2010 Tom Beck
New Age Pioneer
Tom Beck used quiet demeanor and his capacity for diplomacy in pioneering the greening of Alberta’s early petroleum industry, and later in building substantive bridges between this industry and aboriginal peoples of Canada’s Arctic. These traits—combined with the admiration and love Tom developed for wide open spaces and nature’s beauty after arriving in Alberta as a teenager from the starkness of post-war Scotland—gave him the tools to craft unique agreements between the oil and gas industry and the Inuvialuit of Banks Island, gaining for them wildlife protection and parks development, land use plans and environmental screening. Between 1978 and 1987, Tom served all Canadians as Chair of the Canadian Environmental Advisory Council.
Tom is also a distinguished environmental volunteer. While serving on the board of the Nature Conservancy, he helped to gain the Cross Conservation Area near Calgary. His earliest volunteering, though, was as a founding member of the Alberta Wilderness Association.