Skip To Content

Athabasca University

Frédérique Pivot

Assistant Professor, Physical Geography


Who I am

I grew up in Montpellier, France, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. There, I completed my undergraduate studies in Geography, at University Paul Valery. Since my early childhood, I dedicate a very great passion for the Polar regions I discovered through numerous Polar expeditions-related readings, which largely influenced my coming to Canada and career choice as a snow scientist. In 2000, I defended a thesis on remote sensing of snow cover in the Canadian Subarctic (Churchill, Manitoba) and received the PhD degree in Physical Analysis of Geographical Environments, Natural Resources and Risks from the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, France. After receiving my Ph.D., I held a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Northern Studies Centre, University Laval, Quebec. I finally spent two years at York University (Ontario) as a sessional Assistant Professor in Remote Sensing and Climatology, before joining Athabasca University in October 2006 as a full-time Assistant Professor in Physical Geography.

My Research Interests

Every research project I conducted since the Master’s degree were related to applied remote sensing, climatology/hydrology, cryospheric science, modeling and improvement of field measurement methods of cryospheric components, primarily snow cover and secondarily, lake ice and frozen ground/soil moisture. These field, remote sensing and modeling studies were in Quebec, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Yukon Territory and Nunavut.

In remote sensing, I have limited my methodology, until now, to satellite observations. I recently started to investigate an emerging field of remote sensing, that of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) observations, for improving the collection of cryospheric information at different spatial scales. I am currently developing a low cost UAV that will be equipped with an optical and a radar altimeter payload.

My Courses

I believe that quality research and teaching are closely related, both of which I feel strongly about. I consider that teaching acts as a wonderful way to share my passion for remote sensing and physical geography with students. I have developed and taught a wide-range of courses at the undergraduate/graduate levels, both in France and Canada in 1) climatology, hydrology and geomorphology, 2) environmental remote sensing and digital image processing, 3) geoinformatics, 4) hydrometeorology, 5) snow and ice dynamics, 6) statistics in geography, and 7) research methods in geography.

Updated December 11 2014 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.