Ontario Ground Water Association honours Peter Russell for years of service

Monday, April 10, 2017

WSC Consultant Bill Clarke (BSc Earth Sciences '76; MSc '81) presents Peter Russell with his award.
WSC Consultant Bill Clarke (BSc Earth Sciences '76; MSc '81) presents Peter Russell with his award.

On Saturday, the Earth Sciences Museum Curator Emeritus Peter Russell was recognized for his commitment to ground water. The Ontario Ground Water Association presented Russell with the Earth, Wind, Fire & Water Award. 

Russell has been an integral member of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He founded the Earth Sciences Museum in 1967 as part of a Canada centennial project and was the curator for 47 years. 

Book cover for Wally & Deanna's Groundwater adventureHe also wrote the children's book, Wally & Deanna's Groundwater Adventure, which teaches children about groundwater hydrology. In the book, Wally the earthworm learns about the water cycle from Deanna the water droplet.

The book also touches on topics such as the aquifer, water table, saturated zone and evaporation, as well as how water moves slowly through the pores in soils and rocks. 

Copies of the book has been reprinted for the 50th anniversary of the Earth Sciences Museum.

Russell has also been a long-time volunteer with the annual Waterloo Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival. The five day festival teaches children from grades 2 through to 5 about the importance of water conservation, protection, technology and ecology. Through the Earth Sciences Museum, Russell and Waterloo Science student volunteers provide hands-on water-related educational activities at the festival. He also received a 2015 Volunteer Service Award from the Ontario Government for his 20 years of volunteer work with the Waterloo Wellington Children's Groundwater Festival. 

The Earth, Wind, Fire & Water Award is presented annually to a group or individual who has demonstrated their commitment to and excellence in protecting the quality and use of one of our earth’s most precious commodities – ground water.

Russell received a framed certificate of the award at the Ontario Ground Water Association President’s Banquet at the Nottawasaga Inn Convention Centre & Golf Resort. His name will be added to the list of former recipients by the original stained glass award that hangs in the college.

The Ontario Ground Water Association was established in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization to facilitate various sectors of the ground water industry to come together to deliver safe, clean water supplies throughout the province. The Association is dedicated to protecting and promoting Ontario's ground water.