The AIA Council and the AIA Awards Committee

Are Pleased to Announce the 2019 AIA Awards

Council may present an A.I.A. “Distinguished Agrologist” Award to a member of the Institute for professional distinction associated with an outstanding accomplishment in Agrology, which is recognized provincially or regionally within the province of Alberta.

For 2019, the AIA Council presents the Distinguished Agrologist Award to:

David Walker
David Walker, PAg
David Walker is a consultant, researcher and educator, specializing in revegetation and erosion control. His clients over 40 years include all levels of government, parks, energy industries, ski industry, and NGOs. He developed curriculum and taught courses on revegetation, wind and water erosion control, restoration of native plant communities, environmental inspection, spill site remediation, and naturalized urban landscapes for the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Petroleum Industry Training Service, International Erosion Control Association, and numerous short courses for government, industry, and NGOs. David grew up in Lacombe, a few blocks from the Canada Agriculture Research Station, where he began working summers when he was 14. David enrolled in agriculture at the University of Alberta and completed B.Sc., M.Sc., and PhD degrees. His graduate work on the genetics of native grasses required field work throughout Alberta’s mountains and foothills. He demonstrated, contrary to prevailing opinion, that seed production was possible in commercial quantities and that tested ecotypes could thrive in harsh conditions at many locations. David’s seed collection was donated to the ARC Environmental Centre in Vegreville. Read More

Council may present an A.I.A. “Professional Recognition” Award to a member of the Institute who is being recognized for their special service or has made a significant contribution to the betterment of the AIA.

For 2019, the AIA Council presents the Professional Recognition Award to:

Varge Craig
Varge Craig, PAg
Varge Craig is a graduate from the University of Alberta with a degree in agriculture focused on range science. He worked as a Rangeland Agrologist for Public Lands from 1981 to 2002, working primarily in the Foothills Natural Subregion in Southwestern Alberta. He left Public Lands in 2002 to start his own consulting firm which conducts range health assessments, vegetation inventories and range management plans on both public and private land, vegetation assessments for oil and gas companies, and environmental inspection on wellsite and pipeline construction. For the past three years, he has worked as a construction monitor for the Waskatenau Landowner Group on a large diameter pipeline northeast of Edmonton. Varge has contributed to Environment & Sustainable Resource Development publications on range health assessment, plant community guides and revegetation strategies for public land. He has assisted in the training and extension of range health assessment in southern Alberta. Varge was a member of a team who worked on the development of a handbook for Rangeland Agrologists for what was then the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. Read More

Council may present an A.I.A. “Professional Recognition Award, Registered Technologist in Agrology" to a member who  is being recognized for their special service or has made a significant contribution to the betterment of the AIA.

For 2019, the AIA Council presents the Professional Recognition Award, Registered Technologist in Agrology to:

Ken Bax
Ken Bax, RTAg
Ken Ken Bax worked as a reclamation, remediation, and decommissioning consultant in the Upstream Oil and Gas industry for 25 years. He is currently retired from being an Operations Manager- working in Calgary. During his time in the field, he travelled extensively throughout the 3 western provinces, working on and supervising projects in Alberta, Sask., and B.C. As Operations Manager, he was primarily responsible for managing a broad spectrum of liability issues related to Upstream oil and gas activities. Ken was raised on a mixed family farm operation in SE Saskatchewan. He moved with his family to Alberta and graduated from Lakeland College with a diploma in Conservation and Reclamation in 1993. He became a Registered Technologist in Agrologist (RT(Ag)) soon after the Agrology act was amended to bring College graduates into the profession. Read More

Council may present an A.I.A. “Outstanding Young Registered Technologist” Award to a member who is under the age of 35 at the time the award presentation and is being recognized for the outstanding achievement(s) in and service to Agrology within the Province of Alberta. The nominee must have been a member of the AIA for at least five years.

For 2019, the AIA Council presents the Outstanding Young Registered Technologist in Agrology Award to:

Nolan Ball
Nolan Ball, RTAg
Nolan’s interest and passion for agriculture grew while growing up on family farms in the Oyen and Acadia Valley areas of Alberta. Wanting to pursue a career that was closely tied to the land, he attended Lakeland College in Vermilion to complete a diploma in Environmental Conservation & Reclamation. After graduating in 2006, he gained an opportunity to start working in environmental consulting. Here he acquired valuable experience in working on reclamation and restoration of oil & gas sites both in cultivated and grasslands. In 2013 he chose to shift career paths and took a job with the Special Areas in Hanna Alberta as a Rangeland Agrologist. Read More

Council may present an A.I.A. “Honorary Member” Award to an individual who would not be eligible for membership in the Institute and who has achieved recognition of distinction associated with outstanding accomplishment or contributions to any field of Agrology in Alberta.

For 2019, the AIA Council presents the Honorary Member Award to:

Denis Halyk
Denis Halyk
Denis Halyk has worked as a human resource professional in Alberta for over forty years. He worked for a provincial crown corporation and a national crown agency for thirty-two years before becoming a consultant. As a trained Independent Third-Party Investigator, he had been contracted by the Institute to undertake the investigation of a complaint of professional misconduct. He later provided assistance with the review and update of the Personnel Policies and with recruitment of several employees. In 2011 he was appointed as one of three Public Members on Council for a three-year term and was reappointed for a second term which lasted for almost four years. Read More