Dr. Grant Gunn joined the MSU Geography Department in August 2016. He earned his undergraduate degree in Geography with a Diploma in GIS Excellence from the University of Waterloo (Canada). Remote Sensing was a late addition into his courses, at which time he was inspired by the amount of surface and landcover information that can be retrieved through the understanding of spectral signatures and signal interaction, which is especially useful for remote regions like the Arctic. He continued on to complete his Masters degree in Remote Sensing spending time in the field in Arctic conditions, validating ground based and spaceborne observations for a proposed satellite mission to the European Space Agency called the Cold Regions Hydrology High Resolution Observatory (CoReH2O). He went on to earn a PhD in Remote Sensing at the University of Waterloo in 2015 with a focus on the microwave observation and retrieval of lake ice characteristics (ice thickness, freeze-onset, melt-onset, phenology) using ground and space-borne radar sensors. After finishing his PhD, he joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to support the investigation of the novel use of optical and radar technology to retrieve soil moisture and cover crop characteristics in Southern Ontario. He has taught remote sensing and hydro-climatology courses throughout his research career. When I’m not working, he enjoys traveling, playing baseball, and is a fanatical hockey fan (Go Leafs Go!).
Dr Gunn’s current research interests aim to improve the retrievals of freshwater ice parameters in sub-Arctic and Arctic environments through the application of new and emerging technologies, and novel methods, including: airborne/spaceborne synthetic aperture radar, high-performance cloud computing (ex. Google Earth Engine), interferometry, polarimetric decomposition and statistics, thermodynamic modeling, and the collection of field variables to validate these remote observations. He is currently interested in the application of these methods to small lakes and ponds that are numerous in tundra and boreal regions, which provide significant ecosystem services to local communities through fishery/game habitat and winter transportation corridors. He approached these research questions by incorporating field observations and modeling efforts to improve the understanding of the interaction of microwaves with physical features of the lake system, thereby providing the ability to retrieve and monitor ice properties, furthering the ability to predict how lake ice regimes may change in future climates.