Olav Slaymaker is an award-winning international expert in physical geomorphology and the environment of the cryosphere (landscapes of ice and snow). He has authored, co-authored, or edited nearly twenty books, including Mountain Geomorphology (Arnold, 2004), received dozens of international awards and special honours, and served on numerous major international and national professional associations and committees. Dr. Slaymaker came to UBC as an Assistant Professor in 1968.
Dr. Slaymaker has developed a range of interdisciplinary intellectual interests that have taken him from his original area of field measurement and analysis of erosional processes in the mountains of British Columbia to the analysis of lake sediments as proxies for climate and land use changes over the Holocene, and on to his current interest: the human implications of the great future environmental changes. Reflecting this shift in focus was the major Exploratory Workshop he led at the Peter Wall Institute in April 2003, Mutual Vulnerability, Mutual Dependence: The Reflexive Relation Between Human Society and the Environment.
At the Institute in 2005, Dr. Slaymaker organized another Exploratory Workshop for which he is the Principal Investigator: Assessment of Sensitivity to Disturbance of the Major Cryospheric and Socio-Economic Systems in the Circumpolar World, held February 26-28, 2006.