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Our Next Speaker

522nd Meeting
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Stephan Gruber


Permafrost is a sub-surface phenomenon concealed beneath the active-layer, which undergoes seasonal thaw. As it is hidden at depth, direct permafrost observations are usually restricted to boreholes. Additionally, indirect methods are used to infer permafrost characteristics from proxy variables measured with, e.g. surface geophysics or remote sensing. As permafrost, which underlies more than one-third of the exposed Canadian land surface, enters a state of widespread and persistent thaw, reliable information on its changes is important. At the same time, quantifying an invisible phenomenon that is changing and highly heterogeneous is challenging, especially when dealing with a very large country. When we ask how permafrost is changing in Canada, the answer we get strongly depends on how we measure, where we measure, and how we aggregate individual observations into a bigger picture. This talk highlights some of the difficulties involved and proposes avenues towards enabling relevant insight into permafrost change.
    Born in Siegburg, Germany in 1973, Stephan Gruber grew up with a love for wilderness travel, and later, mountaineering. While obtaining his MSc in Physical Geography (2000, University of Giessen, Germany) he completed a one-year Diploma in Arctic Studies (1997, Arctic Centre and University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland) and a one-year program in Environmental Systems Monitoring and Analysis (1999, ITC, Enschede, The Netherlands). After his PhD (Natural Science, 2005, University of Zurich, Switzerland) and a Postdoc (2006, Université de Savoie, Chambéry, France), he worked as a Senior Researcher at the University of Zurich. His work there focused on the measurement and numerical simulation of permafrost in mountain environments. In 2013, Stephan came to Carleton University as the Canada Research Chair in Climate Change Impacts/Adaptation in Northern Canada and started a research program for measuring, monitoring, and simulating permafrost in Canada. His current work is mostly in the Slave Geological Province (N.W.T.) with additional projects in British Columbia, Nunavik, Nepal, and India.
    This meeting is the last regular meeting of The Arctic Circle’s 2016-17 season and will be held in the Astra Lounge on the entrance level of the RCAF Officers Mess, 158 Gloucester Street (just east of Bank Street), Ottawa. Parking is available on the street and in nearby parking lots. There is a charge of $4.00 for evening use of the parking lot in the same block as the Mess. The meeting begins at 2000 hrs and the bar will be available from 1930 hrs. As always, guests are welcome.
Next meetings:
Apr 27    Annual Dinner with Max Finkelstein as guest-of-honour

Thomas Frisch

Our Speakers Programme

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