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David Pearson

David Pearson

Full Professor | Co-Director, Graduate Diploma in Science Communication

School of the Environment
Science, Engineering and Architecture
LL-132 Sudbury Campus


Dr. David Pearson is a Professor in the School of the Environment, working in the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian. He is an earth scientist and was a member of the Department of Earth Sciences from 1969 until 2005 when he became one of the two founding Co-Directors of the Laurentian University / Science North Graduate Diploma Program in Science Communication.  From 1980 to 1986 he was on leave from Laurentian as the Project Director and then Founding Director of Science North. 

From 2001 to 2007 David was founding Chair of the Ontario Office of the Canadian Climate Impacts and Adaptation Research Network housed at Laurentian and is now science advisor to its successor, the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources. From 2008 to June 2010 he was Co-Chair of the Ontario government's Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and also chaired the provincial government's Science Advisory Panel for Ontario's Far North Initiative. He has hosted two TV series: "Understanding the Earth" (TV Ontario) and "Down to Earth" (Mid Canada TV); and was “Dr. Dave”, the scientist for CBC Northern Ontario's weekly Radio Lab" from 1982 to 1997. 


  • B.Sc.  Hons. Geology, Durham University, U.K. 1963
  • Ph.D., D.I.C. Imperial College, London  1967

Academic Appointments

1969 - present   Laurentian University


David is currently working with remote First Nation communities in Far North Ontario to develop adaptation plans in preparation for growing risks from changing climate. He is also leading efforts to motivate young people in those communities to be interested in science through the Lake Centre's Far North Ontario Youth in Science Opportunity Program. David is a member of an NSERC multi-partner strategic research network team (Canadian Network for Aquatic Ecosystem Services) with particular responsibility for science communication and developing relationships with Far North Ontario First Nations along with the Lake Centre's Co-ordinator of First Nation Relationship Building, Chantal Sarrazin-Selay.


David received the Geological Association of Canada's Ward Neale Medal for communication of the earth sciences in 2001 and in 2003 he was awarded the McNeil Medal of the Royal Society of Canada for public communication of science. In 2002 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal for public service in Sudbury and in 2004 was recognized as a Community Builder for commitment and leadership in the Environment. ​