Jack D. Ives was born in Grimsby, England, on 15th October 1931. He attended the University of Nottingham, obtaining a first-class honours B.A in Geography in 1953. It was during his Nottingham years that the series of student expeditions to Skaftafell and Vatnajökull were organized.
After completing his doctorate at McGill University, Montréal, Jack was appointed Field Director of the McGill Sub-Arctic Research Laboratory situated in central Labrador-Nouveau/Québec (1957–60). Here he initiated an extensive research programme on permafrost, and the glaciation and deglaciation of Labrador-Ungava. This involved widespread fieldwork with many of the graduate students who worked at the Lab under his direction.
Jack has published extensively on the Himalaya, South-Western China, and Central Asia and has supervised more than fifty Masters and Doctoral candidates. His contributions earned him a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1976/77), the award of the King Albert I Gold Medal (2002), and the Royal Geographical Society’s Patron’s Medal on the approval of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2006).