Family and friends mourned the visionary Arctic researcher and Professor David Barber of the University of Manitoba.
Barber, a distinguished professor, founding director of the Earth Observation Science Center and vice president of research at the school of environment, earth and resources, died on Friday due to complications of cardiac arrest.
When barber, 61, was alive, he had his wife Lucite, three children and two grandchildren.
His eldest son Jeremy barber said he was as important in the family as in academia.
Jeremy told CBC News: “I think people may know that he is an Arctic, he is a part of the whole person, but it is a symbol for the rest of his life.”.
“He is a very enthusiastic person, a very loyal father, husband and family members.”
Jeremy said that David is the president of Canadian Arctic system science and climate change research. He is very interested in involving his family in his work.
“In 1999, I went to a remote camp with him and took a helicopter ride north of resolute bay for two hours to live with him. He has done this all my life,” he said.
“I don’t know how he made a nine year old climb up the ice cap, but it’s something I’m very grateful for and the positioning of me and my brothers and sisters as human beings.”
Tim papakyriakou, a climatologist at the University of Missouri, has also spent a long time with barber in the Arctic highlands – sometimes even in tents on sea ice.
“He’s a very, very smart person, very intuitive, and a very tall person… So when your snowmobile gets stuck or something else happens, yes, you want Dave to be with you,” papakiriaku said.
Papakiriaku said barber had left a “huge footprint” on Arctic research locally, nationally and internationally.
Barber played an important role in the development of many large international multidisciplinary networks and helped ensure the security of major research infrastructure in the Arctic.
“He returned to the University of Manitoba because he wanted to contribute here. He was a super proud manitoban, a super proud Canadian who loved the Arctic. He worked tirelessly to get Canada back on the map of Arctic research, and he did it.” He said.
Barber was awarded the Canadian Nobel Prize in 2016 and is recognized as “one of the most influential Arctic researchers in China”
Wang Feiyue, a professor of Arctic environmental chemistry at MIT and chairman of Canadian research, colleague and friend, said that barber lost his position as a visionary and leader in this field, which will be felt all over the world.
“The impact most people feel is his leadership. His vision is that we must solve the complex problems of climate change and Arctic Change… Not only academia, but also industry, communities and governments work together to prepare for what will happen in the northern Arctic,” Wang Xiaobo said.
He was particularly disappointed that barber could not attend the opening ceremony of the Churchill marine Observatory in Churchill port., He thought it would change the rules of the game.
“This is the first important scientific infrastructure in the Arctic… So one of my biggest regrets is that David didn’t see the grand opening ceremony of the facility and all the research to be carried out at the facility,” Wang said.