Professors at the University of Manitoba are mourning the sudden death of one of their colleagues.
Dr. David Barber, one of the world’s most accomplished arctic researchers, passed away on Friday due to complications from cardiac arrest.
“Dave is one of these people that knew a lot about a lot of things,” said Tim Papakyriakou, a science professor at the U of M.
“It’s amazing the way he would see the different parts of the arctic system linking together.”
Barber taught within the University of Manitoba’s department of environment and geography for nearly 30 years.
He was best recognized in the science community for his work on snow over sea ice and has spent plenty of time up north with fellow U of M colleagues, including Papakyriakou.
“He was able to take a really complex idea and just simplify it down to something that that people would understand. And it was really the skill that that made him such a great ambassador for the science and for the north,” continued Papakyriakou.
Barber was extremely well recognized for his work over the years, having earned numerous honours such as Officer of the Order of Canada and the Northern Science Award, among others.
One of his former teachers and longtime friends, Rick Baydack, is still coming to terms with Barber’s death.
“I’ve been a faculty member for just about 45 years and I was Dave’s masters adviser, probably about 40 years ago when he finished his master of natural resources management,” said Baydack.
Their relationship went well beyond school and work.
“We did some hunting together. We’re both avid waterfowl hunters,” Baydack said.
“We spent early mornings and late afternoons out in a field or in a marsh trying to bring something home to our families.”
A celebration of life will be held for Dr. Barber on April 23 beginning at 1 p.m. inside the engineering atrium at the University of Manitoba.