Polar Knowledge Canada and the Canadian Museum of Nature partner to advance biodiversity and climate change research in the Arctic

News release

Ottawa, Ontario, December 16, 2022 – Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) and the Canadian Museum of Nature have signed a Letter of Agreement to continue collaborating on research and monitoring in the North and Arctic to further understand rapidly changing northern ecosystems.

POLAR and the Canadian Museum of Nature have a history of collaboration on research that improves our understanding of the Arctic environment. This agreement furthers the goal for both POLAR and the museum of improving knowledge of northern terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in the context of rapid environmental change. This agreement also contributes to Canada’s commitment to the conservation of biological diversity and new global targets currently being negotiated in Montreal at COP15 of the Conference of the Parties on Biological Diversity.

Over three years, POLAR will provide funding and in-kind field services to a value of $1 million to the Canadian Museum of Nature in support of researchers who will collect baseline information on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, focusing on population dynamics of lemmings, tundra vegetation and Arctic seaweeds and kelp forests. The museum’s researchers will have access to local field support experts and state-of-the-art facilities at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

These projects will also focus on biodiversity and on bridging Indigenous knowledge to answer a broad range of questions that impact northern communities. Some of that research will include:

  • the impacts of climate change on population dynamics and the abundance cycles of small mammals and the impact on other wildlife;
  • the vulnerability of Arctic plant species with different life history traits and flowering times in a warming climate;
  • the establishment of baseline data on marine biodiversity and distribution, specifically Arctic fish and seaweed.


Indigenous communities and all Northerners are feeling the impacts of climate change at a much higher rate than in southern Canada. Because of this undeniable fact, it is important that we continue to collaborate among governments, stakeholders and Indigenous rights-holders to improve our understanding of environmental changes, so we can find solutions that help build resilient communities across the North and Arctic.

Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

Working with the Canadian Museum of Nature and Indigenous and Inuit communities in the Arctic helps build more robust knowledge of the North that will help us to be better environmental stewards today and in the future.

Jennifer C. Hubbard, President and CEO, Polar Knowledge Canada 

Collaborations are essential to support field-based research. Our partnership with Polar Knowledge Canada ensures that our researchers can continue to contribute meaningful knowledge to advance an evidence-based understanding of environmental changes in the Arctic.

Dr. Danika Goosney, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of Nature.

Quick facts

  • Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is a Government of Canada agency reporting to the Minister of Northern Affairs, responsible for strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. It operates the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

  • POLAR’s mission is to conduct world-class Arctic research, advance knowledge of the Canadian Arctic, and strengthen Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. POLAR has a unique role to advance our collective understanding of polar environments by mobilizing current knowledge produced by others, in a meaningful and accessible way, to address the gaps and concerns of Northern communities.

  • The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences. It provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature’s past, present and future It achieves this through scientific research, a collection of 14.6 million specimens and artifacts education programs, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site. The museum’s Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration focusses its scientific expertise on research and documentation about the biological and geological diversity of Canada's North.

  • Recent Canadian Museum of Nature projects supported by POLAR include a diving expedition to document seaweed biodiversity in the waters near Cambridge Bay,  and a botanical survey of the new Agguttinni Territorial Park on Baffin Island.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Polar Knowledge Canada 
Asha St-Hilaire

Canadian Museum of Nature

Dan Smythe
Media Relations

Laura Sutin
Media Relations

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