… In modern society the process by which either individual or state interests impinge upon, and eventually dislodge, the family as the prime social unit has reached a very advanced stage. When, therefore, people such as the Eskimo, who have remained geared and accustomed to the protective pluralism of the extended family, are suddenly subjected to such a process, the individual is left insecure, lonely, directionless and meaningless. Eskimos retained in their traditional society in the hostile central Arctic a primordial social organization based on the extended family: e.g., two brothers with their wives and children and perhaps one or two of their parents. … [In this article an attempt is made] … to contrast social structure, prevailing values, attitudes and practices, and the personal roles and functions of family members, in traditional and modern Eskimo society. This form of tabulation is naturally far too generalized and simplified, compressing as it does a living continuum of great dynamic complexity, and with great local variations, into an exaggerated and polarized still-picture. It may nevertheless allow one to see more clearly some of the most important cultural and sociological trends which have had such an impact on the physical, mental and social health of today's Eskimo society. … The only social institution of major importance in Eskimo life - the family - is falling apart, and nothing has yet appeared to take its place. …
When the massive ice sheet of the last Pleistocene glacier melted 10,000 years ago, land which had been forced below sea level under its weight began to rise, and the receding water left behind rows of beach ridges and shallow depressions. On the northern shore of Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, there is an area of such lowland about 40 square kilometres in extent. It is bounded in the north and west by Jones Sound and in the south by the Truelove Inlet and River, while to its east lies an escarpment 1000 ft (300 m) high separating it from the upland plateau of the interior of the Island and the remains of its ice cap. From the base of the escarpment to the sea, this lowland area is a treeless terrain of lakes and ponds separated by grassy meadows and rocky beach ridges, dissected by meandering melt streams. During the summer, many of the meadows are wet and muddy, retaining a good deal of standing water during the short growing season. The raised beach ridges are dry and pebbly along their tops, becoming progressively moister as they slope down towards the meadows and ponds. The flowers described and illustrated in this article are all to be found growing in this lowland area. …
Fairbanks, Alaska is used as a case study for assessing problems of environmental quality that may intensify or develop in rapidly expanding northern settlements. Constraints imposed by site and situations are severe, although they have been partially overcome by high-cost technological measures. Additionally, flood damage, inadequate community action, and high costs have led to poor housing conditions and a housing shortage. Disposal of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes, inadequately controlled in the past, has become a serious problem. Enforcement of new health standards and the development of community-wide planning represent recent measures to improve environmental quality.
New evidence on the palaeobiology of the Eureka Sound Formation, Arctic Canada
Arctic, v. 28, no. 2, June 1975, p. 110-116, ill., figures, table
ASTIS record 10297
The Eureka Sound Formation, a thick sedimentary unit in the Canadian Arctic having a late Cretaceous and/or early Tertiary age, is known to contain plant fossils indicative of a continental origin of deposition and a relatively temperate climate. The Formation was selected for a palaeontological survey in order to determine whether it could, as suggested by distribution of fossil vertebrates in other areas and from evidence of plate tectonics, provide evidence on terrestrial migrations between North America and Europe in the Palaeogene. Fossils of plants, invertebrates and fish were found. They indicated that large parts of the Formation are marine in origin, although other parts are continental and thus could still be interpreted as representing part of a land connection between the northern landmasses.
A study of summer and autumn food habits of polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps) on some islands of James Bay and the coastal mainland of southwest Hudson Bay was conducted in 1968 and 1969. Analyses were made of 233 scats collected from islands in James Bay and 212 scats gathered on the southwest coast of Hudson Bay. Birds, primarily Anatidae, were the most commonly used summer and autumn food of bears in James Bay. Marine algae and grasses were the foods most often eaten by bears on the mainland. The diet of the bears from James Bay probably provides a better preparation for winter than the diet of those from the mainland, but evidence suggests that bears in both regions are generally in good physical condition
In Metalline Creek, a small valley in the Kluane Range of the southwest Yukon Territory, the glacial deposits and the talus material have been affected by mass movement processes promoted by the occurrence of glacier ice and ice formed from avalanche snow. In addition, minor periglacial mass movement processes occur in the valley. Variations in the type of process are attributed to altitudinal changes, to aspect, and to change in the height of the regional snow line during the Neoglacial period.
