FRED ROOTS, PhD
Polar Issues Expert & Science Advisor Emeritus
Fred Roots is Science Advisor Emeritus to Environment Canada. He graduated in geological engineering at the University of British Columbia, and received his PhD in geology from Princeton University. He was senior geologist in the first international scientific study of Antarctica, the Norwegian-British-Swedish Antarctic Expedition, 1949-52: co-leader of Operation Franklin, the major study that established the petroleum potential of the Canadian arctic Islands in 1955; and leader of Operation Stikine 1956 and 1958, the first integrated geological study of the Canadian northern Cordillera. In 1958 he organized the Polar Continental Shelf Project and served as its coordinator until 1971. From 1968 he became involved in discussions of the environmental responsibilities of the Canadian government, which led to the organization of the Department of the Environment. In 1971 he was appointed Advisor, Environmental and Northern Programmes, Department of the Energy Mines and Resources, and in 1973 he became Science Advisor to the Department of the Environment, and served in that capacity until becoming Science Advisor Emeritus in 1989.
Fred has been active in a number of international and non-governmental scientific and environmental activities and researchers. He was a member of the Polar Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 1970-83 and subsequently on several of its technical committees. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the International Commission on Snow and ice, served on the Science Advisory Board of the Geophysical Institute University of Alaska 1976-88 (Chairman 1980-84). He was a founder of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as its first President (1991-94) and since 1983 has been chairman of the Northern Sciences Network of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. He is author of over 250 scientific papers and published reports on Polar, environmental and global change subjects. Dr. Roots has a mountain range in Antarctic named after him. His many awards include the Gold medal from the Royal Geographical Society.