Professor to debunk scientific myths of the North

Ming-ko Woo with trees and a mountain in the back

Professor Emeritus Ming-ko Woo of McMaster University’s School of Geography & Earth Sciences will debunk some of the myths surrounding the scientific study of Canada’s North on Monday.

The lecture, “Modern Myths in Northern Science”, will take place Feb. 6 at 7pm at 306 Accolade West Building, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend. The talk is presented by York University Geography Alumni Association and hosted by the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

Ming-ko Woo with trees and a mountain in the backMing-ko Woo

Woo’s research has focused on understanding the principles of catchment, hillslope and wetland hydrology, as well as assessing changes in hydrological systems by environmental stressors, such as climate variability and human modification to the landscape. More recently, he was the program leader of the Multi-Agent Geo-Simulation (MAGS) Project that studied how climate change and variability affects ice and snow dynamics and water resources in the Mackenzie River Basin. The project involved some 80 Canadian scientists and engineers.

He is especially known for his contributions to cold region hydrology. Much of his research took place near Resolute, Northwest Territories, where a river now officially bears the name McMaster River.

Woo is a member of the American Institute of Hydrology, a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. His specialization is in snow, permafrost, wetlands and water related research. He has conducted field studies in the far North for over three decades, working in a range of environments, from the polar desert of the High Arctic to the subapline woodlands in the subarctic and the extensive wetlands of Hudson Bay Lowlands. He has also investigated drought problems in northern Nigeria and the Canadian Prairies, soil erosion in south China, climate variability and hydrology of large-basins in north western Canada.

He is also the winner of the Tuzo Wilson Medal, the highest honour conferred by the Canadian Geophysical Union.

For more information, visit York’s Department of Geography website or contact ext. 55107 or