Polar Continental Shelf Program Advisory Board

Terms of Reference


  • To provide Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) and senior managers in Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) with guidance and advice on:
    • the logistical services and directions for PCSP to meet the needs of Arctic science;
    • the screening processes of project proposals; and
    • the consideration of traditional knowledge and Arctic communities' interests.
  • To provide a forum:
    • to allow federal, provincial and territorial agencies as well as universities involved in Arctic research to inform PCSP of their medium- and long-term priorities in the Arctic;
    • to allow PCSP to communicate its strategies in support of Arctic research, to discuss logistics priorities, and to coordinate activities between logistics providers; and
    • for PCSP and participating agencies to discuss and comment on logistical requirements needed to support Arctic research of the future.


The Board reports to the NRCan Director General responsible for PCSP.


Members, including the Chairperson, shall be invited by the NRCan Director General responsible for PCSP to serve for a term of up to three years. Terms may be renewed. Members should be selected from the main client base of PCSP, on a rotational basis.

The number of members will be limited to fourteen, with considerations as follows:

  • Four members should be selected from federal government departments and agencies (e.g., NRCan, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, National Museums of Canada, National Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Polar Commission, and the federal granting councils).
  • Four members should be selected from the academic community (e.g., universities, ArcticNet, Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies, Centre d'Études Nordiques, Canadian Circumpolar Institute).
  • Four members should be selected from Aboriginal Peoples' organizations, territorial governments and agencies.
  • Membership will include two ex-officio members: the Director of PCSP and the Chairperson of the Project Review Committee (PRC).
  • No replacement is allowed, as members are selected for their personal knowledge and expertise.
  • The members are to keep in confidence the deliberations associated with the evaluation of project proposals, and will be asked to sign a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Declaration upon becoming a Board member.

Meetings and Administration

The PCSP Advisory Board is supported by PCSP staff. Meetings are usually called twice per year, and include a face-to-face meeting in December.

Minutes of the meetings are prepared by PCSP staff for approval by the members.

Other invitees with polar interests may be requested to attend meetings from time to time, depending on the agenda of the meetings. Visiting invitees participate at the discretion of the Chairperson.

Members are responsible for identifying conflicts of interest and the Chairperson is responsible for the management of these issues during the meetings.


Members serve without remuneration and can apply for reimbursement of travel and living expenses associated with Board meetings, in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines.

PCSP Advisory Board Members (2014)

Bernard Funston (PCSP Advisory Board Chair)
Northern Canada Consulting

Elizabeth Boston
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Mathematical, Environmental and Physical Sciences Research Grant Directorate

Drikus Gissing
Director Wildlife Management
Government of Nunavut
Department of Environment

Siu-Ling Han
Head - Eastern Arctic Unit
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service

Donna Kirkwood
Director General
Natural Resources Canada
Central and Northern Canada Branch - Geological Survey of Canada

Esther Lévesque
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
Département de chimie-biologie

Scot Nickels
Senior Science Advisor
Director of the Inuit Qaujisarvingat: The Inuit Knowledge Centre
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

Wayne Pollard
McGill University
Department of Geography

Søren Rysgaard
Canada Excellence Research Chair
University of Manitoba
Department of Geological Sciences

Brent Wolfe
Professor and Graduate Coordinator
Wilfred Laurier University
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Robert Young
Division Manager AARD
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Arctic Aquatic Research Division

Ex-officio members

Kathy Young
York University
Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

David J. Scott
Executive Director
Canadian Polar Commission

Michael Jordan
Natural Resources Canada
Polar Continental Shelf Program