Martin Sharp

I work on predicting and explaining how Arctic glaciers affect global sea level rise, and am increasingly interested in trying to better define (and do) the sort of science we need to do to contribute more effectively to major scientific assessments.

What's New:

I just taught a half day workshop on communicating science to non-scientists for 10 graduate students working in Arctic regions (using the message box - thanks Nancy!). First time I've done this and I really enjoyed it - it made me think a lot more about my own abilities to communicate. Half a day was too short, so I want to do it again.
I'm heavily involved in writing part of an assessment of the Arctic cryosphere for the Arctic Council, and in plans to restructure the International Arctic Science Committee, so that can be a more effective player in Arctic science - especially assessment oriented Arctic science.

Professor and Chair, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department

University of Alberta

Martin Sharp is Chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. He is a glaciologist with interests in how glaciers in the polar regions are affected by changing climate, and in how microbial life survives on, in and under glaciers. These days. he carries out fieldwork in the Canadian high Arctic and Antarctica, but he has previously studied glaciers in Iceland, Alaska, Norway, and the European Alps.

Dr. Sharp’s past research has focused on understanding how water flows through glaciers and how water under glaciers affects their flow; he has also investigated how atmospherically deposited pollutants are transferred from glaciers to downstream aquatic ecosystems, how rock under glaciers is weathered, and on how carbon is cycled in glacial environments. His current research focuses on the role of Arctic glacier change in global sea level rise.

Dr. Sharp has been active in public outreach related to climate change and in advocacy for Canada’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. He is a member of the International Glaciological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the Canadian Geophysical Union. He is currently co-lead author of the "Mountain Glaciers and Ice Caps" module of SWIPA (Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic) a major review of current knowledge about the Arctic cryosphere that is to be delivered to the Arctic Council in 2011. He is also the interim Chair of the International Arctic Science Committee's (IASC) Scientific Standing Committee on the cryosphere system, and co-chair of the IASC working group on Arctic Glaciology.