Earth Adjunct Professor appointed to Expert Panel on the Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Collage of headshots from all 11 members of Expert Panel.

The Arctic is undergoing unprecedented changes. As a result, Northern communities, and Canada as an Arctic and maritime country, are facing profound economic, social, and ecosystem impacts. Adjunct Professor Richard Boudreault, in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been appointed as a member of the Expert Panel on the Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada at the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA)

Canadian researchers continue to advance knowledge on a range of issues affecting the Arctic and the North, but the research landscape remains both complex and fragmented. A clear vision is required to ensure that Canada remains a global leader in Arctic and Northern research, fostering new discoveries while respecting the values, priorities, and knowledge of Indigenous and Northern communities.

At the request of a consortium of Arctic and Northern research organizations from across Canada, led by ArcticNet, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has formed an Expert Panel to identify the key foundational elements required to create an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and Northern science system. 

The Expert Panel on the Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada is a multidisciplinary group with expertise in Indigenous and local sciences and knowledge, natural and environmental sciences, health sciences, and social sciences. The Panel includes experts from communities across Northern Canada and institutions which focus on the North.

Portrait of Richard BoudreaultRichard Boudreault, an adjunct professor at Waterloo and École Polytechnique Montréal, will be on the Expert panel. He is Executive Chairman of Sigma Energy Storage, developing reliable sustainable energy storage for remote isolated communities, the CEO of Awn Nanotech an energy-less extractor of potable water from the atmosphere. He also chairs the Science and Technology committee at the National Optics Institute.

A successful serial entrepreneur and C-level executive, Boudreault has held top corporate positions in organizations of all sizes in both the private and public sector and has sat on over 30 boards. He has led organizations across a variety of sectors including advanced materials, nanotechnology, natural resources and metallurgy, clean technology, photonics, medical devices, energy (hydrocarbon) and nuclear, Big Data and AI, quantum computation and aerospace.

Boudreault has a deep affection for the Canadian north and the First People and is the inaugural Chairman of the Board for the new Canadian polar agency, Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR).

The panel has been tasked by the federal government and a consortium of Arctic and Northern research and science organizations from across Canada, led by ArcticNet, to answer the question: Based on assessment of current knowledge and evidence, what are the key foundational elements to create an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and northern science system in Canada? 

The Expert Panel on the Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada includes:

  • Ashlee Cunsolo (Co-Chair), Founding Dean, School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, Labrador Campus of Memorial University
  • Karla Jessen Williamson (Co-Chair), Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan
  • Richard Boudreault, FRSC, FCAE, Adjunct Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, École Polytechnique Montréal; Adjunct Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo
  • Chris Derksen, Research Scientist, Climate Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Kimberly Fairman, Executive Director, Institute for Circumpolar Health Research
  • Bronwyn Hancock, Associate Vice-President, Research, Yukon University
  • Susan Kutz, FCAHS, Professor, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
  • Gita Ljubicic, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, and Canada Research Chair in Community-Engaged Research for Northern Sustainability, McMaster University
  • Rachel Olson, Director, The Firelight Group
  • Nicole Redvers, Associate Professor, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Dalee Sambo Dorough, Senior Scholar, University of Alaska Anchorage

Members of the Expert Panel will be making an invaluable contribution to evidence-based policy in Canada. It is through the hard work of expert committee members who donate their time and expertise that the CCA is able to produce high-quality assessments that the federal government and others have come to rely on to inform decision making.