John J. Clague
The 2020 Sergey Soloviev Medal is awarded to John J. Clague for his remarkable scientific contributions in fundamental and applied research on earthquakes, tsunamis, outburst floods and landslides, directed towards risk reduction for the benefit of societies.
For more than five decades John Clague has been, and continues to be, an extremely influential geohazards scientist. Driven by passion and curiosity, he has been a mentor to many. After retiring from the Canadian Geological Survey in 1998, he began a second career as Professor of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University and has recently begun an equally productive third career as emeritus professor. He is a leading authority on hazards associated with earthquakes, tsunamis, outburst floods and landslides. John Clague has written textbooks, received almost twenty awards, given hundreds of radio and television interviews, sat on numerous expert panels, served as editor of six journals, and written almost 450 scientific papers with more than 16,500 citations.
Clague has made major contributions in geologic mapping, engineering and environmental interpretations of surficial geological information, and understanding natural hazards and risk. He is noted for local, national, and international research collaboration with geologists, geographers, biologists and physicists. Clague has performed innovative research on the earthquake and tsunami hazards in southwestern British Columbia; his work has been a catalyst for earthquake research carried out by government, university and private-sector scientists in Canada. He and his students have also conducted research on landslides in Canada, USA, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Austria, Italy and New Zealand. Landslides have been a major focus of his research during the 47-year period since he published his first paper on large slumps in Point Reyes National Seashore in California.
Clague has been an exemplary and driven geologist and scientist devoted to studying and better understanding the processes, mechanisms and consequences of various types of natural hazards since the 1970s. He has had an outstanding transference of knowledge to students as well as to society and public and private companies. He has clearly contributed to science education and communication, decision making and practice. Clague’s dissemination activity through international publications and as editor has arrived at maxima standards. One of his greatest accomplishments has been his ability to align fundamental natural hazard work with social principles and goals of relevance for the benefit of society.