York University gains new Canada Research Chair and one renewed Canada Research Chair


TORONTO, October 12, 2012 – York University welcomes the appointment of Christian Haas as its new Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Arctic Sea Ice Geophysics and the renewal of a CRC in the History of Modern China for Joshua Fogel.

As Tier 1 CRCs, Haas and Fogel will each receive $1.4 million over seven years. The CRC is part of a package of CRC appointments announced today at the University of Toronto, by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

“Our government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister of State Goodyear. “By investing in talented people through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, our government is supporting cutting-edge research in Canadian post-secondary institutions. This fosters innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, where they can touch the lives of Canadians.”

In all, the government announced an investment of $121.6 million to fund the appointment of 155 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 42 Canadian degree-granting post-secondary institutions.

“The appointment of Professor Christian Haas as Canada Research Chair in Arctic Sea Ice Geophysics and the renewal of Professor Joshua Fogel as Canada Research Chair in the History of Modern China recognizes the excellence of their research and provides them with opportunities to further develop their exceptional research programs,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation at York University. “Through the CRC program, York continues to build on its research strengths and enhance opportunities for graduate training.”

Haas, a Professor of Geophysics, in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, in the Faculty of Science & Engineering, is examining the underlying reasons for the recent, rapid retreat of Arctic sea ice and the consequences for the Arctic climate system and ecosystem, for Northerners, and for better access to Arctic resources and shipping routes.  His research also addresses the role of changes in winds and ice drift as well as of variations in atmospheric radiation and temperature and ocean salinity and temperature on ice thickness and areal coverage.

A thorough understanding of the reasons for the recent Arctic sea ice decline will help fuel predictions of future scenarios and identify links to possible human-induced causes for climate change. 

Ice information obtained by Haas’ research utilizing airborne and ground-based field campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic, satellite remote sensing and numerical modeling provides important information for safe and environmentally responsible resource exploration and extraction, as well as shipping and over-ice travel.  His research contributes unique information on ice thickness, one of the most important sea ice properties for the design and regulation of offshore structures and ships, safe ice utilization and assessment of oil spill development.

Fogel, a Professor in the Department of History, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and member of York’s Centre for Asian Research has been examining the dynamic cultural and political relations between China and Japan over the past two centuries.

The history of modern China cannot be fully or properly understood, Fogel maintains, without examining the dynamic cultural, political, and economic interactions between China and Japan over the last two centuries. Fogel’s research focuses on this interaction and the importance of Japan in China’s modern development.

He is presently writing a comprehensive history of Chinese-Japanese relations from antiquity through the present as well as a more focused monograph on the history of the Japanese expatriate community in Shanghai (1862-1945). His work is premised on the fruitful assumption that the modern history of China is incomprehensible without a full consideration of modern Japanese history.

For more information, visit the Canada Research Chairs website.


York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni. 

Media Contacts:

Arielle Zomer, Research Communications, York University, 416 736 2100 x21069 / azomer@yorku.ca
Janice Walls, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x22101 / wallsj@yorku.ca