Department of Geography and Planning

Department of Geography and Planning
Department of Geography and Planning
Portrait of Harry McCaughey.

Harry McCaughey

Professor Emeritus
Affiliation:
About:

The Queen’s community is remembering Dr. J. Harry McCaughey, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Geography and Planning, who passed away on Friday, May 1, 2020. He was 76.

Harry was born in Limavady, Northern Ireland and received his undergraduate degree (BSc) from Queen’s University, Belfast. He received both his MA and PhD degrees from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Harry joined the Department of Geography at Queen’s University in 1971 where he specialized in climatology research and teaching. He retired June 30, 2012 and was granted the title of Professor Emeritus.

During his time at Queen’s University (Kingston) Harry served on numerous committees both on and off campus. Some of those included: International Review Panel for the Swedish Natural Science Research Council; Review Panel for Climate Change Action Fund in the area of Adaptation and Impacts (Forestry); The BERMS Science Committee; the Science Committee and the Board of Directors of Fluxnet-Canada; and the Operational Science Committee of the Canadian Carbon Program. In the department, Harry served a year as Acting Head (1984-85) and many times chaired the RTP Committee, Safety Committee and served on the Undergraduate Committee. Harry was also cross-appointed to the School of Environmental Studies.

Harry was a pioneer and leader in the micro-climate and eddy covariance research communities. In 2003 he received the NSERC 25 Years of Excellence in Research certificate in recognition of twenty-five years of continuous funding support from NSERC.

Photo of Dr. J. Harry McCaughey and Dave BransonHarry mentored and graduated many graduate students who fondly remember him. One of his former students, Dave Branson (photo left), reflects: “Harry had an immense impact on my education and preparing me for my future jobs. As an undergrad it was always a challenge to keep up with his lectures. He would be writing frantically on the acetate for the overhead projector and in a split second that acetate would be gone and he would be onto the next. In Grad School, I could not have had a better supervisor. Although he was meticulous about our writing and would send back drafts full of edits and comments, he was also sure to keep us on schedule. RIP Harry!”

Another former Geography graduate student, Rene Barendregt, recalls, “I really enjoyed Harry as a professor. Much of what he taught me about weather and climate I still use in my lectures. Most mornings when I wake up and look to the sky, I try to understand the day’s weather. Often I am reminded of Harry’s descriptions of sky conditions and clouds and what these might be telling us! Harry was a very practical man, and that appealed to this young Alberta farm kid trying to work his way through a Ph.D. in Geography at Queen’s University.”

Harry was predeceased by his wife Stephanie McCaughey (nee Hasant) in 2016 and is survived by his daughter Tara McCaughey (Wayne Bennett) and their children and his son Bryce McCaughey. 


I received my B.Sc. from Queen's University, Belfast and completed both my M.A. and PhD at McMaster University, Hamilton. I have been at Queen's University, Kingston since 1971, teaching courses in microclimatology, climate change, instrumentation and data management.

I am currently a member of the scientific review panel on exogenic processes for the Earth Sciences Committee of the Swedish Natural Science Research Council.

Credentials:

  • B.Sc. (Queen's, Belfast)
  • M.A., Ph.D.. (McMaster, 1972)

Links:

Research Interests:

My research in boundary layer climatology in the past six years has focused on forest-atmosphere interactions in respect to carbon, water and energy exchanges. I was a Principal Investigator in the Fluxnet-Canada Research Network (FCRN) and am associated with the Groundhog River Flux Station in Ontario and the Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites (BERMS) Flux Station in Saskatchewan. I am a Principal Investigator for the follow-on to the FCRN, the Canadian Carbon Program, funded for the period 2007-2010, by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS). I was a co-investigator in the Canadian Climate Research Network, Land Surface Processes Group (the CLASS Project). I was a Principal Investigator in the BERMS program before its incorporation into the FCRN in 2002.

Contributions to the Training of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP)

Over the past six years, the HQP who have worked with me include four doctoral students (three graduated, one in study), three masters students (two graduated, one in study), one PDF, eight technicians, seven undergraduate summer RA’s, and one graduate field assistant. The undergraduate RA's who have worked on my projects in the summer, usually assist with field deployment of equipment or with various laboratory duties, including testing of equipment, building sensors, or database entry. The technicians perform a range of duties including field operations, data management, and post-processing eddy covariance and meteorological data.

Other Evidence of Impact and Contributions

  • February 2000: Member of five-person International Review Panel for the Swedish Natural Science Research Council (NFR). The panel was charged with review of proposals on exogenic geochemistry and exogenic processes.
  • March 2000: Member of three-person Review Panel for Climate Change Action Fund in the area of Adaptation and Impacts (Forestry)
  • April 2000: Member of the BERMS Science Committee.
  • April 2002-March 2007: Member of the Science Committee and the Board of Directors of Fluxnet-Canada.
  • April 2007-present: Member of Operational Science Committee of the Canadian Carbon Program.
  • September 2003: Received the NSERC 25 Years of Excellence in Research certificate in recognition of twenty-five years of continuous funding support from NSERC.