The Arctic
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The Arctic Circle is non-profit, volunteer organization made up of people who enjoy learning, talking and sharing information about the North.

The annual cost of membership is….

  • Regular:
    (residents of the National Capital Region): $30.00
  • Out of town:
    (living outside the National Capital Region): $20.00
  • Students:

New members may join and memberships may be renewed in person at the meetings or by mailing this form.

The Executive

John Gilbert (President) received his early education at King Alfred School under the headmaster Frederick Spencer Chapman, a member of the 1930-31 British Arctic Air-Route Expedition and the 1932–33 Greenland Expedition. Immigrating to Canada in 1953 he served as a Radio Operator at Resolute Bay and Eureka, Nunavut from 1956-58. He travelled to Eureka on the icebreaker D’Iberville. He then followed a career in telecommunications and information technology. He was the Executive Secretary of the 1984 Worldwide Commission on Telecommunications under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union, a UN specialized agency. He was associated for many years with UNESCO. John has maintained a life-long interest in the High Arctic and compiled a collection of photographs, documents and stories on the Joint Arctic Weather Stations: 1947-72 now held by the Nunavut Archives. He curated the 2014 exhibit "The Polar Adventures of Andrew Taylor" assisted by a Northern Studies Award and Research Grant Program from the University of Manitoba. John is a graduate of Carleton University and is married with two adult children.

Anne Adams Simpson (Vice-President) was born and raised in British Columbia, but she moved to Ottawa to study and first became a member of the Arctic Circle in 2018 after attending several meetings with her grandfather, Peter Adams, who was a glaciologist and politician. In 2017, she had the opportunity to live in Yellowknife as part of her Master’s degree in International Affairs, experiencing the North for the first time. Beginning her career in negotiations with Crown-Indigenous Relations Canada, Anne is now a Senior Advisor for Northern Affairs Canada. Personally and professionally, Anne has a passion for the North.

Kathleen Tipton (Past -President) graduated from Ryerson’s School of Interior Design in Toronto in 1985. Her thesis centred on a proposal for the design and construction of a Scientific Resource Centre situated near Radstock Bay on Devon Island, Nunavut. The Government of Canada produced a White Paper on the subject of a resource centre for Maxwell Bay one month following the publication of her thesis. She moved to Finland in 1986 to work with various architectural firms, and in 1995 co-founded Arkos Arkkitehdit, a multidisciplinary design cooperative. During this period she also studied architecture at Helsinki University of Technology as well as Finnish, philology, film and Russian architectural history at the University of Helsinki. After returning to Canada, she embarked on aircrew training in 2005 with the Royal Canadian Air Force at the Canadian Forces Schools of Aerospace Control Operations (Cornwall) and Air Navigation (Winnipeg), finishing a course of study in Borden at the CF School of Administration and Logistics as an Air Logistics Officer in Transportation and Air Movements in 2010. She returned north of the 60th parallel in 2015, serving as Liaison Officer for CJOC’s Joint Task Force North, Detachment Yukon. In 2018, she received the Commissioner’s Commendation Award from the Honourable Doug Phillips, Commissioner of Yukon, for her excellence while serving as the Commissioner’s military aide-de-camp. Currently in Ottawa with Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group J4 in charge of infrastructure for CAF TG Transition Units and Transition Centres across Canada.

Thomas Frisch (Secretary) is a geologist (BSc Hons, Queen’s University, 1962, PhD, University of California Santa Barbara, 1967) who spent his entire professional career with the Geological Survey of Canada. His first experience of the Arctic was as a student assistant on a GSC field party in central Ellesmere Island in 1962. Tom subsequently spent some 23 summers in the North, working in the Precambrian Shield of the Eastern Arctic, northern mainland and Greenland. Although he retired in 1996, Tom continued his association with the GSC on a volunteer basis until 2011. Besides geology, Tom’s interests extend to book collecting (geology and Arctica) and Arctic history.

David Terroux (Treasurer) (Biography to follow)

The Committee

Guy R. Brassard is a retired Science Advisor (Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, 1989-2005) and Biology Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland (1970-89). His first arctic work was in 1964 (Operation Tanquary, northern Ellesmere Island) as a botany student. This was followed by two more summers (1967; 1969) of botanical field work, also on northern Ellesmere.  His special interest was in arctic mosses, and his Ph.D. in 1970 was on the mosses of northern Ellesmere Island, with an overview for the Queen Elizabeth Islands. While at Memorial University, his botanical research (and that of his graduate students) continued on arctic mosses, mainly analysing large scale distribution patterns. This involved more field work in several arctic areas: Ellesmere and Baffin Is., Greenland, and arctic Alaska.  In addition, he and his students carried out considerable bryological (moss-related) research in Labrador and on the island of Newfoundland. Member of the Arctic Circle since the mid-1960s, and Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, he lives in Ottawa. His personal interests include gardening, square dancing, and high arctic exploration (esp. collecting old expedition reports).

Chris Burn  (Biography to follow)

Luke Copland  is a Professor and holder of the University Research Chair in Glaciology at the University of Ottawa, where he directs the Laboratory for Cryospheric Research ( His research focuses on the dynamics and recent changes of glaciers and ice shelves, primarily in northern Canada. This research combines remote sensing with field measurements, and is primarily aimed at understanding the controls on ice motion and glacier mass balance, and how these may change under a changing climate.