… The nature of a spill will depend on the local weather conditions, including the presence or absence of snow, the absorptive capacity of the ground (which is influenced by the prevailing groundwater level), and local topography. … In clean-up operations after oil spills, the first requirement is to contain the spill in as small an area as possible, and to prevent it from reaching water courses and thus contaminating their environments. Devices and techniques can then be employed to remove oil from the contaminated region and convey it to temporary storage. Thirdly, the area can be treated to remove residual oil and promote its early restoration through the use of chemical and biological techniques. … In temperate regions, terrestrial spills are most readily contained by artificial dykes or dams constructed by means of earth-moving equipment, and it is also possible to dig trenches and ditches into which oil will flow and be retained. In areas of permafrost, however, suitable damming material may not be readily available, or may be obtained only if considerable areas of permafrost are exposed - that is, at the cost of additional environmental damage. The use of heavy vehicles, even if they are available, will compact the insulating active layer of permafrost and thereby cause eventual melting of the permafrost. Containment should involve a minimum of disturbance of the area, with no removal or compaction of the active layer and exposure of permafrost. A method of containment which may be feasible is to use damming material that can be quickly transported to the site and installed without the aid of machinery. For example, corrugated metal sheeting in sections about three feet high by ten feet long (1 m x 3 m approximately), with vertical corrugations, could be driven through the active layer down to the water table or frost level or thawed clay soil, all of which provide a basement to vertical oil penetration, and retained in position by T-bar stakes driven into the ground. … The presence of permafrost ironically brings the substantial benefit of there being little of the infiltration of oil into porous soils, with subsequent ground-water contamination, which constitutes such a severe problem in temperate regions; that is, clean-up operations can be facilitated by the presence of permafrost. Another approach to containment, which was tested briefly during the summer of 1974 on wet tundra on Richards Island in the Mackenzie Delta, is to cut a trench, 30 cm wide, to permafrost level across the path of the flowing oil. The trench successfully intercepts the flow of oil, both on and below the surface, and drains it to a low-level point from where it can be pumped to storage or for disposal. … A dam or trench of the type just described, which would necessarily have to be located on the downslope side of the area of spillage, would interfere with natural drainage, and so it would be necessary to control drainage from the area while oil and water were being separated. The present authors suggest that this control could be effected by the installation of an API (American Petroleum Institute) type of oil-water separator which can be constructed easily from prefabricated metal sheeting, usually about 5 feet deep by 10 feet wide by 30 feet long (1.5 m x 3 m x 9 m approximately). … Another possibility would be the use of a compact plate-type oil-water separator. … A significant further advantage of the general technique just explained is the possibility of controlling, and even accelerating, the flow from the area of spillage. … Small-scale laboratory tests have demonstrated that significant proportions of the absorbed oil can be floated out of detritus by gravity alone and without agitation. It is likely that, due to its slow rate of evaporation, the sub-surface oil would maintain a viscosity sufficiently low for it to be floated out by water. It is generally recognized, also, that the toxic constituents of oil are the most volatile and water-soluble. Thus, it is likely that the oil would exhibit toxicity only during the first few months after spillage, and then be permanently absorbed in the vegetation and soil and become immobilized. … As a final stage of restoration of an affected area, it may prove beneficial to fertilize it and promote the growth of oil-degrading microorganisms. Since the albedo of the area will be reduced, and so there will be greater absorption of radiation and increased depth of active layer, it may be desirable to increase the albedo artificially be sprinkling the area with reflective materials. In conclusion, the present authors contend that new techniques must be developed for the clean-up of terrestrial spills in the Arctic, since methods used in temperate regions are inappropriate. …
In an earlier note a survey was made of hot springs in interior Alaska which had been reported much earlier by Waring, and in this further account the coverage is extended to southeastern Alaska. Following directions recorded by Waring I attempted to reach four hot springs on Baranof Island. … Of those springs visited in southeastern Alaska, it is evident that the ones at the heads of Tenekee Inlet and Teka Bay are worthy of further study, and of inclusion into a system of land classification which would preserve them in their natural and unique state for future generations.
The summer of 1974 saw one of the largest research parties the University of Colorado has been able to mount operating along the eastern coast of Baffin Island. The early and widespread break-up of sea ice greatly assisted in the completion of the field programme in which a total of sixteen persons were involved. In addition to members of the University staff, the following individuals from other institutions also participated. In the programme: a member of the Department of Micropalaeontology of the University of Aarhus, Denmark; a soil scientist from the University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.; a Quaternary geologist from Brock University, Ontario, Canada; and a Quaternary geologist from Grand Valley State College, Michigan, U.S.A. ... Raised marine sediments and tills were investigated on Broughton Island and northwards along the coast to Quajon Fiord. Specific attention was focused on collecting samples for micro-faunal analysis and delimiting different marine episodes. In addition, a number of sites were revisited on Broughton Island and northwards along the coast to Kivitoo and Quajon Fiord. Large (1000-g and over) samples of marine shells were collected from sites previously given dates of over 30,000 years BP. ... One field party mapped the southern part of the Baffin Island National Park, giving particular attention to (a) the delimitation of glacial periods on the basis of surface weathering of boulders, and (b) determining the elevation of local marine