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.