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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
April 16, 2014
 
 
Canadian Excellence
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Dr. Philip Marsh

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science

Contact Information
Email: pmarsh@wlu.ca
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2856

Office Location: 3E18

Personal Website: philipmarsh.ca
Academic Background

PhD, McMaster University, 1983

MSc, McMaster University, 1978

MA, York University, 1975

Biography

I recieved my Ph.D. from McMaster University in 1983. After my Ph.D. I was a research Scientist at Environment Canada's National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon until the summer of 2013 when I moved from NHRC to take up a Canada Research Chair position in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier.

Since my first research field trip to Ellesmere Is. in 1975, my research has focussed exculsively on the hydrology of Arctic Canada with a focus on the effects of snow, ice, permafrost on the hydrology of key northern ecosystems. To this has included the Canadian Arctic Islands, the Western Canadian Arctic and the Mackenzie River Basin. Over the last 20 years this research program has focussed on (1) the hydrology of upland watersheds in the Western Canadian Arctic, and (2) the hydrology of the Mackenzie Delta. In both cases, I have worked with ecologists to better understand the interactions between hydrology and ecology.

My recent upland hydrology studies, including the focus of my Canada Research Chair Program, have focussed on the impact of a changing climate on the increase of shrubs across the tundra, and the resulting impact of this on snow, soil moisture, permafrost and runoff. I collaborate with a number of colleagues on research in the Taiga Plains region of the NWT.

My Mackenzie Delta research has focussed on understanding the hydrology of this unique northern ecosystem where I have worked closely with Dr. Lance Lesack at Simon Fraser University.This collaborative research program has considered the hydrology of the approximately 50,000 lakes in the delta, and understanding the flooding of these lakes due to Mackenzie River discharge and ice jams, storm surges and changing sea level of the Beaufort Sea, and changes in local climate.

Dr. Philip Marsh is a Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and a membr in the Cold Regions Research Centre. Facilities included instrumented research basins in the NWT and the new Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science at Laurier.


Additional Information

Link to Publications

Furthern information can be found at: philipmarsh.ca

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Two snow hydrology graduate positions available at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of Geography and the Centre for Cold Regions

There are two graduate positions (1 MSc and 1 PhD) available through Wilfrid Laurier University in the Department of Geography, the Centre for Cold Regions (coldregions.ca) and the Taiga Plains Research Network (tiagaplains.ca). This research is a component of an ongoing partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories (http://www.wlu.ca/research/LaurierNWT) and will contribute to the Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science. We are rapidly expanding our understanding of the integrated impact of changing climate, vegetation and permafrost on the hydrology of the Canadian Arctic. Our region of focus is at the transition from the Taiga Plans Ecoregion to the Southern Arctic Ecoregion in the area north of Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, Canada. This ecoregion is characterised by the transition from northern boreal forest to tundra, in the zone of continuous permafrost. Details of each position follow.

1) Advances in snow accumulation observations in extreme arctic environments

Degree: M.Sc.

Field Location: Trail Valley Creek, Northwest Territories (photos available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tundrasnow/sets/)

Details: Multi-year funding is available for a project aimed at improved observations of snowfall and snow accumulation across the Arctic landscape. This project will use a combination of novel field observations and existing high resolution data sets to consider snowfall and snow accumulation over complex shrub tundra landscapes with the objective to quantify the spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) at high resolution across the study basin. This information is required for both improved runoff modelling, and to consider past and future changes to tundra landscapes. A variety of standard and novel instrumentation will be use, including the Double Fence Intercomparison Reference (DFIR) snow gauge, detailed snow surveys using standard methods, and novel methods such as Cosmic Ray gages and GPS sensors for measuring snow accumulation over the entire winter. The student will be responsible for installing sensors and data loggers, carrying out snow surveys, downloading data, and data analysis.

Funding includes a stipend for the graduate student and funds for field assistants, travel expenses, and field supplies. The ideal candidate will be well versed in snow and permafrost hydrology, and have strong writing and organizational skills. The ability to lead and implement field-sampling logistics is important. Fieldwork will involve extended periods in remote field locations in the Northwest Territories.

2) Modelling spatial and temporal snow accumulation in tundra, deep snowbanks, and shrubs across a changing arctic tundra

Degree: PhD

Field Location: Trail Valley Creek, Northwest Territories (photos available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tundrasnow/sets/)

Details: Multi-year funding is available for a project aimed at using high resolution modelling to consider snow accumulation over complex shrub tundra landscapes with the objective to quantify the spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) at high resolution as required for both improved runoff modelling, and to consider past and future changes to tundra landscapes. This student will use field observations outlined above, in addition to blowing snow observations from snow particle detectors. The key component of this project will require the use of hydrologic models, as well as state of the art blowing snow models in conjunction with wind flow models.

Funding includes a stipend for the graduate student and funds for field assistants, travel expenses, and field supplies. The ideal candidate will be well versed in snow and permafrost hydrology, and have strong writing and organizational skills. In addition, the student requires strong modelling and coding experience. The ability to lead and implement field-sampling logistics is important. Fieldwork will involve extended periods in remote field locations in the Northwest Territories.

Students will enroll in the graduate program of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON (http://www.wlu.ca/arts/geography) in Dr. Philip Marsh’s research group (www.philipmarsh.ca). It is preferable if applications reach me by February 15, 2014 in order to meet internal deadlines. Students must be able to begin work between May and August 2014, and enroll in the university for the Fall 2014 semester. Interested students should contact me directly (pmarsh at wlu dot ca). Interested individuals should send a resume, transcript (unofficial is fine) and, if possible, examples of your own written work.