Thomas J. Duck

Tom Duck earned his Ph.D. in Physics (1999) at York University, where he studied the dynamics of the Arctic stratosphere. After spending two-and-a-half years at MIT Haystack Observatory in Boston, Massachusetts, he joined the faculty at Dalhousie University where he is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science.

While at Dalhousie he co-founded the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) which operates the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in the High Arctic at Eureka (Nunavut). His research group built an advanced remote-controlled lidar (laser radar) system for PEARL that is used to study climate change processes and Arctic pollution.

He was an International Science Team Co-Investigator and lidar specialist on the Phoenix Mars Scout mission that detected water and snowfall on Mars in 2008. Over the past few years he has been an advocate for science and evidence-based policy making. His work on raising awareness about federal government cutbacks and the loss of scientific capacity at Environment Canada, and in particular the closure of its world-renowned ozone group, earned him the 2011 Neil J. Campbell medal from the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.


Tom Duck détient un doctorat en physique (1999) de l'Université York, où il a étudié les dynamiques de la stratosphère arctique. Après deux ans à l'Observatoire Haystack du MIT à Boston, Massachusetts, il s'est joint à l'Université Dalhousie où il est actuellement un professeur associé dans le Département de la physique et les sciences atmosphériques. Là, il a cofondé le Réseau canadien pour la détection des changements atmosphériques («CANDAC») qui opère le Laboratoire de recherche sur l'atmosphère des environnements polaires («PEARL») dans le Haut-Arctique, à Eureka (Nunavut).

Son groupe de recherche à bâti un LIDAR télécommandé pour PEARL qui étudie les changements climatiques et la pollution arctique. Il était co-investigateur de l'équipe scientifique internationale et spécialiste de LIDAR sur la mission Phoenix Mars Scout qui a détecté de l'eau et des chutes de neige sur Mars en 2008.

Depuis quelques années, il revendique en faveur de la politique publique basée dans la science et les preuves. Ses travaux en exposant les coupures fédérales et la perte de capacité scientifique à Environnement Canada, et en particulier la fermeture de son groupe d'ozone de renom international, lui a gagné la Médaille Neil J. Campbell de la Société canadienne de météorologie et d'océanographie.

Posts & Activities by Thomas J. Duck

  • Echoes of Walkerton in Environment Canada cuts


    Albert Einstein’s well-known definition of insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” is unsettlingly relevant to a new round of federal government cuts. The latest slashing of Environment Canada, which by 2016 will have half the budget it had in 2007, calls to mind a series of deep cuts to environmental protections in Ontario in the late 1990s. Some of the players are even the same, so they cannot reasonably claim to be ignorant of the tragic consequences.

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  • Cynically hiding our heads in the (oil) sands


    First she was against Northern Gateway — now she’s for it. What a difference an election makes.

    B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s reversal on the Northern Gateway pipeline project is typical of these cynical times we live in, when the lure of quick oil wealth outweighs any responsibility for the threat of climate pollution.

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