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Harvey Thorleifson

Honorary Doctorate


Harvey Thorleifson

Distinguished geologist Harvey Thorleifson is a dynamic, widely sought out scientist in water research. His vision and diligent work towards sustainability and towards the water history of the Red River Basin and Lake Winnipeg has made him an international expert.

“Harvey’s research on Lake Winnipeg’s water is groundbreaking,” said Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President of The University of Winnipeg. “His level of commitment and involvement in water quality issues on a national and international scale is visionary. He is a ‘global citizen’ as his dedication and research contributes to the preservation of our environment regarding water issues, which ripple through all levels of our society, at home and abroad.”

Thorleifson’s distinguished record of professional service is reflected in his commitment to his research. His expertise is acknowledged on a global scale. The Geological Survey of Canada recruited Thorleifson to research water issues for the Winnipeg Region, including research on Winnipeg’s water supply, flooding history in the region and shoreline erosion of Lake Winnipeg. Thorleifson built and led a team of close to 100 scientists on this major and historic research.

He began his career by studying geology at the UWinnipeg and upon graduation in 1980, he earned the University’s Gold Medal in Geography (Honors). In 1983 he completed a Masters thesis in Geology at the University of Manitoba on Lake Agassiz history and then in 1989 he earned his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Colorado in Boulder on Hudson Bay Lowland quaternary stratigraphy.