Photo of Chris Burn

Speakers / Chris Burn

Chris Burn

Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University

Department:Geography and Environmental Studies


Chris Burn is an expert in permafrost and ground ice, who works closely with western Arctic communities and agencies to identify and track the connections between warming northern climates and changes to terrain conditions. Since the 1980s, Burn has been studying permafrost near the central Yukon village of Mayo and in the western Arctic. Through decades of collective research and relationship building, Burn helped lay the groundwork for a landmark community partnership between Carleton University and the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun that is centred around knowledge co-creation related to sustainable climate solutions.

A Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton, Burn served as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada’s Senior Northern Research Chair from 2002-2012. In 2018, he received the Governor General’s Polar Medal in recognition of his significant contributions to furthering knowledge of the polar regions. Most recently, in 2022, Burn was honoured by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, who awarded him the Martin Bergmann Medal for Excellence in Arctic Leadership, and in 2023, he received the Award for Scholarly Distinction of the Canadian Association of Geographers – the most senior recognition bestowed by the discipline in Canada.