public awareness of the precious heritage of the Canadian Arctic landscape. John proposed, and was instrumental in the creation of Canada's northernmost National Park, Quttinirpaaq, Ellesmere Island. He has supervised more than 30 graduate students in Arctic research who continue prominent Arctic careers and he has worked closely with Aurora College in Inuvik in mentoring Gwitch’in and Inuvialuit students. He was appointed a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America (1997) and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2012), both appointments in recognition of his dedication to Arctic environmental science, public outreach, and education. He has received the WA Johnston Medal (CANQUA, 2013), the Weston Foundation Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Northern Research (2016), the Northern Science Award and Centenary Medal (Polar Knowledge Canada, 2017) and the Massey Medal, Royal Canadian Geographic Society (2022). He was invested an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General in 2019.


Arctic environmental change from Ice Age to present: glaciation and related sea level adjustments extending to to the present across Arctic Canada, and related studies of permafrost, Arctic Ocean sea ice history, Arctic policy and conservation.


England was recently awarded the 2022 Massey Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.