limits and lower strandlines. The latter research was concentrated on the mapping of the southern shore of Cumberland Peninsula, from outer Kingnait Fiord westward to the head of Cumberland Sound. ... Soil scientists established a soil chronosequence, and investigated the range of soil types existing within the southern part of Cumberland Peninsula. They sent samples south from laboratory analysis. Plant collection: Specimens of vascular plants, mosses and lichens were collected from Broughton Island and from the head of Maktak Fiord, and sent to the University of Colorado Museum. By December 1974, a total of 86 vascular plants had been identified. Climatological studies in relation to fast ice: Work done during the summer of 1974 concludes the field-measurement phase of the University of Colorado's study of the surface energy budgets of fast ice at Broughton Island. A micrometeorological station was operated at a site approximately one kilometre south of Broughton settlement, from late May until local break-up in early July. The programme of observation consisted of the periodic taking of profiles of wind, temperature and relative humidity; the continuous measurement of temperature at two metres, and net radiation over both saturated and unsaturated surfaces; and transects of surface short-wave albedo. Salinity and temperature profiles in the ice and water were taken every 304 days. Comparative analysis of the data for 1972-74 is now in progress in relation to the observed ice regime. The 1974 data should provide better estimates of the turbulent flux components of the energy budget than it was possible to make in previous summers. Meteorological observations were continued near the base of the Broughton Island operations through mid-August. Results are now available of four summers and two winters of standard meteorological observations, and global solar and net radiation measurements as well. The Atmospheric Environment Service Cooperative Observer station, with its twice-daily measurements of maximum and minimum temperatures and of precipitation, is now into its fourth calendar year of operation. The summer of 1974 was unusually mild. The mean ablation seasonal temperature was 3.9°C at the Broughton DEW line weather station. In contrast, 1972 was the coldest (-1.2 C°). The early part of June 1974 was dominated by anticyclonic synoptic weather patterns which greatly accelerated the fast ice ablation rate to give the earliest break-up in five years. Satellite-observed concentrations of pack ice in Davis Strait in late May were less than at the same time in 1973. With the resurvey of the "Boas" Glacier (67 35 N, 65 16 W) in August 1974, the mass balance measurements were extended to five balance years. Accurate measurements were not possible, because most ablation poles melted out during the warm summer of 1974. However, it is estimated that the net specific balance for the 1973-74 budget year was approximately -0.5 m water equivalent (w.e.). ... Analysis of the past five budget years shows that (a) the "Boas" Glacier exhibited a two-year alternation of large mass gains and losses during the first four years, and (b) the estimated net specific mass balance for the five-year period was -0.16 m w.e., in spite of the total net mass gains of 0.38 m w.e. during the first four years. ...
Although a remarkably large number of organizations exist which are devoted to research in polar regions and/or to the collection and dissemination of knowledge about them, very few of them are "polar" institutions, or even "arctic" institutions in the sense of being interested in everything polar, or arctic. ... The major exceptions are the Arctic Institute of North America, the Scott Polar Research Institute in England and, to some extent, the Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research Institute of Leningrad, with their large diversified libraries. Many of the existing polar and arctic institutions ... perform their teaching roles, if any, principally through the involvement of their staffs in the academic departments of the universities with which they are most closely associated. As institutions, they appear to stimulate teaching rather than act as centres of it. This situation is illustrated in the case of Canada where a report by Kupsch and Caillol shows that virtually all teaching about the Arctic is being carried on within specialist academic departments - of history, anthropology, biology, geography, geology, etc. ... Some polar institutions seem to have stimulated more teaching than have others over the years. In Canada, again, the relatively recent upsurge of courses dealing with aspects of the Arctic at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Alberta, including very successful extension courses conducted at locations in the Arctic, are a reflection of the efforts of the Institute for Northern Studies, Saskatoon, and the Boreal Institute, Edmonton, respectively. Similarly, it would appear that the Centre d'Etudes Nordiques has greatly stimulated teaching about the Arctic at Université Laval, Québec. In the United States, Dartmouth College at Hanover, New Hampshire, with its Steffansson Collection has been a focus for teaching about the Arctic; and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the Ohio State Institute of Polar Studies are other centres which are currently active in the field. The development of universities at high latitudes has, of course, provided a fine opportunity for students to pursue their studies within normal academic disciplines while gaining real experience of the Arctic. Developments in the U.S.S.R. (Syktyvkar and Yakutsk), Sweden (Luleå), Norway (Tromsø) and Finland (Oulu) are clearly of great significance in this regard. In the English-speaking world, the University of Alaska is still the only institution of university status located in the Arctic. ... It would appear, ... that the first formal programme leading to a postgraduate qualification in polar studies - outside the U.S.S.R. at least - will be inaugurated in October 1975 by the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) of Cambridge, England. ... A new development will be the commencement in October 1975 of a one-year postgraduate course, for graduates of any discipline, leading to a Diploma in Polar Studies of the University of Cambridge. The objects of this course are to provide a broad background of polar knowledge and to offer to each candidate a topic of his or her choice to investigate in depth. Lectures and seminars will cover the following subjects in their relation to both the Arctic and Antarctic: natural environment, peoples, history, resources and problems of development, government and social relations. As no such course is given elsewhere in the world, this is an experiment which will be observed with much interest.