Canadian Committee on Antarctic Research (CCAR)

Since 1994, the Canadian Polar Commission (CPC) has served as Canada's adhering body to the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU) with responsibility for the initiation, promotion, and co-ordination of scientific research in Antarctica, and for the provision of scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty System. As the adhering body to SCAR, the Commission is responsible for representing Canada's national interests in Antarctic and bipolar science and for disseminating relevant information from the Committee to Canada's polar research community. To advise on these and other matters pertaining to research in the Antarctic region and to ensure that the Canadian polar research community participates in critical planning activities and encourages international co-operation in Antarctic and bipolar research, the Commission has established the Canadian Committee on Antarctic Research (CCAR) as Canada's National Antarctic Committee under the provisions of SCAR.

CCAR Mandate

CCAR will serve as a national advisory body on Antarctic matters, reporting primarily to the CPC, and act as a link between the international Antarctic science community and Canadian scientists active in or seeking to become involved in Antarctic and/or bipolar research.

CCAR will recommend to the CPC Canadian representatives to serve on SCAR working groups, to advise on appropriate terms of office, and to ensure a proper flow of information among Canadian scientists and the respective working groups.

CCAR will review Antarctic research proposals (e.g., from the Canadian Arctic-Antarctic Exchange Program and others) when requested.

Members and Advisers, 2011-2012

Kathleen Conlan

Dr. Kathleen ConlanDr. Conlan holds a PhD in systematics and evolution and an M.Sc. in marine ecology. Her systematics research concerns the evolution and behaviour of amphipod crustaceans, shrimp-like organisms that inhabit the deepest oceans to the tropical rainforests, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. She has named two new genera and 48 new species and has two species named for her. Dr. Conlan's research in marine ecology concerns the effects of seabed disturbance on community structure. She has studied the impacts of the logging industry on the coastal seabed of British Columbia, the Exxon Valdez oilspill in Alaska, the tilling effects of icebergs on the Arctic seabed, and the impact of humans in the Antarctic.

Besides publishing her research in scientific journals, Dr. Conlan also teaches and popularizes her studies. Dr. Conlan involves elementary and high school students in her Arctic and Antarctic field trips through satellite telephone and email links. She teaches a university level course in marine biology at Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews, N.B. Discovery Channel, the BBC, and Rogers Cablevision have presented her work in ten documentaries. Dr. Conlan has given over 50 presentations about marine life in the Arctic and Antarctic to elementary schools, high schools, and adult interest groups. CBC Morningside has twice interviewed her, as has Owl Magazine and Women's Sports and Fitness. Her latest television show, "Diving under the Antarctic Ice", was an initiative to bring televised lectures to over 8,000 Canadian schools across Canada. Dr. Conlan is continuing her love for education by participating in "Students on Ice", a polar teaching cruise for teenagers. A children's book about her diving adventures in the Arctic and Antarctic will be published shortly.

Marianne Douglas (Chair)

Dr. Marianne DouglasMarianne Douglas is Director of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute and an associate professor in Department of Geology at the University of Alberta. Much of her research focusses on reconstructing past environmental change at high latitudes. By examining paleo- and bioindicators, such as diatoms, preserved in lake sediment cores, it is possible to track environmental changes. Different diatom species are present under different environmental conditions. Dr Douglas has worked extensively within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of the Canadian High Arctic. As part of the Canadian Arctic Antarctic Exchange Program, she undertook an Antarctic field season on Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula in collaboration with the Bulgarian Antarctic Programme in December 2003 - February 2004.

Tom James

Dr. Thomas JamesDr. Thomas James is a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada of the federal Department of Natural Resources. He holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from Princeton University and is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria and Ohio State University. Dr. James studies glacial isostatic adjustment, which is the response of the solid Earth to ice sheet and glacier changes, and is particularly interested in sea-level change - past, present, and future. He has worked on models of glacial isostatic adjustment for Antarctica that are used in the analysis of satellite data to discern the present-day Antarctic contribution to sea-level change. In the 2005/06 Antarctic field season, Dr. James was based at McMurdo with American colleagues and carried out field work in the Transantarctic Mountains to measure crustal motion. He has been a Canadian representative at meetings of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research since 2004.

Simon Ommanney

Simon OmmanneySimon Ommanney, a graduate of McGill University, worked on Axel Heiberg Island with Fritz Müller from 1960-1966. He was employed as a glaciologist with Environment Canada for 27 years, where he was the driving force behind the Canadian Glacier Inventory and the first Chief of its Scientific Information Division. In 1993, he became Secretary General of the International Glaciological Society (IGS), based in Cambridge, U.K. On his retirement in 2003, he was appointed a Senior Research Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute and awarded the Richardson Medal by the IGS. He is currently the Canadian correspondent to the IGS and a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Emilien Pelletier

Dr. Emilien PelletierDr. Emilien Pelletier is Professor at the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER/UQAR) and director of the Canadian Research Chair in Marine Ecotoxicology. He is a specialist in environmental chemistry and toxicology applied to high latitude ecosystem. A large part of his work is dedicated to bioremediation of contaminated soils and sediments in the vicinity of sub-Antarctic and Antarctic stations. He developed cooperation programs with the Institut Paul-Emile Victor (IPV, France) and the Instituto Antarctico Argentino (IAA, Argentina) and published a number of papers on contamination levels observed in Antarctic stations and on means to clean up soils from spilled hydrocarbons using mild techniques and indigenous bacterial communities conforming to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Emilien and his research team are also working on environmental risks associated with commercial navigation in the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord where winter conditions are often comparable to those prevailing in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Peter Pulsifer

Dr. Peter PulsiferPeter Pulsifer is currently a postdoctoral researcher with the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado at Boulder. Peter resides in Canada where he is a visiting research fellow at Inuit Qaujisarvingat: The Inuit Knowledge Centre. Before moving to NSIDC, Peter was a doctoral candidate and postdoctoral fellow working under Prof. Fraser Taylor at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, Carleton University where continues act as a research associate. During his doctoral studies he was the lead researcher for an on-line atlas portraying, exploring and communicating the complexities of the Antarctic continent for education, research and policy purposes. Since 2002, Dr. Pulsifer has been an active member of what is now the SCAR Standing Committee on Antarctic Geographic Information where he has contributed to the conceptualization and development of The Antarctic Spatial Data Infrastructure. In 2003, he became the Canadian representative to what is now the Standing Committee on Antarctic Data Management. He participated in the International Polar Year Data and Information Service, and is currently contributing to the development of the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks program.

Fred Roots

Dr. Fred RootsFred Roots has been involved in Antarctic research ever since he participated in the Modheim expedition of 1949-52. He has spent many years doing geological, geophysical, glaciological and climate field work in sub-arctic and arctic Canada, and has published about 150 related scientific papers and book sections. He founded the Canadian Polar Continental Shelf Project in l958, serving as its director from 1958 to 1972. He was a Member of the Polar Research Board of the US National Academy of Sciences from 1970 to 1983. He served as chairman of the committee to study co-ordination of Canadian scientific activities in polar regions (north and south), and wrote the report "Canada and Polar Science" which led to the establishment of the Canadian Polar Commission and influenced Canada's decision to adhere to the Antarctic Treaty. He was Founding Chairman of the International Arctic Science Committee, and is Canadian representative to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative meetings (1993-present). He has been a member of the Canadian Committee for Antarctic Research since its beginning. He has received many prestigious awards and decorations s for polar science from Norway, the UK, the USSR, the US, and Canada. He is an officer of Order of Canada.