John England is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta. His scientific contributions result from 50 years of fieldwork across Canada's Arctic Archipelago documenting the nature of environmental change spanning Ice Age to present. This research has reconstructed the history of ancient ice sheets, sea ice and sea level that illuminate our understanding of modern Arctic environments, placing modern change in a necessary, long-term perspective. He is an advocate for the value and importance of northern science and increased public awareness of the precious heritage of the Canadian Arctic landscape. John proposed, and was instrumental in the creation of Canada's northernmost National Park, Quttinirpaaq, Ellesmere Island. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2012 in recognition of his dedication to Arctic science, public outreach and education. He has supervised more than 30 graduate students in Arctic research that continue prominent Arctic careers and he continues to work closely with Aurora College in Inuvik to provide training for Gwitch’in and Inuvialuit students. In addition to all the science, he has amassed even more cherished stories of discoveries and adventures while living in remote camps of two or three people – an unsung Canadian heritage!
This talk presents a five decade transect across the Canadian Arctic Archipelago reconstructing former ice sheets, sea level, lake and ocean cores, sea ice and permafrost. These interconnected records place modern Arctic environmental change in a necessary, long-term perspective, emphasizing its current rapidity and growing impacts beyond the poles.