The AIA Council and the AIA Awards Committee

Are Pleased to Announce the 2020 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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Distinguished Agrologist Award to:

Dennis O'Leary
Dennis O'Leary, PAg
Dennis O'Leary spent the first part of his career with the Government of Alberta working on ecological land classifications where he contributed to terrain and soil mapping in support of ecosystem management and was the lead author on numerous reports and maps. From 1984 to 1990 he was involved in land use studies that investigated the potential for agricultural land expansion in the Peace District. In 1991 he founded Geowest Environmental Consultants which specialized in Ecological Land Classification in the Prairies, Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping and terrain stability in British Columbia, and environmentally sensitive area studies in Alberta. Since 2002 Dennis has been the lead terrain scientist initially with Stantec and currently with Golder Associates. He has continued to complete terrain and soils mapping throughout western Canada on numerous projects (e.g., pipeline and mining) for environmental assessments and/or baseline studies while training and mentoring junior staff. In addition, he is a strong advocate of producing quality products for clients and insists on a strong QA/QC process. 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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Professional Recognition Award to:

Mike Alexander
Mike Alexander, PAg
Mike Alexander PAg lives in Lethbridge with his wife Shelly and five children. Born and raised in British Columbia, Mike received his BSc (Agriculture) from the University of British Columbia in 1991 and his Msc (Range Science) from the University of Alberta 1995. He has worked in the field of Rangeland Management his entire career. Mike began his Career in 1994 working for the Alberta Forest Service as a Range Management Forester, first in the Edson Whitecourt area and  then moving in 1995 to the Crowsnest region to be the rangeland specialist for the eastern slopes of Southwest Alberta. Mike worked for almost 20 years as the Provincial Rangeland Specialist for the Montane and Foothills Ecosystem.  As the provincial specialist Mike was responsible for delivering the range resource management program on the complex eastern slopes landscape.  He developed a program that involves working with range resource clients and stakeholders to ensure the maintenance and sustainability of healthy rangeland resources and systems. 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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Professional Recognition Award, Registered Technologist in Agrology to:

Monica Klaas
Monica Klaas, RTAg
When Monica Klaas RTAg started her career in the agriculture sector in the early 1980’s she did not know that in 2020, she would still have no plans on exiting the industry.  With over 3 decades of varied experience, continuous learning has been, and will continue to be, the hallmark of a very rewarding career.

She has been employed by local, municipal, and provincial governments in various capacities, as well  as multi-national crop input corporations and most recently, not-for-profit organizations. With this  breadth of experience, she still uses the Einstein quotes “The important thing is to not stop  questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing” & “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious” as inspirational & guiding mantras.  Read More
Council may present an A.I.A. “Outstanding Young Agrologist” 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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Outstanding Young Agrologist Award to:

Brad Calder
Brad Calder, PAg
Brad Calder PAg is an Agricultural Extension Specialist at the County of Warner and current chair of Lethbridge Branch of the AIA.  He grew up on an irrigated mixed crop farm near Bow Island, where he still helps out his family with seeding and harvesting. He lives in Lethbridge with his wife Jenelle and daughter Brielle and enjoys helping his extended family with ranching.

Brad enjoys volunteering with the Lethbridge branch and providing support to the promotion of Agrology in the Lethbridge area. He has volunteered on the branch executive for the past six years as a Treasurer, Secretary, and Chair.  The branch has been successful in hosting monthly events, tours, and outreach presentations at Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge.  Brad is a Professional Agrologist, Certified Crop Advisor and has obtained two diplomas from Lethbridge College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from the University of Lethbridge. Brad supports continued education and enjoys taking night courses at the U of L.   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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Outstanding Young Registered Technologist in Agrology Award to:

Lee Moltzahn
Lee Moltzahn, RTAg
Lee Moltzahn RTAg has always had a passion for the prairies. He was raised in the small community of Nobleford and his love for the wide, open spaces of southern Alberta continued to grow while spending time on his grandparent’s farms in the Nobleford and Fort Macleod areas.  Desiring a career that complemented this passion, Lee attended Lethbridge College and completed a diploma in Renewable Resource Management and then continued his education at the University of Lethbridge, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science in 2009. After a short stint with the Alberta Government in Fisheries, Lee took a job with Alberta Conservation Association as a Rangeland Agrologist, working primarily on the MULTISAR Program: a voluntary, landowner-driven, habitat stewardship program focused on grassland species-at-risk. 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 2020, the AIA Council presents the Honorary Member Award to:

Fred Otto
Dr. Fred Otto, PEng
Dr. Fred Otto was born in Hardisty, Alta., and attended secondary school in Mannville. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in chemical engineering (with distinction) in 1957. He subsequently obtained an M.Sc. in 1959 from the U of A and a PhD from the University of Michigan (1963).

He was a professor of chemical engineering at the U of A (1962-96) and served as chair of the department of chemical engineering (1975-84) and dean of the faculty of engineering (1985-94). He was appointed professor emeritus in 1996.

Dr Otto served in the capacity of a public member on the provincial AIA council for over seven years. We were fortunate to each have chaired council during his tenure. Fred consistently displays personal characteristics such as mentorship, career accomplishments, and professionalism that have, and should continue to inspire members of the Institute. Read More