Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht
Professor, BPE/KIN Program
108 Frank Kennedy
Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
R3T 2N2
Phone: (204) 474-8646
E-mail: gordon.giesbrecht@umanitoba.ca


  • 1985 B.P.E. University of Manitoba
  • 1986 M.P.E. University of Manitoba
  • 1990 Ph.D. University of Manitoba, Dept. of Medicine
  • 1991 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary
  • 2010 B.Th., Horizon College & Seminary

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Recent Research:

Cold Water Bootcamp: Knowledge Translation (PDF)

Research Interests:

Dr. Giesbrecht operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine where he studies human responses to exercise/work in extreme environments. He has conducted hundreds of cold water immersion studies that have provided valuable information about cold stress physiology and pre-hospital care for human hypothermia. Other research interests include human physical and mental performance in other stresses such as altitude (hypoxia) and diving (hypobaria).

Courses Taught:

  • KIN/PHED 3470 - Exercise Physiology 1
  • PERS 1500 – Foundations of Physical Education and Kinesiology
  • 57.709 – Research and Quantitative methods in Physical Education
  • REC 2010 – Measurement and Evaluation of Leisure Services
  • PHED 7160 – Principles of Thermoregulation
  • PHED 3830 - Wilderness Leadership
  • PHED 3840 - Wilderness Skills
  • PHED 3880 - Camping 1
  • PHED 3890 - Winter Camping

Selected Awards and Honours:

  • 2011 Education and Training Award of the National Search and Rescue Program (NSP) Awards of Excellence
  • 2008 Canadian Safe Boating Association, Special Recognition Award. 
  • 2006 The Dr. and Mrs. D.R. Campbell Outreach Award, University of Manitoba.
  • 2005 Auerbach Award from the Wilderness Medical Society for long-term service an achievement with the Society.
  • 2000 University of Manitoba Outreach Award

Meet Professor Popsicle:

A feature article in Outside Magazine details the work that is being done at the University of Manitoba to save lives by providing information to the general public and professional EMS, and Search and Rescue Agencies.

Cold Water Boot Camp:

Dr. Giesbrecht participated in the creation of a true-life educational project regarding survival in cold water. Volunteer students from across Canada and the US combined real life exposure to cold water and classroom instruction. The video production can be watched on line or a free DVD copy (including instruction materials) can be ordered via the email link on www.coldwaterbootcamp.com.

Discovery Channel Canada Videos (2002):

Dr. Giesbrecht acted as a Cold Weather Columnist for the Discovery Channel Canada. Three educational video presentations were created.

These downloads are for non-commercial, single-user viewing purposes only. No reproduction is permitted.

If you would like to display this material to your group or are interested in purchasing copies of the Discovery Channel Canada Videos (2002), please contact Distribution Access at www.distributionaccess.com.

To save the High Res versions to your computer please right-click (PC) or click and hold (MAC) and choose 'Save As'. The High Res videos are in MPG format.

  1. Cold Water Survival - Strategies for survival if you fall through the ice (High Res - 150 MB) (Low Res - 4.6MB)
  2. You’re Out, Now What? How to survive a night in the forest after losing your snowmobile through the ice  (High Res - 136 MB) (Low Res - 4.2MB)
  3. Getting That Sinking Feeling - The importance of proper outerwear to keep you afloat and alive when snowmobiling (High Res - 123 MB) (Low Res - 3.8MB)

State of Alaska Guidelines for Treatment of Cold Injuries (2003):

Dr. Giesbrecht participated in an expert panel that revised the Cold Injury Guidelines that provide a standard of care for many Emergency Medical Services and Hospital Groups. Download Guidelines (PDF)

Marathons on Ice - Lake Winnipeg 2004:

In January 2004, Dr. Giesbrecht hauled a sled on a solo expedition of Lake Winnipeg that covered 450 kilometers in 26 days.

One Million Steps Winter Research Expedition on Lake Winnipeg (2001):

In February 2001, five men hauled sleds the length of Lake Winnipeg in a Scientific Winter Expedition that covered 450 kilometers in 19 days.

Seminars and Lectures (off campus):
These documents require Acrobat Reader - free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html

Dr. Gordon Giesbrecht

Vehicle Submersion Website

Hypothermia Frostbine and other Cold Injuries

Hypothermia, Frostbite and other Cold Injuries

Authored by Gordon G. Giesbrecht, Ph.D and James A. Wilkerson, MD

cold water bootcamp



Current Graduate Students
Radhika Chitkara
Daryl Hurrie (AHS PhD)
Parveen Kumar
Gerren McDonald (AHS PhD)
Cheryl Moser
Bhupinder Sran