IEEE Winnipeg Section


Waves Chapter Seminar


Global warming and the Arctic. On the integration of the disciplines of Engineering and Environmental Science in seeking answers


Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 11:30 am


E2-221 EITC, University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus


Prof. David G. Barber, PhD, CRC
Professor, Environment & Geography
Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science
Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment Earth & Resources
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB


The world is now aware of the fact that the first and strongest signs of global warming are being felt in the Arctic. The rapid changes unfolding there have consequences both within the Arctic and through teleconnections to the more temperate and tropical parts of our planet. In this presentation I review how the disciplines of Engineering and Environmental Science can integrate to address some of the most pressing questions which arise from a warming Arctic climate. I will review our microwave remote sensing program; describe how we use numerical scattering models, combined in situ surface based measurements with both scatterometers and radiometers and coincident geophysical and environmental sampling. I will review our Arctic field sampling program onboard the Canadian Research Icebreaker (CCGS) Amundsen, ice camp programs in Greenland, northern Canada and the European Arctic. I also review our new Sea Ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) located on the U of M Campus where electromagnetic interaction studies are changing the way we measure both the geophysical and thermodynamic state of snow covered sea ice.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Barber obtained his Bachelors (1981) and Masters (1987) from the University of Manitoba, and his Ph.D. (1992) from the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He was appointed to a faculty position at the University of Manitoba in 1993 and received a Canada Research Chair in Arctic System Science ( in 2002. He is currently Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science (, and Associate Dean (Research), CHR Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources. Dr. Barber has extensive experience in the examination of the Arctic marine environment as a ‘system’, and the effect climate change has on this system. Dr. Barber has published over 170 articles in the peer reviewed literature pertaining to sea ice, climate change and physical-biological coupling in the Arctic marine system. He lead the largest International Polar Year (IPY) project in the world, known as the Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) system study. He is recognized internationally through scientific leadership in large network programs (e.g., NOW, CASES, ArcticNet, the Canadian Research Icebreaker (Amundsen), and CFL), as an invited member of several Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) national committees (e.g., NSERC GSC 09; NSERC IPY, NSERC northern supplements, etc), international committees (GEWEX, IAPP, CNC-SCOR, IARC, etc) and invitations to national and international science meetings (e.g., Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, Korean Polar Research Institute, American Geophysical Union (AGU), Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), American Meteorological Society (AMS), American Society for Limnology and Oceanography (Spain), IMPACTS (Russia), European Space Agency (ESA, Italy), Arctic Frontiers (Norway), etc). Dr. Barber was instrumental in a national competition to bring a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) to the University of Manitoba in the field of Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change. As Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science he leads a polar marine science group of over 100 people. He has supervised to completion: 6 honours theses; 18 MSc theses; 17 PhD dissertations and 9 postdoctoral fellows. Twenty of his previous students have University positions and 30 work in research, consulting or government. He currently supervises 7 MSc students; 4 PhD students, 2 Post-Doctoral Fellows and 14 Research Associates. He also supports (and supervises) 12 full time staff consisting of research program coordinators (PhD level), field technicians (MSc level) and administrative staff, making a research group of 39 members; one of the largest sea ice focused research groups in the world.


This will be a free event.


For questions or more information: Puyan Mojabi 474 6754.