Kupsch, Walter O. (1919-2003)

For more than fifty years, Walter Oscar Kupsch led a distinguished career in Saskatchewan as a geological research scientist and public servant. Kupsch was born in 1919 in Amsterdam, Netherlands and completed an undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Amsterdam in 1943. He went on to graduate studies (MSc, PhD) at the University of Michigan, and in 1950 embarked on a long and exceptional career in Saskatoon as a government consultant and a professor of Geological Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. As a specialist in historical and glacial geology, Kupsch acquired a passion and fascination for the Canadian north - its geology and its people. In 1965-66, he served as executive director of the Advisory Commission on the Development of Government in the Northwest Territories, and in the 1970s he was instrumental in forming a Territorial Legislative Assembly. In 1973 the government of Canada appointed him as director of the Churchill River Study. He also served on many other environmental assessment boards. Kupsch's commitment to academic life was equally commendable: he was a gifted and respected teacher, researcher, and historian. Kupsch was elected to fellowships in several professional societies, including the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (1957), the Royal Society of Canada (1963), and the Arctic Institute of North America (1973). He served as Director of the Institute for Northern Studies at the University of Saskatchewan from 1965 to 1973. Kupsch was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1996 for his lifetime devotion to research and public service. He died in Saskatoon in June 2003.

Iain Stewart

Further Reading

Warick, Jason. 1996. “Exceptional Effort Honoured by Award.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix (July 13): A10.