Issue 5, Spring 2017


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POLAR celebrates its 2nd anniversary

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) celebrated its second anniversary on June 1st 2017. It is already two years since the Canadian High Arctic Research Station Act established POLAR, merging the Canadian High Arctic Research Station project of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with the Canadian Polar Commission. Those two years have been an intense period of planning, organization, growth and development. POLAR has focussed on establishing operating procedures, hiring new staff in Ottawa and Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, expanding its Science and Technology and Knowledge Application functions, and on preparing to take over responsibility for the CHARS campus later this year.


POLAR staff increasing in Cambridge Bay

The number of POLAR employees based in Cambridge Bay is climbing steadily. By January POLAR will have 19 full-time staff there, about 50 percent of total full-time employees.

Number of POLAR employees in Cambridge Bay

Number of POLAR employees in Cambridge Bay

Thirteen Canadian leaders broaden their perspectives in the North

In early June, thirteen Canadian leaders from business, labour, government, NGOs, education, and the cultural sector visited Cambridge Bay as part of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. The Conference offers participants a two-week experience to broaden their perspectives on work, leadership, their communities and their country.

Their activities in Cambridge Bay included a meeting with POLAR president David Scott for an overview of the organization, and a tour of the Field and Maintenance Building of the CHARS campus.

Innovation consortium seeks collaboration opportunities in Cambridge Bay

An eleven-member group from Innoventures Canada visited Cambridge Bay at the beginning of June to learn about POLAR’s capabilities and to discuss opportunities for collaboration. Innoventures Canada is a consortium of research and technology organizations dedicated to improving innovation in Canada They listened to views on northern challenges from local representatives, and discussed potential solutions and opportunities for collaboration, including potential collaboration with POLAR.


POLAR’s third field season begins

POLAR-supported research teams will do research across the North this field season. Cambridge Bay area topics include:

  • Ecological Monitoring of arthropods
  • Aerial Surveys of Snow and Sea Ice
  • Arctic Freshwater Biodiversity
  • Climate Change Impacts on Vegetation, Habitats, Breeding Densities and characterization and mapping of terrestrial ecosystems mapping in southeast Victoria Island

More information on funded projects will be available soon on our website.

Managing polar data: mapping the way forward

POLAR was leading partner in the Canadian Polar Data workshop, held in late May in Ottawa. The purpose was to coordinate polar (Arctic and Antarctic) data management activities in Canada as work on specific action items that were raised during the 2015 workshop.

The next step will be deciding who will look after managing polar data in Canada.

POLAR and British Antarctic Survey cooperation

In April POLAR and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) cooperated on a study of changes in the snow and ice near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The study, which used  sensors mounted on BAS aircraft, sheds light on the effects of climate change on Arctic ecosystems and ice travel safety. This cooperative venture between BAS and POLAR opens a new chapter in cooperative scientific research between the United Kingdom and Canada

Toward a Canadian Antarctic research program

POLAR has published the report on the Canadian Antarctic Research Workshop, held in October 2016 in Ottawa. During the workshop over 60 members of the Canadian polar research and policy community explored opportunities to strengthen Canadian Antarctic research.


  • Students on Ice Canada C3 expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage arrival in Cambridge Bay August 26
  • A grand opening ceremony for the CHARS campus is planned for later in 2017. More details will be available soon.
  • Cambridge Bay Science-Intense Bioblitz (August 14) will survey nearshore marine life at locations around Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, using the CHARS campus as a base of operations.
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