Lessons learned from 100 winter nights on Lake Winnipeg
From 1996 to 2004 Dr. Giesbrecht completed 4 winter expeditions walking the length of Lake Winnipeg as part of a training regime to go to the North Pole. Although a knee injury ultimately prevented a North Pole attempt, the 100 days and nights on Lake Winnipeg provided many lessons about preparation for big endeavors including physical conditioning, mental preparation, and the care and maintenance of equipment which does not preform the same in cold environments.
Gordon Giesbrecht, Ph.D.
Gordon Giesbrecht, Ph.D. is a Professor of Thermophysiology in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, at the University of Manitoba. Gordon studies human responses to exercise/work in extreme environments and has been the Director of the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine since 1991. He has conducted hundreds of cold water immersion studies that have provided life-saving information about physiology and pre-hospital care for human hypothermia. He has also conducted over 100 vehicle submersions with people in them, to study survival and exit strategies in sinking vehicles. He has over 100 publications, and helped create instructional educational programs for drowning prevention and treatment, such as Cold Water Boot Camp (www.coldwaterbootcamp.com); Beyond Cold Water Boot Camp (www.beyondcoldwaterbootcamp.com); Baby It’s Cold Outside (www.bicorescue.com for responders and www.ownthecold.ca for the general public) and written protocols used by Emergency Response Operators around the world.
Dr. Giesbrecht has been a consultant for the military in Canada, the US and Sweden (including US Special Forces and JTF2 in Canada), as well as the Coast Guard in both Canada and the US. He has also worked with the FBI and other law enforcement organizations across Canada and the US.
Gordon was dubbed Professor Popsicle in a feature article in Outdoor Magazine in 2003, and has appeared on the “Late Show With David Letterman” in 2004, “The Nature of Things with David Suzuki” (twice), and the “Rick Mercer Report” (three times). He has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and several National Network News Networks in both Canada and the US. Dr. Giesbrecht’s combination of scientific publication and media profile have paved the way for extensive experience with knowledge translation for non-scientific target groups in the areas of cold water survival and drowning prevention.