Terry Prowse

Terry Prowse
Impacts of climate variability

PhD (Canterbury)

Office: DTB B162

Professor Prowse joined the Department of Geography as an Environment Canada Research Chair in 2002 focused on the theme of "Climate Impacts of Water Resources."

In his capacity as Professor/Research and Senior Scientist with Environment Canada he leads a group of scientists and graduate students at the jointly sponsored University of Victoria and Environment Canada, Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (WCIRC). His main research interests focus on the impacts of climate variability and change on hydrology, water resources and freshwater ecosystems, with a special focus on cold-regions environments.

Recent graduate students and Post Doctoral Fellows have conducted their field work in a diverse set of environments including: high-elevation snow zones of the Okanagan basin, Mackenzie River delta and contributing rivers, Lake Winnipeg, and arctic tundra lakes including in northern Sweden.


His past research has focused on hydrologic, hydro-ecologic and hydro-climatic studies of alpine snow, permafrost, lake and river ice, northern rivers and wetland deltas, floods and disturbance ecology, arctic freshwater budgets, water isotopes, reservoir supplies and flow regulation. He was recently awarded a Doctor of Environmental Studies, Honoris Causa by the University of Waterloo for his work in these areas.

Over the past few years, he chaired an international group formulating a research plan for the Arctic focussing on hydrology and the cryosphere (ICARPII for the International Arctic Science Council). The plan formed a core theme for the International Polar Year/ Arctic-HYDRA program and the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) Climate and the Cryosphere (CliC) project.

Dr. Prowse is also a member of the international Scientific Steering Group for WCRP-CliC and leads one of their four main science themes entitled "The Terrestrial Cryosphere and Hydroclimatology of Cold Regions." Along the same theme, Dr. Prowse is a member of the Arctic Council-Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) evaluating the effects of climate change on the arctic cryosphere (SWIPA: Climate Change and the Cryosphere: Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic).


Dr. Prowse is the author of 120+ refereed journal publications, 35+ other chapters or chapters in books, editorship of 12 books or special journal issues, and 130+ scientific reports and proceedings. A number of his publications include major international scientific assessments, such as for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Specifically, he has been a lead author on various freshwater and cold-regions chapters (IPCC 1995; 2001; 2006; co-awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; plus the most recent IPCC 2008 technical report on water and climate); Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA 2005), and the 2008 Canadian National Assessment on Climate Change.

He is also the convening lead author of a SWIPA group of international authors assessing changes in "arctic lake and river ice and their effects," and co-chairing an assessment of climate change effects on the various cryospheric/hydrologic components that control the freshwater budget of the Arctic.

Selected Publications