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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
July 22, 2014
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Philip Marsh

Professor and Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science

Contact Information
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext.2856

Office Location: 3E18

Personal Website:
Academic Background

PhD, McMaster University, 1983

MSc, McMaster University, 1978

MA, York University, 1975


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

Further information can be found at:

Currently applications are invited for two positions:

1) Research Associate in Arctic Hydrology, and

2) Banting Fellowship position in Changing Arctic Hydrology

1) Research Associate in Arctic Hydrology (Advertised July 10, 2014; Start date Aug 15, 2015 or as soon as a candidate identified)

The Cold Regions Water Science project at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, invites applications for a Research Associate position in Arctic Hydrology. The successful candidate will support a Canadian Research Chair and Canadian Foundation for Innovation program led by Professor Philip Marsh. This program will carry out hydrological research in the Western Canadian Arctic that is focussed on understanding the linkages between climate, vegetation, snow, permafrost and hydrology.

The successful candidate will be involved in all components of the research program, including:

- Field work at remote sites in the Northwest Territories, including sites in the Inuvik region. The successful candidate must be comfortable working in remote areas under extreme climate.

- field site selection; instrument installation; instrument programming, and analysis of hydrological field data and hydrological model data, including the use of remote sensing data sets and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)


This position requires:

- MSc preferred, or PhD, in the natural sciences from a recognized university, with a specialization in hydrology, cryospheric sciences, or atmospheric sciences coupled with relevant training and field experience.

- Experience in: programming Campbell Scientific Data Loggers; using and trouble shooting a suite of hydrological and/or atmospheric field instruments; conducting hydrologic field research in wilderness settings; using and maintaining snowmobiles, trailers, and trucks; small construction projects typical of remote field camps.

- Computer skills are required in MS Excel and Powerpoint; using remote sensing data and GIS software

- Currently have, or a willingness to learn or obtain, wilderness first aid; firearms safety; tower climbing safety.

- This position will require regular travel to field sites in Arctic Canada.

- Must be self-directed and able to work independently.

- experience with Matlab or other similar scientific analysis software an asset.

- Scientific and technical writing skills are an asset.

- Experience in coding in Fortran, C++, or other computer languages are an asset.

Salary: commensurate with skills and experience.

Starting date: August 15, 2014, or when a suitable candidate is identified.

Applications from all qualified individuals are invited; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Laurier is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity.

To be considered for this position, please send your CV, letter of introduction, names of three references to: Philip Marsh, Canada Research Chair, Cold Regions Research Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University. Further information is available at;;

2) Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship position in Arctic Hydrology

The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship is the most prestigious fellowship in Canada. Funded by the Government of Canada, these fellowships provide funding to the very best postdoctoral applicants, both nationally and internationally at a level of $70,000 per year for two years. This Fellowship requires a synergy between the applicant and the host institution, with the applicant completing their application in full collaboration with the proposed host institution. The proposed research must be aligned with the host institutions strategic priorities. Further information is available at: Northern environmental research is a strategic priority of Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier), with Laurier and the Government of the Northwest Territories signing a 10-year (2010-2020) Partnership Agreement. The goal of this Partnership is to expand the Territories’ capacity to conduct environmental research and to train the new expertise needed to manage the natural resources of the NWT for future generations, and to ensure the sustainability of northern water systems.

In support of the Partnership, Dr. Marsh, Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science, is developing a research program that is focussed on the changing hydrology of Arctic Canada, with specific interests in understanding the complex interactions between climate, vegetation, permafrost, snow and runoff. This program includes both field observations at long term observatories in the Western Canadian Arctic, analysis of past hydrologic records, and high resolution modelling.

To further develop this research program, Dr. Philip Marsh invites potential Banting Fellowship applicants to submit a letter of interest by August 5 to the email address below. Details of the application processes at Laurier is described at

To be considered, please send (n latter than August 5) a letter of introduction, CV, names of three references, and a ½ to 1 page statement of research interest to: Philip Marsh, Canada Research Chair, Cold Regions Research Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University. Further information is available at;;