The 2012 Ian McHarg Medal is awarded to Peter Fox for his contribution to recognizing the fundamental importance of establishing informatics as a genuine discipline within the Earth Sciences.
Since 1985 Peter Fox has been bridging science and distributed data and information systems to support community activities. His science has utilized state-of-the-art modeling techniques, and high performance computing services and their recent commodification on the ‘grid’. But the requirements of accessing large-scale distributed scientific repositories and managing data life-cycles has led first to an engagement and then leadership in advancing the use of information technology and informatics in the earth sciences. Notwithstanding his considerable scientific and technical achievements, Fox’s leadership in establishing earth science informatics as discipline in its own right is a core element of this nomination, and it is here that he has made his particular impact on the European Geosciences Union. Fox is a tireless advocate for Earth and Space Science Informatics, but always leading from the front, presenting multiple original research papers at every significant conference. He is an enthusiastic collaborator, and an active teacher and mentor to the next generation of earth and information scientists.