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New Book by Professor Emeritus Peter Adams Celebrates Trent University’s Pioneering Role in Northern Research


Book Launch Set for September 29, 2007 with Profits to Support Trent Students

Tuesday, August 21, 2007, Peterborough

Peter Adams finishing Arctic Marathon, 1979Professor Emeritus and former Peterborough M.P. Peter Adams has completed a new book exploring the national significance of Trent University’s arctic research entitled Trent, McGill, and the North: A story of Canada’s growth as a sovereign polar nation.

The book chronicles Prof. Adams’ active research career in the north where he studied snow and ice hydrometeorology and led dozens of arctic field courses for Trent geography students. Much of their research on Axel Heiberg Island was some of the earliest work recognizing climate change through glacier retreat.

“Students replaced the early explorers,” said Prof. Adams, noting that in 1970 the first group of Trent students headed north where they stayed in the McGill Subarctic Research station along the Quebec-Labrador border. “Prior to that, the only research going on in the north was conducted by professional field parties. It was a new idea at the time to send students up there to live and study for three to four months.”

He contends that the research conducted by these students and other Trent professors played a critical role building the necessary knowledge enabling the Canadian government to govern the Arctic more effectively. Hundreds of Trent students took part in Arctic expeditions, and continue to make important contributions as polar scholars.

Peter Adams drilling in Axel Heiberg“The story of these expeditions is an analogy of Canada’s progress as a sovereign polar nation,” explained Prof. Adams. “When I first went to the north in 1959, the Inuit didn’t have the vote and there was a limited Canadian presence in the Arctic, especially when compared to the Americans and Russians. Canada now trains its own people and has matured as a polar nation.”

Proceeds from the book will be donated to establish a new Trent student bursary to support a geography student who has financial need. Each dollar raised for this bursary will be matched by the provincial government through the Ontario Trust for Student Support program.

A book launch will be held at Trent University during the Head of the Trent festivities on Saturday, September 29, 2007 at 3 p.m. Trent, McGill and the North costs $20.00 and can be ordered in advance at Package Plus, located at 171A Rink St. in Peterborough by calling 749-1661. Further information about the book launch and advance ordering can also be found online.

Prof. Peter Adams was the founding chair of the Geography Department and former Dean of Graduate Studies at Trent University. He also was the Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies. From 1993-2006, Prof. Adams served as Member of Parliament for the Peterborough riding.


For further information, please contact:

Peter Adams
(705) 745-6904