Issue 9, Fall 2018

(PDF version)

POLAR 2018 research season

Permafrost coring in Kugluk Territorial Park, Nunavut
Permafrost coring in Kugluk
Territorial Park, Nunavut
The 2018 summer field season is drawing to a close. Highlights of the work conducted by POLAR in the Cambridge Bay area this year included the collection of biological specimens for the CHARS campus’ genomics laboratory; mapping and classification of terrestrial ecosystems; research on bird breeding ecology and migration; and testing of waste water, clean energy, and heat recovery systems in CHARS campus buildings. Near Kugluktuk a Government of Nunavut, Centre for Northern Studies, and POLAR permafrost research project provided training for local community members, including youth, using both scientific techniques and Inuit Knowledge.

Heads of Mission tour visits Cambridge Bay

Cambridge Bay welcomed over two dozen diplomats on the 2018 Northern Tour for the Heads of Diplomatic Missions on June 23, 2018. The diplomats arrived from Resolute and attended a presentation about Polar Knowledge Canada. They were then given a tour of the CHARS campus before they flew to their next stop in Inuvik. The delegation included Ambassadors and High Commissioners from countries including Germany, France, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Korea, and Vietnam.



POLAR student award applications - open October 15

Biology student Arthi Ramachandran, from Concordia University, who participated in the Canada-Denmark exchange, on Greiner Lake near Cambridge Bay
Biology student
Arthi Ramachandran,
from Concordia University,
who participated in
the Canada-Denmark exchange,
on Greiner Lake
near Cambridge Bay.

POLAR offers three scholarships for students in northern studies, in cooperation with the Canadian Northern Studies Trust:

  • The POLAR scholarship ($10,000) is awarded to an outstanding doctoral student at a Canadian university, whose thesis topic is interdisciplinary, and who is willing to communicate research results in a major forum.
  • The POLAR Northern Resident Scholarship (4 awards of $10,000) supports full-time graduate students who are long-term residents of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North, and are doing research for a thesis or equivalent project.
  • The POLAR Northern Resident Award (8 awards of $5000) supports full-time or part-time college or university undergraduate students who are long-term residents of Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, or the Provincial North.

The application period for these awards opens on October 15th 2018. More information is available here:

Early career researcher exchange pilot program

This summer POLAR, with its counterparts in Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Sweden, launched an early-career researcher exchange. Canadian students participating in this pilot program were paired with international counterparts with similar research interests, who wished to do research in Canada. Topics included freshwater bacterial diversity, remote sensing of vegetation, and bioenergy technology.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada visits the CHARS campus

In early September the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Catherine McKenna, visited Cambridge Bay. She toured the CHARS campus with POLAR staff members, who discussed with her current and potential future research opportunities, as well as POLAR’s role in bringing Indigenous Knowledge and science together in the creation of new knowledge.

POLAR 2018 conference

In June POLAR participated in POLAR 2018, one of the largest recent gatherings of international Arctic and Antarctic researchers. Co-hosted by both the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the conference took place in Davos, Switzerland. Over 125 Canadians took part, many as speakers. POLAR organized a number of bilateral meetings with the aim of strengthening its international Arctic and Antarctic partnerships.

POLAR joins Students on Ice 2018 Arctic Expedition

Angela with students at Sam Ford Fiord, Baffin Island, Nunavut
Photo: Natta Summerky/SOI
POLAR staff member Angela Nuliayok Rudolf joined the Students on Ice 2018 Arctic tour as an educator, introducing the students to POLAR and the CHARS Campus and her work on the respectful inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge in research. Angela discussed the close connection of Inuit to the ocean, and how they use stories to impart knowledge. She also participated in a panel discussion on how policy affects governance and society in the Arctic.

Giant circumpolar floor map & educational kit for Canadian schools

POLAR and Canadian Geographic Education have produced a giant floor map that lets students view Canada while standing at the top of the world. Canadian schools may borrow the map, which comes with an educational kit on many aspects of the polar regions - animal migration, communication and new technologies, climate change, and more. Information is available here:

Summer students at POLAR

Student employee
Emma Sutherland
from McGill University,
with a baby plover
This summer eleven students from universities and colleges across Canada worked at POLAR. Five, based in Cambridge Bay, assisted POLAR’s research and operations teams with collecting samples and planning logistics, while the others helped with the synthesis and analysis of reports, provided support at events, and assisted with science communication. The enthusiasm and expertise shared by our 2018 summer students helped advance numerous projects and programs over the last few months. We wish them well and look forward to seeing them soon!

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