media release

Science leaders in B.C. receive SFU Chancellor’s Award

October 22, 2013

Ken Lertzman, Faculty of Environment professor and Hakai Network for Coastal People director (contact to arrange interviews), 778.782.9236,
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.783.3035,


With their Tula Foundation’s eight-year, $8-million investment to establish the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management, Eric Peterson and his wife Christina Munck have demonstrated exceptional vision and leadership for Simon Fraser University and British Columbia.

This month, SFU recognized the couple’s contribution with the 2013 Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award.  

The network is just one aspect of the ambitious Hakai Program of research, teaching and community leadership, the centrepiece of which is the Hakai Beach Institute research station on Calvert Island on B.C.’s Central Coast.

Other program components include major research funding programs at other B.C. universities, plus initiatives such as the Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution at the University of British Columbia, and the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria. To date, the Tula Foundation has invested roughly $60 million in the Hakai Program.

Through their funding and personal involvement, Peterson and Munck are building new partnerships among the Central Coast First Nations and researchers from SFU and other universities to ensure the region’s sustainable and ecological stewardship.

Peterson is a former research biologist and entrepreneur who earned his fortune from building and selling a medical imaging company. Munck is a biologist, and now a painter when she can find the time. Both work full-time on the Hakai Program, and spend approximately six months a year on the Central Coast.

“Eric and Christina have established significant partnerships with SFU, as well as other universities, and their contributions to B.C. have been profound,” says Chancellor Carole Taylor. “On behalf of SFU, it gives me great pleasure to recognize their achievements with the Distinguished Service Award.”

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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