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Chairholder Profile

John England

John England

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta

Chair Title

NSERC Northern Research Chair: Environmental Change in Arctic Canada: Ice Age to Present

Chair Program

Northern Research Chair Program


Senior Chairholder since 2002


Increasing international attention is being placed on high latitude environments as they are most sensitive to global climate change. Canada has stewardship over the largest area of tundra in the world and any significant change in this environment will have important social, economic, and geopolitical consequences for northern and southern Canada. Because weather records in the Arctic Archipelago only date back 50 years, a much longer record of environmental variability must be obtained from natural archives, such as glaciers and sediments, in order to identify and understand natural versus human-induced environmental change. My research is designed to increase our understanding of environmental variability in northern Canada by continuing a survey across the Arctic Archipelago that I initiated three decades ago. The key activities of the Chair include: coordinating an Arctic field research program, training a new generation of Arctic scientists, developing partnerships with northern colleges and research institutes that engage northerners in northern research, and communicating the importance of Arctic science to the public. The award of a Northern Chair to the University of Alberta complements its recently announced Northern Strategy under the auspices of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute. During the tenure of the Chair, a survey of the western Arctic Archipelago will be substantially completed and students from the northern colleges (Environmental Technology Programs) will be active participants. These goals are directly tied to the academic and training interests of the northern partners and meet Canada's national and international responsibilities as a northern nation and a member of the Arctic Council as the International Polar Year (2007-2008) approaches.


  • Nunavut Arctic College/Collège de l'Arctique du Nunavut
  • Nunavut Research Institute/Institut de recherche du Nunavut
  • Aurora Research Institute, Aurora College, Inuvik
  • Campbell Scientific Canada Corp.
  • Canadian Circumpolar Institute, University of Alberta
  • Nunavut Geoscience Office, Iqaluit

Contact Information

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Alberta
1-26 Earth Sciences Building
32 University Campus Northwest
Edmonton, Alberta
T6G 2E3

Tel.: 780-492-5673
Fax: 780-492-2030