… In 1972, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) reacted in a moderate fashion to the concern about the lack of Canadian content in the educational system by establishing a Commission on Canadian Studies "to study, report and make recommendations upon the state of teaching and research in various fields of study relating to Canada and Canadian universities." The present commentary is based upon the first two volumes of the four-volume report of the Commission. The extraordinary scope of their painstaking enquiry, which will have synthesized a very large number of briefs and letters and a mass of information gained at public and private meetings, is indicated by the following list of principal topics covered in these first two volumes: Canadian content in the university curriculum - contains quite detailed statements on more than twenty subjects including those of particular relevance to the Arctic. Science, technology and Canadian Studies - includes a great deal of material of northern relevance. The Canadian component in education for the professions - refers to products of Canadian technology such as snowmobiles and snow removal equipment. Canadian Studies abroad - mention made of the Arctic. Canadian Studies in community colleges - includes specific recommendations for the development of colleges in the North. Archives and Canadian Studies - a topic of interest to those institutions maintaining northern records. Audio-visual resources and other media support for Canadian Studies. The private donor and Canadian Studies. The whole Report is introduced by a discussion of a rationale for Canadian Studies, and is of importance in that it indicates the way in which the Commission's findings are presented and the nature and tone of the hundreds of recommendations made by them. … The relative failure of Canadian university programmes in and about the North (and this failure appears to have been greater in teaching than in research, although the latter is inextricably bound up with the former in the long run) may be due to the ineffectiveness of the coordination of university activity at the national level. This deficiency could be overcome by a concerted, cooperative effort of teaching and research in the North. … Perhaps the current attempt to develop a simple, cooperative framework for northern university research in Canada will be a major step towards meeting the general and specific criticisms of the Commission on Canadian Studies. Meanwhile: "As things now stand (in Canada), there are few other countries in the world with a developed post-secondary educational system that pay so little attention to the study of their own culture, problems and circumstances in the university curriculum (p. 128) - and there are few countries which are so polar. Volume III and IV, to be published later, will cover the following: Scholarly communication in the Canadian academic community; The study of Canadian higher education; Human resources and the universities; Native studies and Canadian post-secondary education; Canadian Studies in the schools; Libraries and Canadian Studies; Publishing and Canadian Studies; The study and conservation of Canadian cultural property.
A study was conducted to measure the degree of contamination of lake waters at Yellowknife produced by the disposal of domestic wastes, and to assess the suitability of these waters for domestic use. None of the samples analyzed met Canadian standards for drinking water. Though the bacterial quality of the main body of water was found to be good, there was contamination at points of discharge of sewage and near storm drains, marsh muds and sediments. It is recommended that the City of Yellowknife seek an alternative site for sewage disposal and give adequate publicity to the dangers of using inadequately treated water.
A review is provided of the long-range movements and migratory behaviour of the arctic fox in Manitoba. During the period 1919-75, peaks in population tended to occur at three-year intervals, the number of foxes trapped in any particular year varying between 24 and 8,400. Influxes of foxes into the boreal forest were found to follow decreases in the population of their lemming prey along the west coast of Hudson Bay. One fox was collected in 1974 in the aspen-oak transition zone of southern Manitoba, 840 km from Hudson Bay and almost 1000 km south of the barren-ground tundra, evidently after one of the farthest overland movements of the species ever recorded in North America.
A weather station was established at Sam Lake in the British Mountains of the northern Yukon Territory in the summer of 1974. Information was collected on temperature, winds, cloud cover and precipitation. The summer conditions were found to be influenced mainly by arctic weather disturbances originating in the Beaufort Sea. A comparison of the information recorded at Sam Lake with that from coastal stations served to demonstrate the buffering effect of the mountains.
During a marine geophysical exploration, in 1973, of the proposed route of a gas pipeline across Crozier Strait (between Bathurst Island and Little Cornwallis Island) in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the present author landed on the western side of Karluk Island, which is situated in the narrowest part of the Strait. There, conspicuous on a small point facing south and west, and directly west of a small lake, he noticed a newly-erected small cairn of a lead-zinc claim which led him inadvertently to the discovery of an archaeological site. Three or four depressions, each not more than 30 cm deep and filled with a thick, spongy, brilliant green moss, stood out in contrast to the surrounding brown rock rubble. ...
Eight individual research programmes were carried out by graduate students and one faculty member of the University's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) during the 1975 field season. They were concentrated around the settlements of Broughton Island and Pangnirtung as well as the DEW line station at Cape Dyer. Field operations were facilitated by an early break-up, which permitted sea travel by canoe. ... Two investigations were carried out from ... [Pangnirtung]. The first concerned the Holocene climate of the area. ... The other study involved the surveying of ten moraine systems fronting individual cirque glaciers. The volume of the ice core and surficial and englacial till was measured. The figures obtained will be used in a study of contemporaneous rates of glacial erosion in these subpolar glaciers. The first of two research projects based around Cape Dyer was a study of the Quaternary geology of the area between Sunneshine and Monneshine Fiords. ... The second programme involved a study of the elevational limits of various types of "lichen-free" areas, varying from trimlines around glaciers to extensive areas on plateaus that were once mantled by a permanent or semi-permanent snow cover. Dating of the onset and disappearance of snow cover was carried out by lichenometry, and samples of dead vegetation (Salix) were collected for radiocarbon dating. Field programmes in Quaternary geology, plant ecology and palynology, limnology and fast-ice studies were carried out. ... Studies of water temperature and other standard measurements were carried out at several lakes. Planktonic hauls were made, and a study performed, on the effect of light on plankton levels. Field measurements on surface energy budget components were completed. They were designed to assist in improvising INSTAAR's fast ice melt-stage model. The local measurements at Broughton Island were supplemented by several flights in the Canadian Ice Reconnaissance Patrol over Davis Strait.
During the winter of 1974-75, a large number of floebergs (fragments of multi-year pressure ridges) were found incorporated in the fast ice northwest of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Many of them had been driven up onto the sea floor and become stranded, as was indicated by their high free-board. ... In order to gather information on the shape and structure of floebergs, and their effect upon the sea bed during groundings, studies were undertaken in April 1975 in the area located approximately 35 km northwest of Prudhoe Bay (70 35 N, 148 50 W). These studies included the determination of the surface relief of two floebergs (henceforward designated A and B) by means of standard surveying techniques; snow thickness measurements; the profiling of the floeberg keels by a sonar technique developed by Kovacs, and an examination of the internal structures of the floebergs, including voids and impurities, as observed in fracture faces on their sails and the portions of their keels uplifted upon grounding. The fast ice surface in the immediate area of the floebergs was highly irregular, due largely to the incorporation of ice fragments into the ice sheet. The surface was covered with a layer of snow that varied in thickness from 10 to 40 cm, depending on the relief of ice.