Maps      |     CEOS     |      Dept. of Environment & Geography      |     Faculty of Environment     |     Libraries     


Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF)


Service 2 St. SW

University of Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB R3T 2T8


Tel.: +1-204-261-0933 (Technician)

+1-204-474-6250 (Chief Scientist)



















                               Photo by Sara Wang


The Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) is the first experimental sea-ice facility in Canada. Located on the campus of the University of Manitoba, the main feature of the SERF facility is an outdoor seawater pool (60 feet long, 30 feet wide and 8 feet deep). It is equipped with a movable roof to control snow cover and ice growth, and various sensors and instruments to allow real-time monitoring. The SERF facility also includes a trailer laboratory and a storage building.


By fabricating and growing sea ice under various controlled conditions, mesocosm-scale studies will be carried out at SERF to enhance our fundamental understanding of how sea ice forms and melts on polar oceans, and to gain insight into the processes that regulate the exchange of energy and matter between the ocean and atmosphere. Along with the concurrent field studies onboard the Canadian Research Icebreaker Amundsen in the Arctic Ocean, experimental studies at SERF will improve our ability to predict the impact of the rapid sea-ice loss on the marine ecosystem, on Arctic and global climates, on transport and biogeochemical cycles of greenhouse gases and contaminants, and on the human use of sea ice.


SERF is funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Manitoba Research and Innovation Fund, and the University of Manitoba. The project is led by Drs. Fei Wang, Tim Papakyriakou, David Barber, and Soren Rysgaard.


For further information, please contact Dr. Fei Wang (; Tel.: 204-474-6250).



(See SERF News for more updates)

Mar., 2012: End of Year 1 experiments

Feb. 10, 2012: Frost flowers bloomed at SERF

Feb. 8, 2012: SERF Grand Opening

Dec. 06, 2011: First pancake ice formed at SERF

Dec. 2011: Construction completed

May 2011: Construction started

Feb. 2011: Revised SERF design went out to tender

July 14, 2009: The fence of SERF was up!

Jan. 6, 2009: Formal announcement of funding from CFI.

Feb. 15, 2008: CFI-LOF proposal submitted to Ottawa.



Principal investigators at the Grand Opening. From left: Drs. Soren Rysgaard, Dave Barber, Fei Wang (SERF Project Leader), Tim Papakyriakou, and Norm Halden (Photo by Mike Latschislaw).


Frost flowers grown at SERF (photo by Fei Wang) (movie).


Pancake ice grown at SERF (photo by David Mosscrop).


The SERF complex (photo by Fei Wang)