Dr. Sandra Barr joins the Science Hall of Fame


Video courtesy of the Discovery Centre


Acadia University geoscientist Dr. Sandra Bar was inducted into the Nova Scotia Science Hall of Fame during the Discovery Centre Awards held in November 2020.

“I am thrilled to see Dr. Barr honoured for her dedication and scope of work,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor, who attended the virtual ceremony. “Dr. Barr’s contributions to the field of geoscience are considerable, and she has brought the wonders of our province’s geology to so many people through her willingness and ability to communicate to the general public. Her research impact is made even greater because of the many students who have benefited from her mentorship.”

The award is given to internationally recognized Nova Scotians who have made outstanding lifetime contributions to society through discoveries in the fields of Science and Technology. They are role models for young Nova Scotians.

In her nomination statement, Dr. Barr was identified as a pre-eminent geoscientist of Atlantic Canada who, with over 100 thesis students, has mapped nearly half of Nova Scotia and a substantial portion of New Brunswick. Her work has helped determine the most complex parts of geological history using microscopic petrological study techniques to radiometric dating and paleontology.

In her 44 years of fieldwork and study, she may have examined more rocks in Nova Scotia than any other living person and has unraveled the wanderings of several terranes that today make up Nova Scotia and adjacent parts of the Appalachian Mountains belt. With more than 170 refereed papers, 30 maps, and 300 conference articles, Dr. Barr is recognized as the authoritative record of the geology of Nova Scotia.

Her geological research is notable not only for its volume but also for its longevity. When she started work in geoscience, the paradigm of plate tectonics was still being developed. She was able to apply that to her work on the Pacific Ocean floor for her PhD thesis, to the Mountain Belts of Thailand in her early work in Southeast Asia, and to the Maritime Provinces where she and her colleagues and students have steadily tracked the development of the various tectonic terranes that make up the region.

See the full list of award recipients in 2020.


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