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Spring 2008 Program


Canadians all know something about ice. It’s the rock-hard substance that bursts our pipes, turns our roads into death, blocks our rivers in winter, and can sink ships that dare challenge it.


Ice is also part of winter’s magic, whether that is dashing across the rink to score a goal, wondering at icicles suspended from a rock face, or waking to a world transformed by garlands of crystals.


Ice helps to define Canada, and the prospect of losing it is alarming. Scientists recently warned us that summer ice likely will vanish from the Arctic by 2100; now they expect that to happen two generations sooner – by 2015. In the frozen world of our North, information accumulated through thousands of years of experience is being devalued by global warming.


In these lectures we will learn about the science of ice and how it shapes the earth, about how it has stimulated the evolution and nurturing of life, and about efforts to tame it for our own use. We’ll even learn some answers to the question: “How many words do the Inuit have for snow and ice?”



March 27, 2008 Ice: Beauty. Danger. History

Pauline Couture, Toronto journalist and author of a recent book about ice.


Ice has been pivotal in the shaping of the planet and in the materials we buy, the food we eat, and the longer lives we enjoy. Dante equated ice with hell and many have perished in ice, but ice has also saved lives and provided explorers and scientists with some of their greatest challenges. Pauline Couture is one of a long line of thinkers, dreamers and
explorers to be fascinated by it.



April 3. 2008 The Physics of Ice

Dr Dennis Klug, Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences

National Research Council, Ottawa


Ice made from water molecules and the closely related clathrate hydrates occurs in a wide variety of fascinating crystalline and amorphous forms. Ice has at least 14 different structures ranging from the hexagonal form that occurs every winter to beautiful structures that occur under conditions of extremely high pressure. This talk will describe research conducted in NRC laboratories where several of the known structures of ice and clathrate hydrates were discovered.



April 10, 2008 Ice in the Climate System

Dr Richard Peltier, Director

Centre for Global Change Science, University of Toronto


The earth has experienced several periods of glaciation in the most recent and more distant past. The most severe were probably "snowball" glaciations that occurred about 750 to 600 million years ago. The great polar ice sheets that currently cover Greenland and Antarctica are residues of the most recent ice-age cycle, which began about 2 million years ago – probably as a result of a change in the earth’s orbit. These ice sheets have recently begun to melt back rapidly as a consequence of greenhouse gas-induced global warming. The history of glaciation on the planet has always been linked to important changes in the biosphere, including the process of biological evolution itself. Professor Peltier is one of the world’s most honoured experts in earth science and global change.



April 17, 2008 Ice and the Peopling of Arctic North America

Dr Robert McGhee

Curator, Western Arctic Archaeology

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa


Ice was crucial to the peopling of North America. The last Ice Age lowered sea levels so that Asia and Alaska were joined by a land bridge for animals and people. The ice also concentrated sea mammals into seasonal concentrations where hunting was both predictable and profitable. For the Tuniit who crossed the Bering Strait 5000 years ago, sea-ice was a bridge and a hunting platform that provided access to most of Arctic North America. The ancestors of the Inuit, on the other hand, were a North Pacific people who adapted their maritime hunting and travelling patterns to the diverse ice conditions of Arctic Canada and Greenland only about 800 years ago. Dr McGhee is author of The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World.



April 24, 2008 Inuit Knowledge and Use of Sea Ice in a Changing Environment

Dr. Gita Laidler, Department of Geography, University of Toronto


In interviews Dr Laidler has conducted in the Canadian Arctic, Inuit elders and active hunters have explained the different terms used to describe sea ice according to the subtle – or prominent – differences in ice type, condition, seasonality, dynamics, danger, movement, utility, etc. Sea ice is essential for travel and hunting in northern communities, but increasingly changes are being seen in the timing of its formation and decay, its extent and thickness, and the presence of multi-year ice. The changes affect access to sea and land wildlife, safe travel, and the success of commercial or subsistence hunting and harvesting. Societal forces also affect the ways in which the Inuit interact with the sea ice environment and adapt to changing conditions.



