POLAR Research and Projects

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Polar research

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is Canada’s lead federal agency to strengthen Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. POLAR fulfills a brokering role, strengthening connections between the Canadian research community and decision makers, and facilitates collaboration and partnerships to address key knowledge gaps in the polar regions. It is Canada’s adhering body to the International Arctic Science Committee (http://iasc.info/) and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (http://www.scar.org/). POLAR also serves as a primary point of contact for the international polar research community to explore opportunities to pursue research in Canada’s Arctic and to collaborate with Canadian researchers in the Antarctic.

POLAR’s pan-northern Science and Technology Program priorities for 2015-20 consist of:

  • Alternative and renewable energy for the North;
  • Baseline information to prepare for northern sustainability;
  • Predicting the impacts of changing ice, permafrost, and snow on shipping, infrastructure and communities;
  • Catalysing improved design, construction, and maintenance of northern built infrastructure

Research projects funded by Polar Knowledge Canada

POLAR funds science and technology, capacity building, and knowledge management projects as well as national workshops.

2015 - 2016 Funded projects list (PDF version, Part 1, Part 2)

2017 - 2019 Funded projects list (PDF version Projects 2017-19)

For funding opportunities visit our Funding for researchers page.

Resources for researchers



  • The Antarctic Treaty – Establishes Antarctica as a place for peaceful and scientific purposes (http://ats.aq/e/ats.htm)
  • The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty – Designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science (http://ats.aq/e/ep.htm)
  • Antarctic Environmental Protection Act  - Canada’s Act to protect the Antarctic environment, which serves as the legislative basis the Canada requires to oversee Canadian activities in the Antarctic and fulfill the obligations of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (https://www.ec.gc.ca/gdd-mw/default.asp?lang=En&n=56303427-1)
  • Antarctic Environmental Protection Act Permits – Provides information on how to apply for a permit from Environment and Climate Change Canada to undertake activities in the Antarctic (https://www.ec.gc.ca/gdd-mw/default.asp?lang=En&n=4C72FBAF-1)
  • Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) – The international association that brings together national Antarctic programs to develop and promote best practices in managing the support of scientific research in Antarctica (https://www.comnap.aq/SitePages/Home.aspx)
  • The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) – Initiates, promotes and coordinates scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and provides international, independent scientific advice to the Antarctic Treaty system and other bodies (https://www.scar.org/)
  • Antarctic Environments Portal – Makes science-based information available to the Antarctic Treaty System and all Antarctic Treaty nations (https://www.environments.aq/)
  • Quantarctica – A free geographic information system package for Antarctica (http://quantarctica.npolar.no/)
  • Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS) – An international initiative that aims to facilitate the collection and delivery of essential observations on dynamics and change of Southern Ocean systems to all international stakeholders through design, advocacy and implementation of cost-effective observing and data delivery systems http://www.soos.aq/
  • Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) – Established by international convention with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life (https://www.ccamlr.org/)
  • International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) – Advocates and promotes the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic (http://iaato.org/home)


  • Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) – Creates opportunities for the development of innovative, international, and interdisciplinary collaborations among current early career polar researchers (http://www.apecs.is/)
  • Polar Data Catalogue (PDC) – A database of metadata and data that describes, indexes, and provides access to diverse data sets generated by Arctic and Antarctic researchers (https://www.polardata.ca/)
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