His awards reflected the impact of his work. Indeed, it was said by a University of Alberta colleague that if there were a Nobel prize for ecology, he would have won it. In addition to receiving the Order of Canada, he won the first Stockholm Water Prize (1991), the Volvo Environment Prize (1998) and the Tyler Award for Environmental Achievement (2006). In 2001, he was awarded the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, Canada’s highest scientific honor.
He also received national and international awards for conservation and public science education and was a member of the Royal Societies of Canada and the UK, a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a foreign associate of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering.
Given that many environmentalists are reluctant to attach their names to a cause that is seen as controversial, Population Institute Canada was extremely fortunate and very grateful to be able to count him as an Honorary Patron. He conveyed his feelings about what our growth was doing to the planet prophetically in a Canadian Geographic interview in 2014:
“I would like my grandchild to remember the warnings I’ve given, that we can’t press the Earth any more than we’re pressing it now. We have to back off a bit — either in our personal demands or in the size of the population — or they’re not going to have such a great future.”
Canada and the world have lost a very special advocate for the planet. We offer our sincerest condolences to Dr. Schindler’s family, his friends, and to the many students and colleagues of science he mentored and influenced in so many ways.