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Dr. Frédérique Pivot

Dr. Frédérique Pivot

Assistant Professor

Contact information



Growing up on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean coast in France, I developed an unusual interest in the cold regions of the Earth at a young age, inspired by the stories of intrepid Polar explorers. This fascination drove me to pursue a PhD in physical geography at the University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, France, with a focus on remote sensing of snow cover in the Canadian Subarctic. This experience solidified my desire to specialize in this field and further explore the cryosphere, ultimately leading me to move to Canada to continue my research and academic pursuits.

Since joining Athabasca University in 2006, my focus has been on pursuing my passion as a physical geographer specializing in remote sensing. Specifically, I have been developing capabilities in advanced observing systems, including both technology and algorithms, to monitor changes over time and space in Earth's surface parameters and processes. As part of this work, I am currently exploring different methods for remote sensing, including the use of drones, to acquire geospatial information with higher precision and efficiency.

In addition to my research, I am committed to innovation in teaching and learning, particularly in the realm of online education. I collaborate with experts in computing and information systems to develop cutting-edge, technology-driven solutions that integrate fieldwork into our courses through mobile technology-guided field trips and collaborative virtual geographic environments. My ultimate goal is to enhance the physical geography and geospatial technology curriculum at Athabasca University by creating comprehensive online geography courses accessible to a broader audience, thereby fostering a passion for geography among the next generation of learners.

Discover my research

Research interests

  • Leveraging remote sensing technology to advance our understanding of Earth's systems.
  • Monitoring and analyzing the dynamics of snow cover, as well as other cryospheric processes.
  • Utilizing drones and other advanced geospatial technologies to enhance environmental monitoring and data collection.
  • Creating innovative location-based mobile learning tools, virtual geographical environments, and open educational resources to enhance online geography and environmental science courses.

Educational credentials

  • Bachelor in Geography, Environmental Studies and Planning, 1994, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier, France
  • Master's in Physical Geography, with focus area in Climatology and Hydrology, 1995, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier, France
  • Diplôme d'Études Approfondies in Physical Geography, Natural Resources and Risks, 1996, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, France
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Physical Analysis of Geographical Environments, Natural Resources and Risks, 2000, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, France 

Professional affiliations

  • Member of the Canadian Association of Geographers - Association Canadienne des Géographes
  • Special Adviser to the Board of Aerial Evolution Association of Canada - Association pour l'Évolution Aérienne du Canada
  • Drone Pilot Certificate for Basic Operations