Dr. Terry Donald Prowse

Dr. Terry Donald Prowse, 71, of Victoria, British Columbia, passed away January 31, 2024. He was born on September 29, 1952, to parents Garnet and Doris Prowse in Orillia, Ontario.

Terry attended University of Waterloo, where he earned his BES in 1976, then Trent University where he earned his MSc in 1978, and University of Canterbury where he earned his PhD in 1981. 

He married Jennifer Prowse in 1977 in Sarnia, Ontario, and they had three daughters: Catherine, Suzy, and Lisa. 

He worked as a Research Scientist for Environment Canada, with expertise in cold regions hydrology, with a focus on river ice, lake ice and snow, as well as impacts of climate change on water resources. He was a Senior Scientist/Project Chief in the Water and Science Technology Directorate of Environment Canada, and Professor and Research Chair of Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC) at the University of Victoria. Over his career, he held multiple collaborative roles such as the President of the Canadian Geophysical Union; Associate Editor of the Journal of Hydrological Processes; Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); and Executive Member, World Climate Research Program (WCRP) – Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) program. As a supervisor of multiple masters and PhD students over the years, Terry was a mentor to many, a fun-loving colleague, and a strong proponent of student field experience.    

He had a distinguished career, where he was recognized with multiple awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize co-award winner as multi-year IPCC lead author (2007) and a Doctor of Environmental Studies, Honoris Causa, from the University of Waterloo.

Terry had a gregarious nature that made everyone feel included and welcomed in his orbit. He enjoyed food (especially BBQing for others), travelling, a fine scotch, and most of all, joking around and spending time with his beloved family. His generosity and kindness were prevalent in all aspects of his life, from hosting at the Prowse house to promoting family connection through exploring his Celtic roots.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer; his oldest daughter Catherine and her husband Cameron; his middle daughter Suzy and her husband Graham and their sons Willem and Bowen; his youngest daughter Lisa and her husband Max; and his older brother Bill. He was predeceased by his parents. 

A celebration of life will take place at the University Club at the University of Victoria on April 20 at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, plant a tree or donate to a charity you feel reflects Terry’s impact on the world.



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Condolence Messages

  1. My very deepest condolences and much Love sent to Terry’s Family.
    I went to high school with Terry at Grand River Collegiate in Kitchener.
    He was a brilliant guy, in every way…smart, fun loving and kind to everyone in his orbit. I’m not surprised at all that he had such a successful career!
    I’m so proud of his contributions in helping to save our environment and all of his accomplishments. I was, and am, still good friends with his brother Bill so I feel blessed to have followed the beautiful life Terry and his wife Jennifer created esp with their beautiful daughters.
    I was also blessed to know both of their parents and often visited their mother on my infrequent trips back to Kitchener from my home in the Virgin Islands.
    At this stage in so many of our lives now…entering our 70’s, one can’t help but reflect on our Life journeys to date.
    To that sentiment I can say to Terry…you did so well, sweet brother! RIEP….
    I am honored to have known and experienced the delight of your personhood. Much Love, Bonny Corbeil. ❤️🕊️🫶🏻✌️💕

  2. Germaine Besanger and Murray Knipfel

    Murray and I send our deepest condolences to Jenny and the Prowse family.
    We are fortunate to share two beautiful grandsons with Terry and Jenny.
    We met this brilliant, kind and generous man many years ago. While we didn’t understand much of what he said, we knew that he was passionate about climate change, had his heart in the right place and was focussed on making changes that would benefit the world. Terry loved and was very proud of his 3 daughters, Catherine, Suzy and Lisa. He was so excited to become a grandfather.
    We enjoyed being invited to dinner at the “Prowse House” where Terry and Jenny always made us feel welcome. You are missed, Terry.
    Love from Germaine and Murray

  3. Gerry Mackenzie and family

    It is with the greatest sadness that I am writing to wish my condolences to the family on hearing of Terry’s passing. We all know how sick Terry was over the last few years.
    He was a very brilliant man but when we would get together it was like talking to one of the guys down the street.
    We have good family memories of when we would get together. Especially when everyone visited us on a trip to PEI, Christmas celebrations every year and a number of family barbecues in latter years.
    I am glad to have had Terry for a cousin.
    Bon voyage Terry, maybe you are climbing a volcano somewhere.

  4. Brenda MacKenzie

    Dear, Dear Terry.
    I miss you my cousin, although I have not seen you in a decade or so.
    You have popped in and out of my life since I was 5 until 55.
    Your particular brilliance , and quirky sense of humour will always remain in the forefront of my mind.
    I can’t even imagine how your family is dealing with you not longer being of this realm.
    Much love to all, and in hope that time will heal.
    Your memories will remain steadfast and most true.
    Love you, Brenda

  5. Shirley and I send our deepest thoughts to Jenny, Catherine, Suzy and Lisa. It is with great sadness that we heard of Terry’s passing. We are thinking of so many memories of our wonderful times over dinner, F1, and our children; from when we first met in Ottawa; to our times in Saskatoon. In addition, I have so many memories of sharing field work with Terry in Simpson and Inuvik; working on challenging Arctic, water and climate science projects; and spending time together at scientific meetings across Canada and internationally. Terry, and his contributions to climate science, will be missed, but will carry on forever.
    Phil and Shirley Marsh

  6. My very deepest condolences to the entire Prowse Family. I can’t even being to describe just how incredibly sad I am to hear of Terry’s passing. Terry was like a father to me during my doctorate program. He was always there for me and always willing to help in any way possible. That’s just who he was. It didn’t matter if he was busy (which he always was), his helping hand was always extended and he always there for anyone who needed him. Terry had a tremendous impact on my career and since moving on from working with Terry, I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t thought about him for at least a few mins each day. Terry will be with me always.

