About Us

Meet the Team

Alison Criscitiello, PhD
Technical Director, CICL

Alison is an ice core scientist, with a focus on exploring paleoclimate and the history of sea ice in polar regions using ice core chemistry. She drills ice cores in Antarctica and the Canadian high Arctic.

Alison is an alpine guide and the founder and co-director of Girls on Ice Canada.

Publications

Alison's publications can be found by searching her ORCID-iD or her Google Scholar page.

Anne Myers, PhD
Ice Core Laboratory Analyst, CICL

Anne is an environmental and analytical chemist working in the ice core lab.

Publications

Anne's publications can be found by searching her ORCID-iD.

Martin Sharp, PhD (emeritus)
Scientific Director, CICL

Martin is a glaciologist with particular interests in interactions between glaciers and the climate system, as well as hydrochemical processes in glacial environments.

Publications

Martin Sharp's publications can be found by searching his ORCID-iD or his Google Scholar page.


Our Facilities

The ice core facility consists of three rooms:

  • a -40°C archive room where the ice is stored,
  • a -25°C working freezer,
  • and a room-temperature analytical lab.

The working freezer houses bandsaws, chop saws, a horizontal saw, and two ice core scanning systems (an Intermediate Layer Core Scanner, and a Large Area Scan Macroscope, both designed specifically for the digital scanning of ice).

The room-temperature analytical lab houses various instruments and systems for measuring the chemical and isotopic composition of liquid ice core samples.

Ali Criscitiello and Anne Myers examining ion chromatography data in the ice cores lab

Alison Criscitiello (left) and Anne Meyers (right) examine ion chromatography data in the room-temperature analytical lab.

The Ice in the Archive

The archive currently contains 1.4 km of ice predominantly from the Canadian High Arctic, including core samples from the:

  • Penny Ice Cap,
  • Devon Ice Cap,
  • Prince of Wales Icefield,
  • and Agassiz Ice Cap.

The archive also includes ice core samples from Mount Logan in The Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada, which is the tallest mountain in the country.

Ali Criscitiello, glaciologist, examines an ice core sample in the archive freezer.

Alison Criscitiello examines an ice core in the -40°C archive room where the ice is stored.


Research Highlights

In the ice core lab, our glaciologists and chemists analyze core samples to track climate variability, pollutants and carbon deposition trapped in polar ice, and more.

Currently, our scientists investigate a variety of research problems all across northern Canada:

Location

Project

Devon Island,
Nunavut
Investigating the subglacial lakes on the Devon Ice Cap and their potential for life
Ellesmere Island,
Nunavut
Investigating temporal trends of emerging pollutant and mercury deposition through ice core sampling on northern Ellesmere Island
Axel Heiberg Island,
Nunavut
Drilling on the island to study the history of sea ice variability in the area west of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Mount Logan,
The Yukon Territory
Re-drilling of the Mount Logan summit plateau ice core, a high-resolution record of Pacific climate variability
Columbia Icefield,
Western Canada
Deep ice coring on the icefield (Snow Dome) to investigate contaminant burdens stored in the ice which may be increasingly released in the warming climate, and to explore the recent history of black carbon deposition on the icefield from major forest fires in western Canada

Ice Core Expedition Photo Galleries

Explore our photo galleries to follow our researchers' expeditions to various icecaps and glaciers where they drill and collect ice cores for the archive.

A cliff leading into ice-covered ocean near the Devon Ice Cap in the Canadian Arctic

Click the album thumbnail to view our Prince of Wales Icefield and Devon Ice Cap expedition photos.

Prince of Wales Icefield and Devon Ice Cap, Nunavut, Canada (2015)

Ali Criscitiello drilling an ice core sample on the Agassiz Ice Cap in Nunavut, Canada.

Click the thumbnail to view our Agassiz Ice Cap expedition photos.

Agassiz Ice Cap, Ellesmere Island, Canada (2016)

Two Adélie penguins staring off into the distance of an ice field in Antarctica.

Click the thumbnail to view our Antarctica expedition photos.

Mount Brown, Antarctica (2017/18)