Schindler, Dr. David W.

1999 Winner: Outstanding Leadership In Alberta Science

Dr. David Schindler’s pioneering work in freshwater science has solved major environmental problems caused by the human disturbance of lakes. By isolating and experimentally changing the composition of small lakes, he was able to directly demonstrate the effects of a number of factors on freshwater – particularly phosphorous, pH, climate and stratospheric ozone. His studies were absolutely critical to the success of the U.S./Canada agreement to clean up the Great Lakes and to control the long-range transport of atmospheric pollutants between the two countries.

Based on his work, every country in the western world now manages the level of phosphorous in freshwater to limit its negative. He has won numerous national and international awards, including the Volvo Environmental Prize and the Stockholm Water Prize, accolades that many would consider equivalent to the Nobel Prize. He has published more than 200 papers in international scientific journals, including 18 in Science and Nature, two of the world’s most prestigious journals, and he has brought his work to the public through features in widely read publications such as Newsweek, The New York Times (front-page) and National Wildlife.