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Lassonde Professor Isaac Smith receives Canada Research Chair renewal


Isaac Smith, associate professor in the Earth & Space Science & Engineering department at York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering, has accepted a renewal as Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) in planetary science. Originally appointed in July 2018, Professor Smith continues to demonstrate research excellence and innovation in his work related to Martian environments and climate processes.

The Canada Research Chair Program (CRCP) is a strategic initiative which aims to establish Canada among the world’s leading countries in research and development. Investing more than $300 million each year, the program attracts and retains high-profile researchers across engineering and natural sciences, health sciences, humanities and social sciences to advance global knowledge, strengthen Canada’s international impact and train the next generation of skilled research professionals.

“The CRC Tier II position has given me the ability to develop a program that is at the cutting edge of research on several fronts,” says Professor Smith. “I have been able to attract and recruit high-quality graduate students who are capable of doing great science and building a strong foundation to receive other research grants. This renewal is important because it gives continuity to my 10-year research plan, which allows me to pursue ongoing investigations and advance my progress towards future goals.”

Through support from the CRCP and other prestigious organizations such as the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Professor Smith is actively pursuing many projects in planetary science. Among these, he is conducting orbital observations of carbon dioxide ice at the poles of Mars during the springtime, and searching for climate signatures on Mars from layers in ice caps and glaciers across the Martian environment. He is also using a one-of-a-kind environmental chamber to simulate winter conditions at the south pole of Mars, leading to new discoveries about the red planet.

“The CRC program has helped open many doors for me,” says Professor Smith. “I’m very grateful for all that it has provided.”

Congratulations Professor Smith!