Faculty of Environment Alumni Awards

Environment alumni are shaping our sustainable future

Each year, we are honoured to recognize some of our most illustrious graduates through our annual awards program.

All across the world, Faculty of Environment alumni are making the world a better place. From Argentina to Zimbabwe and 80 countries in-between, alumni are working to improve their communities and the planet as urban planners, policymakers, scientists and educators. Some run businesses, others consult industry, and some start nonprofit organizations. Whether they are working for the public or private sector, and regardless of the program they graduate from, a common thread ties environment alumni together - they care and they want their work to matter.

The Faculty of Environment is proud of every one of its alumni and all the ways they contribute to a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable planet.

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Congratulations to our 2022 award recipients

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Honours an alumnus 10 or more years post-graduation who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, proven community impact, and significant contribution to sustainability. 

Chris Derksen

Chris Derksen

BES '97, Geography | MA '98, Geography | PhD '01, Geography

Research Scientist, Environment & Climate Change Canada

Chris is a world-leading expert on snow with expertise spanning conventional observations, remote sensing, and climate model analysis. His research activities focus on the role of snow cover in the climate system and the implications of climate change on snow, including freshwater availability, Arctic ecosystems, and the carbon cycle.           [Read more]

Young Alumni Inspiration Award

Recognizes graduates of the last 10 years who inspire the next generation of Environment grads through their professional achievements, community impact, and contributions to sustainability.

professional woman smiling

Laura Maxwell

MDP '17, Development Practice

Manager, Sustainability & Social Impact at Deloitte

Laura co-leads Deloitte’s social impact offering, working with environmentally minded and impact-focused organizations and their leaders as they advance progress on pressing societal challenges. This includes leading sustainability initiatives for clients in a broad range of sectors to build and evaluate impact-driven programs and strategies that created shared economic and societal value.  [Read more]

Acknowledges an individual, company, organization, group, or foundation who has had a positive and substantial impact on the Faculty of Environment through volunteerism, promotion, financial assistance, collaboration, and/or participation.  

Professional woman smiling

Intact Financial Corporation

Accepted by Carla Smith, Executive Vice President & Chief People, Strategy and Climate Officer

Intact Financial Corporation is Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer and one of the University of Waterloo and Faculty of Environment’s strongest and most impactful partners. Intact’s partnership with the university spans more than a decade. Their foundational donation in 2015 helped establish the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, a renowned applied research centre that helps homeowners, communities and businesses reduce risks associated with climate change and extreme weather events while working with government to advise on policy and action. [Read more]

Do you know an exceptional friend or alumnus?

We would love to consider them for one of our awards. Please click the link below to nominate them today. It takes five minutes and you could be helping us discover our next award recipient! 

Past recipients

Past Recipients Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award 

Derek Coleman

Derek Coleman 2021

PhD ' 74, Regional Planning & Resource Devt

President, Ages Consultants Limited

Maureen Reed

Maureen Reed 2021

PhD '91, Geography

Assistant Director, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan

Wanjiku Chiuri

Wanjiku Chiuri 2020

PhD '96, Regional Planning and Resource Development

thonas Mueller

Thomas Mueller 2019

MA '92, Planning

Kevin o'Reilly

Kevin O'Reilly 2018

BES, '81, Man-Environment
MA '84, Regional Planning & Resource Development

Scott Thompson

Scott Douglas Thompson 2017

BES, '82, Urban & Regional Planning

Bryan Tuckey

Bryan Tuckey 2017

BES '78, Urban & Regional Planning
MA '80, Regional Plan and Resource Development

Steve Thompson

Steve Thompson 2016

MAES ’00, Local Economic Development

Carol Layton

Carol Layton 2015

BES ’80, Geography

Mike Kabbe

Mike Labbé 2014

BES ’75, Urban & Regional Planning

Deirdre Laframboise

Deirdre Laframboise 2013

BES '84, Man-Environment

Ian MacNaughton

Ian MacNaughton  2013

BA' 68, Urban & Regional Planning MA' 71, Regional Plan & Resource Development

Jim Davidson

Jim Davidson 2012

BES 1980, Geography

Steven Franklin

Steven Franklin 2011

BES 1980, Geography, MA 1982, Geography, PhD 1985, Geography

Barbara Mason

Barbara F. Mason 2010

BES 1981, Geography

Linda Mortsch

Linda Mortsch 2009

BES 1979, Geography, MES 2001, Geography

Susan Cartwright

Susan M. Cartwright 2008

MA 1981, Geography

Terry Fenge

Terry Fenge 2008

PhD 1982, Regional Planning & Resource Development

Don Fleming

Don Fleming 2008

BES 1970, Urban & Regional Planning

Toshikazu Mito

Toshikazu Mito 2008

MAES 2003, Local Economic Development

Past Recipients Young Alumni Inspiration Award

Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy 2021

BKI '12, Knowledge Integration

Assistant Professor, Disaster & Emergency Management, York University

Eryn Stewart

Eryn Stewart 2020

BES '15, Environment and Business

Dominique Souris

Dominique Souris 2018

BES '16, Environment & Resource Studies
MA '18, Global Governance 

Tania Cheng

Tania Cheng 2017

BES '10, Environment and Resources Studies

Taarini Chopra 2016

Taarini Chopra

MES ’13, Environment and Resources Studies

Nirvana Champion

Nirvana Champion 2015

MAES ’11, Local Economic Development

Macintosh Balacano

Macintosh Balacano 2014

BES '12, Environment & Business

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown 2013

BES '08, Environment & Business

Caustan De Riggs

Caustan De Riggs 2013

BES '08, Environment & Business

Past Recipients Friends of the Faculty Award

Anne Marie Marais

Anne-Marie Marais 2021

BES '95, Urban & Regional Planning

Founder, Long Legs Media

MHBC Planning

MHBC Planning Urban Design & Landscape Architecture (MHBC) 2021

Current President, Brian Zeman

Barb Turley McIntyre

Barb Turley-McIntyre 2020

MEB '14, Environment and Business 

Sheryl Kennedy

Sheryl Kennedy 2019

BES '76, Urban & Regional Planning

Neil Smiley

Neil Smiley 2018

BES '84, Urban & Regional Planning