Kathy M. Haycock, originally from Ottawa, grew up in a world filled with stories and landscape paintings of the Arctic. Her Dad was Maurice Haycock, northern Geologist and Arctic painter. Kathy completed undergraduate work in Psychology at Carleton University. She continued to work there as a research assistant and in England at Cambridge University before joining the “back to the land” movement in the Upper Ottawa Valley near Eganville in 1973. She began weaving tapestries of the landscape, and with her husband started a handcrafted log home building company. Early trips north with her Dad on his painting trips further instilled her early love for the profound beauty, fragility and powerful influence of the Arctic. In 1998 Kathy began oil painting. She has returned North numerous times, though not as often as her Dad, on extensive painting trips in Greenland, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska. Kathy is a professional artist, an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists, Artists for Conservation, the Ontario Society of Artists, the Federation of Canadian Artists, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society. Her art is collected worldwide. She continues to travel to the North and to the American Southwest to paint.

Caroline Forcier Holloway, is an Arctic researcher and a retired Senior Audiovisual Archivist from Library and Archives Canada (LAC), who holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Ottawa. Her interest in the Arctic evolved as a Reference Archivist and expanded when she became the archivist for Indigenous and Northern Content, and Oral History. During her career, Caroline conducted professional interviews for the Workers’ History Museum, LAC, and academic journals. In particular, she co-produced the video Lure of the Lens: A father and son’s experience of the North, mixing an interview she conducted with silent home movies of an RCMP constable’s activities in the Yukon in the 1930s. Caroline also interviewed filmmaker Roger Racine, a young National Film Board recruit, about his extreme cold weather filming during the Canadian military’s Exercise Musk-Ox in 1946. In 2009, at a Nunavut 10th anniversary celebration in Ottawa, Caroline first publicly screened Inuit Scenes at Avvajja, Igloolik, a rediscovered archival film made in 1937 by archaeologist Graham Rowley, documenting Inuit and places encountered while excavating with the British-Canadian Arctic Expedition. The rediscovery inspired Caroline to survey LAC’s film collection for footage of northern content revealing sizable amounts of footage on Arctic expeditions, contributing towards the Arctic’s narratives of the relationship between Inuit and explorers, and eventually aligning with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, LAC’s digitization initiative, and the decolonization of archival descriptions. Currently, as an archivist with the Nunavut Archives Program, Government of Nunavut, Caroline is processing the Thomas H. Manning papers and collection of rare literature on Arctic exploration, which the Arctic explorer and zoologist willed to the people of Nunavut. She is also working on a biography of Thomas H. Manning and a bibliography of his scientific publications and collections.

Edward (Ted) Johnson, OC, has worked in the government, business and not-for-profit sectors. He has been a repeat visitor to Canada’s Arctic since the nineteen seventies and participated in some sixteen canoe expeditions North of Sixty, including what are believed to be first descents of the Ruggles, Rowley, Isortoq and Ajaqutaliq. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Royal Geographical Society, and a Member of the Arctic Circle for over thirty years.

Tom Lukowski  (Biography to follow)

Peter MacKinnon (Biography to follow)

Dr. R.I. Guy Morrison is a Scientist Emeritus at the National Wildlife Research Centre of Environment and Climate Change Canada, following a 38 year career researching shorebirds for the Government of Canada. He continues active research, specializing in aerial surveys for Red Knots and other shorebirds in North and South America. Dr. Morrison's work has had a profound impact on the conservation of Arctic shorebirds. His low-altitude aerial population surveys of migratory sites in South America, Central America and Mexico led to the creation of  the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Network, which currently protects 120 key sites used by shorebirds in 20 countries stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. A role model and mentor to ornithologists throughout the Americas, he continues to spend considerable time in the field and, in recent years, has focused on Arctic bird species that are the most vulnerable to climate change. In 2016, Dr. Morrison was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.

Doreen Riedel  is Henry Larsen’s daughter. She had a wide career in biology, health education, parasitology, and medical research in Canada and abroad. Her life has been profoundly influenced by her father, who commanded St Roch in the Arctic from 1928 to 1948. Doreen has donated her father’s Arctic film footage to the government and many artefacts to Vancouver Maritime Museum. She has researched the little-known family background of her Norwegian-born father and has been indefatigably publicizing the Larsen legacy by way of films, books, articles, and talks. Currently, she is editing the Arctic portion of Larsen’s extensive memoirs. Doreen is a member of The Arctic Circle and a former member of its executive, a past president of the Canadian Nordic Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Laura Thomson is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University and Canada Research Chair (Tier-2) in Integrated Glacier Monitoring Practices. With a background in geophysics, she spent her MSc developing ground-penetrating radar techniques for the characterization of permafrost, and she later worked with the Cryosat-2 radar altimeter validation team at the European Space Agency as a Young Graduate Trainee. Today, her research group focuses on glacier mass balance monitoring and downstream impacts of accelerating melt on Arctic watersheds. Research in the Ice, Climate, and Environment Lab (ICELab) integrates field, remote sensing, and modelling techniques to support the detection of glacier changes, build process understanding, and improve future projections. She serves as Canada’s national correspondent to the World Glacier Monitoring Service, supporting the continuity and growth of glacier mass balance monitoring efforts in Canada. 

John Wright is originally from the UK, but following careers with the British Antarctic Survey and the British and Canadian Armies, he now calls Canada home. He has wide experience of both Polar regions and was awarded the British Polar Medal with Antarctic and Arctic clasp by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998. He has climbed and skied in many different parts of the world; it was his interest in mountaineering that led to his employment as a Field Guide with the British Antarctic Survey in the 1970s. He worked on the Polar Plateau and in the Shackleton Mountains and overwintered at Halley Station and unintentionally at the Argentine Belgrano Station. Throughout his subsequent military career John undertook expeditions to areas such as New Zealand, Greenland, Svalbard, and Borneo. Between family commitments he used periods of leave to guide on cruise ships in the Arctic. Since retiring from the Canadian Army John has expanded his guiding to include Antarctic cruises and has become an active fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He has helped to secure significant historical artifacts for the Society including a sledge used on the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean and the last dog sled to be used in the Antarctic