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Kathy Lynn Young

Kathy Lynn Young



PhD Physical Geography-Arctic Hydrology, McMaster University
Msc Physical Geography-Hydrology, University of Toronto
BSc (Honours) Geography and Biology, University of Toronto

Research Keywords

Arctic Hydrology; Hydrology Of Extreme Environments; Snow Hydrology; Arctic Slope Hydrology.

Kathy Young

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

416 736 2100

Research Interests

My research and teaching since my time at York U reflect my interest in various aspects of northern hydrology, microclimate and my experience of working in northern environments. I have expertise in the Canadian High Arctic in the fields of wetland hydrology and snow hydrology, and more recently, I have been exploring the impact of dust and volcanic ash on the hydrology of slopes and wetlands in Iceland.  I believe strongly in hands-on experiential learning for undergraduate and graduate students and my favourite undergraduate class to teach is the advanced physical geography course. I have taken students to Hawaii to study beach erosion, and the micro-climate of volcanoes and rain forests. In 2013, I took students to New York City to study the Impact of Hurricane Sandy on the physical environment. In 2017, I together with teachers from Riverdale Collegiate led both senior geography students and high school students to Iceland to explore its unique climate, culture and geology – volcanoes and glaciers.

Research Projects

Hydrogeomorphology of Lava Rise Pits, SE Iceland (P.I. Kathy L. Young);

Role of Macropores in Arctic Wetland Hydrology, SE Iceland (P.I. Kathy L. Young);

Climatology of the Shoulder Seasons, Polar Bear Pass, Nunavut (collaborators: Mr. C. Labine, Founder & Retired Chief Scientific Advisor, Campbell Scientific Canada Corp.; Dr. Laura Brown, UTM);

Hydrology and hydrochemistry changes in the Shuswap river basin, British Columbia (collaborators:  Mr. C. Labine, Founder & Retired Chief Scientific Advisor, Campbell Scientific Canada Corp; Dr. Melissa Lafreniere, Queen’s U).

Research Output

2020:       Schefel, H. and K.L. Young. Water Level and Groundwater Dynamics across a Sandur-Wetland Landscape in Response to Seasonal and Episodic Events, South-East Iceland. Wetlands 41(2):27.

2019:       Young, K.L. Swings in runoff at Polar Bear Pass: An extensive low-gradient wetland, Bathurst Island, Canada. Hydrology Research, 50.2, 778-792.

2018:       Young, K.L., L. Brown and C. Labine.  Snow cover variability at Polar Bear Pass, Nunavut. Arctic Science, 4: 669-690.  

2017:       Young, K.L. H-A. Scheffel, A. Abnizova and J.R. Siferd. Spatial and temporal dynamics of groundwater flow across a wet meadow, Polar Bear Pass, Bathurst Island, Nunavut. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes, 28, 2: 405-419.

2016:       Miller, E.A. and K.L. Young. Evaluation of the presence of streambed vegetation on storage and runoff in hillslope streams in a High Arctic environment. Ecohydrology, 9: 719-37, in press, July, 2015. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1669.

2015:       Abnizova, A., E.A.  Miller, K.L. Young and S. Shakil. Hydrological and physico-chemical variability of small ponds across a High Arctic wetland during several thaw seasons. Hydrological Sciences Journal, accepted for publication Jan. 30, 2015.

Muster, S., M. Langer, A. Abnizova, K.L. Young and J. Boike. Spatio-temporal sensitivity of MODIS land surface temperatures indicates high potential for large-scale land cover change detection in Arctic permafrost landscapes. Remote Sensing of Environment,168: 1-12.

Young, K.L., M. LafreniereS. Lamoureux, A. Abnizova and E. Miller. Recent multi-year streamflow regimes and water budgets of hillslope catchments in the Canadian High Arctic: Evaluation and comparison to other small arctic watershed studies. Hydrology Research, 46.4, 533-550, accepted for publication, July 3, 2014, online Aug. 12. DOI::10.2166/nh.2014.004.

2014:       Abnizova, A., K. L. Young and M. Lafrenière.  Pond hydrology and dissolved carbon dynamics at Polar Bear Pass wetland, Bathurst Island, Nunavut. Ecohydrology, 7, 1, 73-90.

Woo, M.K. and K. L. Young. Disappearing semi-permanent snow in the High Arctic and its consequences. Journal of Glaciology, 60, 219, 192-200.

2020:       Young, K.L. Brown, L.C.  and Dibike, J. Arctic wetlands and lakes: dynamics and linkages. In Arctic Hydrology, Permafrost, and Ecosystem: Linkages and Interactions. Yang, D. and D. Kane (Eds.). Springer. ISBN: 978-3-030-50930-9.

Scheffel, H-A. and Young, K.L. Water level and groundwater dynamics across a sandur-wetland landscape in response to seasonal and episodic events, South-east Iceland. Wetlands, submitted April 7, 2020.

2017:       Lafreniere, M., Lamoureux, S. F., Young, K. L., Vincent, W. F., Muir, D. C. G., and Kirk, J. L. 2017. Drivers, trends and uncertainties of changing freshwater systems in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. In: Bell, T. and Brown, T. M. (eds) Policy in the Eastern Canadian Arctic: An Integrated Regional Impact Study (IRIS) of Climate Change and Modernization. ArcticNet, Quebec City, pp 161-187.

Recognition & Awards

  • Massey College, UofT Visiting YorkU Scholar
  • Canadian Geophysical Union: Meriltorious Service Award
  • Arctic Institute of North America Fellow




Course CodeTitle
GEOG LPS/SC 2400.06Hydrosphere (Hydrology section)
GEOG LPS/SC 4310.03Dynamics of Snow & Ice  
GEOG LPS/SC 3540.03Physical Geography Research Design & Field Studies
GEOG LPS/SC 4400.03Physical Hydrology


Course CodeTitle
GEOG EUC/SC 2400.06Hydrosphere (Hydrology section)
GEOG LPS/SC 4310.03Dynamics of Snow & Ice  
GEOG LPS/SC 3540.03Physical Geography Research Design & Field Studies
GEOG LPS/SC 4400.03Physical Hydrology



Course CodeTitle
GEOG 5430.30Dynamics of Snow & Ice  
GEOG 5430.30Physical Hydrology & Water Resources
GEOG 6060.00Reading Course-Hydrogeomorphology of Iceland