As the CGU’s highest annual award, the medal is given annually to recognize scientists who make outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in a geophysical research area. Prof. Jarvis, now retired, receives this prize for his research achievements, mentoring benefactions, service and for raising Canada’s profile internationally in the field.
Previously, Professor Jarvis received the “2009 CGU Meritorious Service Award – For extraordinary and unselfish contributions to the operations and management of the CGU”. He is the only Canadian geophysicist to have been awarded both the Tuzo Wilson Medal and the Meritorious Service Award by the Canadian Geophysical Union.
Prof. Jarvis’ research has focused on the Earth’s interior and how heat produces motions of a few cm/year within the Earth’s mantle – a fundamental concept for plate tectonics. Several of his research publications are still “must-reads” for any student entering the field.
For example, using mathematical models and supercomputers of the 90s, Prof. Jarvis demonstrated how several supercontinents have repeatedly assembled and dispersed throughout the history of planet Earth. Since 2000 he has been studying the fate of subducted plates that are cut off from the surface by over-riding continental collisions, such as the India-Asia collision 42 million years ago.
At York University, Dr. Jarvis has served in various administrative positions including Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, where he played a significant role in developing the university's Geomatics Engineering program.