Celebrating the climate change work of Dr. Pierre Fogal on top of the workd at Ellesmere Island.

Every year since 2018, eMERGE honours ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fight climate change. The passion and leadership that these Climate Change Heroes have demonstrated has been an inspiration to all of us. This year, we are thrilled to honour Dr. Pierre Fogal, our 2021 Climate Change Hero.

Native to Guelph, Dr. Fogal conducts climate change research as Site Manager at the PEARL Laboratory in Eureka on Ellesmere Island in the high arctic. His work as Senior Research Associate at Department of Physics of the University of Toronto inspired us with his enthusiasm and ability to share both the science and the ‘pretty pictures’. Like most of us, he has had to work from home during the pandemic and forgo his 6,000 kilometer commute to the office. We hope he can get back to Eureka soon! 

Check out his video and slides with the link below.

A recording of the webinar can be found on our YouTube Channel here!

The slide deck for this webinar is now available here.


About Dr. Pierre Fogal

Pierre Fogal was born and raised in Guelph. He grew up “in the country” on the edge of the east end of Guelph and attended Bishop MacDonell High School back when it was still on the hill. He then went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Waterloo followed by graduate work at the University of Denver. It was during that time that he met and married Theresa, his wife of 27 years. They have 3 children, Alexander, Andre and Serena. Pierre’s field of research is atmospheric composition determined through infrared spectroscopic study. He has done this using spectrometers located on aircraft, stratospheric balloons, and the ground. Much of his ground-based work has occurred in the Arctic and Antarctic. In 2004 he was recruited to help with the establishment of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) located at 80N on Ellesmere Island, NU. He has been the PEARL Site Manager since then. Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic he typically spent 3 months of the year in the Canadian High Arctic. Pierre is also a founding board member of the Guelph Renewable Energy Coop.

Read a great feature article on Pierre from Grand Magazine click here!


More about PEARL

PEARL is a member site of both the Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition (NDACC) Change and the Total Column Carbon Observing Network (TCCON). In both networks, spectroscopic data is analyzed to provide the amount and sometimes the distribution of a trace gas in the atmosphere. TCCON provides measurements of carbon dioxide and methane. NDACC of several molecules, all of them important in atmospheric processes such as ozone destruction and atmospheric temperature. The polar regions are often described as a “canary in a coal mine” as changes there are more easily discerned than in mid-latitudes where most atmospheric measurements are carried out. PEARL is also an ideal site for carrying out the satellite validation measurements needed to track the performance of satellite instruments. Every year in late February, PEARL hosts a campaign to validate the instruments of the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment on the Canadian SciSat launched in 2003, and for the Canadian OSIRIS instrument on the Swedish Odin satellite launched in 2001.

To learn even more about PEARL, please visit http://www.candac.ca


About eMERGE Climate Change Heroes

Every year, eMERGE honours ordinary people doing extraordinary things to fight climate change; locally and around the world. The passion and leadership that these Climate Change Heroes have demonstrated has been an inspiration to all of us.

Dr. Barry Smit 2018

Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, Nobel Prize winner as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dr. Karen Farbridge 2019

She went from grass roots organizing with her early work at OPIRG, to a PhD in Zoology and then became the first female Mayor in Guelph. All of that enabled her to become an urban connector helping communities and governments across the country fight climate change in practical and achievable ways.

Indigo Kim and Saffron Binder 2020

In a very short period of time Indigo and Saffron have motivated students from across the city to demand deep and profound climate action.  From organizing student walkouts to lobbying city council to declare a climate emergency – they have shown repeatedly that young people can and will step up to take action. And these young women are still teenagers!


The sponsors of this event:

The Making Box & Barry Cullen