Alexandra "Sandy" Steffen

Physical scientist working for Environment Canada’s Air Quality Research Division

Sandy Steffen is National Senior Mercury Researcher at Environment and Climate Change Canada in Toronto, and also Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.  She is Lead mercury researcher for Atmospheric Processes Research (ARQP) Section at ECCC, specializing in environmental processes relating to the transport, transformation and deposition of mercury in and around the atmosphere.  She specializes in designing research to study the processes driving the transformation of mercury in and around the Canadian and Arctic atmospheres.  Her work focuses on investigation of the spatial and temporal trends of atmospheric mercury on a national, regional and global scale.  She serves as Science Advisor to the Canadian government for national policy including the Minamata Convention on Mercury.  Sandy’s work has shown that halogen chemistry above sea ice and snowpacks can result in rapid oxidation of elemental mercury that converts it to particle-phase mercury that can deposit to sensitive Arctic ecosystems.



Dr. Alexandra “Sandy” Steffen and Dr. Ralf Staebler, conducting experiments around Utqiaġvik, Alaska, discuss the challenges of working in such extreme conditions and how they have to adapt their equipment to withstand the harsh environment. Although they must plan carefully to make the most of their time here, they both agree that working in the Arctic is a valuable learning experience.

Read more

Dr. Alexandra “Sandy” Steffen has been working in the Arctic for over 13 years. Sandy emphasizes the importance of protecting the Arctic and its environment, which is crucial to the well-being of both the local communities and the world as a whole.

Read more