A visionary 1945 call for Arctic research expansion at the U of M

February 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Advisory, News, Research, environment

This editorial from the Winnipeg Evening Tribune, printed on Dec. 7, 1945, extols the benefits of an Arctic Research Centre at the University of Manitoba.

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The needed expansion the piece refers to has become a reality: the Fort Garry Campus’ Wallace building, which is home to world-renowned Arctic system researchers, is expanding upwards. The Wallace building houses the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, and the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS).

A fifth storey is currently be added to house specialized laboratories and classrooms. The $8-million project is made possible from a generous donation of $2.5 million from distinguished geological sciences graduate Dr. Clayton H. Riddell, whom the Faculty is named after. The new floor will be named the Nellie Cournoyea Arctic Research Facility, after Nellie Cournoyea, an Officer of the Order of Canada and the first female premier of a Canadian territory: she was the leader of the Northwest Territories from 1991 to 1995.

Much of this process began in May of 2010 when the University of Manitoba received a $10-million Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change. The chair holder is Søren Rysgaard. He studies the geomicrobiological aspects of this sea ice, how it will alter amid a changing climate, and how it affects global CO2 balance and carbon sequestration.

In addition to the new chair and the 17 researchers already involved in the sea ice research, the University invested in new laboratories, three new tenure track faculty positions, post-doctoral and research associate positions, graduate students and support staff, increasing the size of CEOS to more than 100 people.

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