Issue 8, Summer 2018

POLAR UPdate
(PDF version)

Developing POLAR’s Research and Strategic Plans for 2020-2025

Scientists and community members identifying species along the shore at Cambridge Bay. (POLAR)
Scientists and community members identifying species along the shore at Cambridge Bay. (POLAR)
In April, POLAR launched an engagement process to gather input for its next 5-year Research Plan and Strategic Plan that will guide future funding, programs and activities from 2020 to 2025. POLAR has also been engaging directly with the Canadian polar research and knowledge sharing community, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis groups and organizations. POLAR is now starting to compile feedback from the responses to its Call for Input, and from its engagement visits. The plans will be released in 2019.

2018 Field Season at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) campus

The 2018 field season in Cambridge Bay will be a busy one, with researchers from across Canada as well as other countries using CHARS campus accommodations and equipment, with assistance from POLAR’s hard-working Cambridge Bay staff. The field season will be in full swing by July, and a few researchers have already arrived, including a lemming biologist from the Canadian Museum of Nature, and researchers from the University of Calgary working on a greenhouse gas project.

The Arctic Research Foundation’s mobile science labs are used to operate sophisticated scientific equipment in remote locations in the Cambridge Bay area. (POLAR)

2018 Northern Housing Forum

Houses and other buildings in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Housing is an issue of concern in communities across the Arctic. (Ansgar Walk)
Houses and other buildings in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. Housing is an issue of concern in communities across the Arctic. (Ansgar Walk)
The 2018 Northern Housing Forum, organized by POLAR in collaboration with several federal and territorial departments and northern housing corporations brought together over 100 housing experts in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, in early May. A rare opportunity for northern housing experts and community members to meet and to discuss social, financial, and technical best practices in northern housing, the aim was to provide recommendations on northern housing design, implementation, and operational decision-making. The Forum will be used to generate a public summary report, a detailed best practices report for housing corporations and Indigenous associations, and a policy document with recommendations for decision-makers.

Science Odyssey Event in Cambridge Bay

Learning how to make a qulliq from an expert..(POLAR)
Learning how to make a qulliq from an expert..(POLAR)
In partnership with the Kitikmeot Heritage Society and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, POLAR held a qulliq-making and storytelling event -- a qulliq is an Inuit-style oil lamp -- in Cambridge Bay on May 16. The event, part of Science Odyssey, an annual Canada-wide celebration of science organized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, was aimed at grade 5 and 6 students. It included over 60 participants and featured demonstrations and talks from elders and other experts, on the design, use, and science of the lamps. With adult guidance the children then had the opportunity to make their own functioning qulliqs out of metal from discarded cans.

International researcher exchange program

Returning from a marine sampling excursion in the High Arctic.  (Katriina O’Kane)
POLAR has selected the Canadian participants for its pilot early career researcher exchanges with Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. Those on the Sweden, Denmark and Iceland exchanges will do research at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station campus in Cambridge Bay and at an arctic research station in the participating country. Researchers on the Canada-Finland exchange, which focuses on bioenergy, will work at the Cold Climate and Innovation Centre of Yukon College. POLAR staff are working with the participants to plan the research exchanges at the CHARS campus and participating research stations, some of which will begin this season. POLAR congratulates the successful Canadian applicants:

  • Guillaume Grosbois, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi – Canada-Sweden Arctic Research Exchange
  • Arthi Ramachandran, Concordia University – Canada-Denmark Arctic Research Exchange
  • Christoph Schilling, University of British Columbia - Canada-Finland Bioenergy Research Exchange
  • Nia Sigrun Perron, Université de Montréal – Canada-Iceland Arctic Research Exchange

Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation

Observer States and Organizer
The Agreement on Enhancing International Arctic Scientific Cooperation, negotiated among the eight Arctic countries, in consultation with six Indigenous Permanent Participants organizations of the Arctic Council, came into force in May. The Agreement will enhance circumpolar scientific cooperation, and is expected to attract more international researchers to Canada’s North, including the CHARS campus. POLAR has been identified as Canada’s competent national authority for the Agreement, with Global Affairs Canada as the point of contact for requests related to marine scientific research.

Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting

View from the Canadian desk at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Buenos Aires. (POLAR)
View from the Canadian desk at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Buenos Aires. (POLAR)
POLAR recently participated in the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, along with representatives from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Global Affairs Canada. A number of side meetings took place with countries active in the Antarctic region to advance potential Arctic-Antarctic collaboration. Under its Antarctic mandate, POLAR is exploring opportunities to develop a Canadian Antarctic Research Program to better coordinate, increase and expand Canadian Antarctic research to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the Antarctic region, global systems, and polar linkages.

Meet the POLAR Star!

You may start to notice POLAR's new identifier, the POLAR Star! Created by designer Wei Yew, this graphic consists of a star composed of a stylized maple leaf and snowflake. The geographic poles are represented with arrows at the top and bottom of the star, reflecting the pan-Northern and Antarctic elements of POLAR's mandate, and the star is tilted on the same angle as the Earth's axis. Keep an eye out for this positive and meaningful symbol that can be immediately recognized and connected with POLAR!

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