Canada 150

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, we asked some Canada Excellence Research Chairs to tell us what Canada means to them in 150 words. Here’s what they had to say.

"For me, Canada has been a land of unprecedented opportunity. Canada faces some of the highest rates of warming in the world; with retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, changing precipitation patterns and river flows, and damaging extreme events. We have some of the world’s largest lakes, but water quality is degrading under the increasing influence of human activities. Developing the science needed to understand, predict and manage these changes is an exciting challenge. To address it, Canada has provided me with extraordinary scientific freedom and research support to make a real difference both nationally and globally. CERC funding helped build a world-class institute at the University of Saskatchewan, which in turn led to the largest water science research award in the world: the CFREF-supported Global Water Futures program. As a result of these unique opportunities, the world is now looking to Canada for leadership and expertise, and I am proud to have helped move this important research agenda forward."

—Howard Wheater, CERC in Water Security, University of Saskatchewan

"Canada has been good to me. I moved here in October 2010 to take up the Chair in Arctic Resources at the University of Alberta. Thanks to the generosity of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program and the University of Alberta, I have been able to build a world-class research laboratory and group. We have established the University of Alberta as the world's premier place to study diamond formation and exploration. The positive attitude of Canadians and the strong government support for applied and ‘blue-skies’ research make Canada a great place to do research. Through my field-based research program, I’ve been afforded numerous once-in-a-lifetime experiences to see the beauty and uniqueness of Canada’s North–something you can appreciate only by going there. My wife and I have enjoyed Canada so much that we are now Canadian citizens and are planning to spend the rest of our lives here."

—Graham Pearson, CERC in Arctic Resources, University of Alberta

"I am still at the beginning of my relationship with Canada, having only recently moved to Montreal from Italy. Moves like this entail so many changes, both personally and professionally, so at times—even for a data scientist—it is hard to quantify my feelings. What I have seen, I like. Canada has a terrific research environment, one that I can combine with an exceptional cultural and social life here in Montreal. On a daily basis, I experience so much constructive encouragement; maybe it is Montreal, maybe it is Canada, but here I feel empowered to see challenges as opportunities, not as burdens. Last but not least, I am enjoying the politics. With so much going on almost everywhere else in the world, I feel relaxed in Canada and this is a very pleasant feeling."

—Andrea Lodi, CERC in Data Science for Real-Time Decision-Making, Polytechnique Montréal