May 1, 2008 Ice in Industry and Literature

Julian Bayley, Vice-President, Iceculture Inc., Hensall, Ontario


Iceculture has grown from making punch bowls of ice to the world’s leading creator of ice sculptures and large-scale ice construction. The company has defined, created and developed a new industry, taking a centuries-old art form and steering it into the 21st century. Its works are exported throughout North America and to Britain, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.


Helen Humphreys, author, Kingston, Ontario


From 1142 to 1895, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. Helen Humphreys will talk about the research she did for her bestselling book The Frozen Thames, a compendium of forty stories – a story for each time the river froze – and then she will read from the book.


Resources - ICE


Introduction


NLC’s program on ICE takes place midway during the International Polar Year, a large scientific programme focused on the Arctic and the Antarctic from March 2007 to March 2009. More at www.ipy.org or www.ipy-api.gc.ca. ArcticNet website


Lectures


To order Pauline Couture’s “Ice: Beauty. Danger. History” or Robert McGhee’s “The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World” call:

•In Cobourg: Avid Reader Magazines and Books at (905) 372-7233

•In Port Hope: Furby House Books at (905) 885-7296’s



March 27, 2008 Ice: Beauty. Danger. History

Pauline Couture, Toronto journalist and author of a recent book about ice


Pauline Couture biography

Her book: “Ice: Beauty, Danger, History”



April 3. 2008 The Physics of Ice

Dr Dennis Klug, Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences National Research Council, Ottawa


Profile of Dennis Klug;

Biography of Dennis Klug;

Full Abstract;

“Ice 9” by Richard Longley



April 10, 2008 Ice in the Climate System

Dr Richard Peltier, Director Centre for Global Change Science, University of Toronto


Richard Peltier Biography

His Website

Selected Publications

“The Great Warming” - an Interview with Richard Peltier:

Richard Peltier awarded Milutin Milankovic Medal

“Will oceans surge 59 centimetres this century - or 25 metres?”

Earth Doctor



April 17, 2008 Ice and the Peopling of Arctic North America

Dr Robert McGhee Curator, Western Arctic Archaeology, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa


Robert McGhee Biography

Book: “The Last Imaginary Place: A Human History of the Arctic World”

About Robert McGhee



April 24, 2008 Inuit Knowledge and Use of Sea Ice in a Changing Environment

Dr. Gita Laidler, Department of Geography, University of Toronto


Website

Franklin Griffiths, “Camels in the Arctic?" Climate change as Inuit see it: “from the inside out” in The Walrus, November 2007.



May 1, 2008 Ice in Industry and Literature

Julian Bayley, Vice-President, Iceculture Inc., Hensall, Ontario


Website

Julian Bayley Biography

Iceculture Inc, background

Iceculture Inc, company story

Iceculture’s 3-D ice carving machine, the only one of its kind in the world

An ice industry resource site


Helen Humphreys, Author, Kingston, Ontario


Helen Humphreys is the author of Leaving Earth, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the City of Toronto Book Award; Afterimage, winner of the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize; and The Lost Garden, finalist for the CBC's 2003 Canada Reads competition. Wild Dogs was one of NOW Magazine's Top Ten Fiction books of 2004. The Frozen Thames was a #1 national bestseller. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Introduction to “The Frozen Thames:” In its long history, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. Helen Humphreys’s national bestseller The Frozen Thames contains forty vignettes based on events that actually took place each time the river froze between 1142 and 1895. Her beautiful prose acts like a photograph, capturing a moment and etching it forever on our imaginations. She deftly draws us into intimate scenes, transporting us through time so effectively that we believe ourselves observers of the event portrayed. Whether it’s Queen Matilda trying to escape her besieged castle in a snowstorm, or lovers meeting on the frozen river in the plague years, or a simple farmer persuading his oxen the ice is safe, the moments are fleeting and transformative for the characters – and for the reader too.