    His contributions to science are too numerous to mention and planet Earth is a much better place because of his passion and distinguished efforts in advancing environmental sciences.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Jennifer, Lisa, Suzy, Catherine and the entire Prowse family.
    Luigi Romolo and Family

  7. My deepest sympathy to Terry’s family. Of all the scientists I’ve met, Terry stood out with his infectious energy and positivity. He was a huge champion for Canadian northern science and spearheaded Canadian contributions to understanding Arctic fresh water systems. On a personal note, Terry was instrumental in helping me attend a conference in my NZ hometown where I was able to spend a wonderful week with my Dad just a short time before he passed. At the same conference Jennifer took special care of my Dad at a social event. These are things you do not forget.

  8. Louise Winter

    We were very saddened to hear of Terry’s passing. Jenny and I met while working in the cardiac care unit and became good friends enjoying many games of golf and we eventually got together with our husbands for some fun dinners at their place or ours. Terry loved to entertain and they both were excellent cooks. He loved to play all his favourite music for us and share his amazing stories of his travels all over the world. He was so passionate about his research and work in his field. He was a fun loving and very gracious man and will be missed by so many.
    Cheers to you Terry and may you Rest In Peace.
    Louise and Art

  9. Ken and Linda McCormack

    To Jenny, Catherine,Suzy, Lisa and family,
    We were so heartbroken to hear of Terry’s passing. He has been a longtime friend of almost fifty years and we will cherish all of the fond memories.
    Terry was so smart, generous and had a great sense of humour. Many fun times and laughs were had anytime that we got together.
    It is such a great loss. Sending our deepest condolences,
    Ken and Linda xo

  10. Steven Bigras

    My heartfelt condolences to the Prowse family, his wife Jennifer, and his daughters Cathrine, Suzy and Lisa for the loss of Terry. I know you will miss him dearly.

    I remember Terry as kind, caring and thoughtful. He was a dedicated researcher but also found time to enjoy himself. He was always welcoming with a smile followed by a witty comment or two. I remember how he loved to entertain and host dinners parties.

    I spent many a field season with Terry in Inuvik and Fort Simpson, NWT. We enjoyed working together and shared many experiences and adventures, including a helicopter crash. It soon became apparent that Terry was not only passionate about his work but was also a gifted researcher. He was always eager to try new technology, and made significant contributions to advances in northern hydrology.

    Throughout the years we would see each other at numerous conferences and meetings and would always make time to share a meal or two together. They were memorable occasions, none more so than the flaming chickens we had in Seoul, South Korea.

    Terry will forever remain in our thoughts and hearts.

  11. My condolences to Jenny, Catherine Suzy and Lisa.
    Terry was instrumental in my life in many ways, not least of which as my MSc thesis supervisor. He was insightful, encouraging when necessary, challenging when required, and gave me free rein on my project. I will be forever grateful for the boost he gave me in my career, and the guidance (and employment) afterwards. He was very well respected in the scientific community, and for good reason. Thanks for everything Terry.

  12. Arelia Schoeneberg (née Werner)

    Sending my sincerest and deepest condolences to Jenny, Catherine, Suzy, Lisa and all of Terry’s family. Regrettably, I won’t be able to attend his celebration of life on April 20.

    I was a grad student of Terry’s at UVIC, 2003-2008, as part of the Water and Climate Research Centre. Because of Terry’s ingenuity and big picture thinking, I was lucky to conduct my research in the Sooke watershed. This is something Terry helped arrange because he knew that for family reasons, I had to stay close to Victoria, and he saw it for what a unique project it was: a local study area, rich with data, with important questions to answer. He supported me in having a very interesting field program, gave me the opportunity to learn hydrologic modelling, and taught me how to link the short-term intense monitoring of the watershed to the sparse long-term data to look at climate change impacts. To this day, I work in the area of climate impacts on hydrology.

    Sometimes it was hard having Terry as a supervisor: he was away often, he had a massive intellect, and was larger than life. But the nuggets of wisdom he passed on to me I will never forget. One really big one was to always remember that changes I make to my models should be grounded in the physics of the system. “We’re not just twiddling nobs”, he would say. Or, when I naively asked what was so hard about solving a simple water balance equation, he made it clear that it was going to be a grand challenge, and it was! He could carry on a full conversation with you while listening to a presentation at a conference. He would not miss a single point and ask the best questions. He had a knack for making me laugh. He could stay current with his jokes and jests. And when I stood up to defend my thesis, he had the greatest opening statement. It made me feel like I really deserved to be there, by comparing my knowledge to some of the best hydrologists in Canada. Terry created a warm community for us while we were in graduate school, and I enjoyed spending time at his house and with his family.

    Thanks for everything Terry, especially for your research in climate impacts on hydrology and the cryosphere. Your influence stretches across the globe. You inspired the next generation of scientists.

    Arelia Schoeneberg (née Werner)

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