The author's commentary on the Drury Report provides an interesting insight into the relationship of the people of the north and the federal government, as well as providing a useful critique on many aspects of the Report itself.
The discovery of the "Boulder Patch", an area of cobbles and boulders with attached kelp and invertebrate life, is reported from Stefansson Sound, near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Geophysical surveys using side-scan sonar and low-frequency recording fathometers reveal that cobbles and boulders occur in patches of various sizes and densities. Despite a seasonal influx of sediments, the Boulder Patch is a nondepositional environment. Physical disruption of cobbles and boulders by deep draft ice is minimal due to offshore islands and shoals which restrict the passage of large ice floes into Stefansson Sound. The apparent absence of similar concentrations of rocks with attached biota along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast is explained by the scarcity of rocks in areas protected from ice abrasion and with no net sediment deposition. In Stefansson Sound, the rocks provide a substratum for a diverse assortment of invertebrates and several species of algae. Recolonization by the biota was minimal on twelve boulders denuded and then left undisturbed for a three-year period. Sedimentation and grazing activity appear to be the major factors inhibiting recolonization. Linear growth in the kelp, Laminaria solidungula, is greatest in winter and early spring when nutrients are available for new tissue growth. The plant draws on stored food reserves to complete over 90% of its annual linear growth during the nine months of darkness under a turbid ice canopy. These reserves are accumulated by photosynthetic activity during the preceding summer. The total carbon contribution made by kelp in Steffansson Sound under these conditions is about 146 million g/yr or 7 g/m²/yr. A small percentage of this carbon is consumed directly by herbivores, but its importance to other organisms in not known and is under investigation.
Relative contributions of ice algae, phytoplankton, and benthic microalgae to primary production in nearshore regions of the Beaufort Sea
Arctic, v. 35, no. 4, Dec. 1982, p. 485-503, figures, tables
ASTIS record 10765
Phytoplankton, ice algae, and benthic microalgae are the three sources of primary production in the western Beaufort Sea in winter and spring. Phytoplankton levels in winter are low with chlorophyll a levels near the limit of detection. Microflagellates are the most abundant organisms present in the water column along with a few diatoms. Low chlorophyll a, standing stock, and primary productivity continue into June when the ice breaks up. Cells are present in sea ice from the time it forms in the fall and are generally scattered throughout the ice thickness. Microflagellates are the most abundant organisms, but some diatoms, mostly pennate species, are also present. Cells concentrate in the bottom few cm of ice during March-April in response to increasing light levels. Growth continues until late May-early June when maximum production and standing stock occur. Benthic microalgal production was barely detectable in spring although chlorophyll a levels were high, perhaps left from the previous production season. Light is apparently the major factor controlling production in the spring, with the ice algae being able to take advantage of increasing light levels early in spring. This community shades both the water column and benthos so that production in those habitats does not increase until after the ice algae disappear in early June, but the ice community may be inhibited by layers of sediment in the ice. During this study, the ice algae provided about two-thirds and the phytoplankton one-third of the spring primary production; the benthic community contribution was negligible.
Movement of four satellite-monitored polar bears in Lancaster Sound, Northwest Territories
Arctic, v. 35, no. 4, Dec. 1982, p. 504-511, figures, tables
ASTIS record 10766
Four female polar bears, fitted with satellite-monitored transmitters at Lancaster Sound, N.W.T. during May 1979, were tracked to determine seasonal distribution, movements relative to ice conditions, and home range. Most locations (68.7%, n = 46) of satellite-tracked bears were on landfast ice, 13.4% (n = 9) on old pack ice, 13.4% (n = 9) on land, 3.0% (n = 2) on bergy water, and 1.5% (n = 1) on young pack ice. These observations support the conclusions of mark-recapture studies in the area, that landfast ice is favored until breakup when bears move onto land. Data from the satellite-tracked bears indicate that they had home ranges.
The seasonal distribution of marked Dall's sheep in the Mackenzie Mountains was studied during 1968 through 1974 as part of a broader Canadian Wildlife Service project that included research into population dynamics and hunter kill statistics. Dyes were used to mark 247 sheep, and 118 were marked with collars, ear tags, and ear streamers. Aerial observations of sheep and their winter tracks were the basis for maps of seasonal ranges. Summer ranges were a 30-90% expansion of winter ranges within mountain blocks that were bounded by forests and stream valleys. Within the study areas, these mountain blocks served as year-long habitat for most members of family groups of ewes and juveniles. Winter ranges were characterized by shallow, lightly crusted or uncrusted granular snow that did not impede travel or seriously constrict feeding areas. A few sheep wintered in forests near river banks. During summers, mineral licks dictated the shape of family group ranges, as well as the length and patterns of their daily and seasonal movements.
The distribution of bowhead whales in the southeastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf was determined from observations aboard commercial resupply vessels. Fifty-four to sixty-two whale sightings were recorded on the 2150 km (1160 nm) of transects. Distribution of whale sightings along transects was clumped. The proportion of whales seen near ice was significantly greater than the proportion of transect surveyed near ice. Our observations and interviews indicate that bowheads are seen over a period of several weeks in many areas where they are seen annually. Both the locations and seasonality of whale occurrence appear similar to distribution patterns extracted from sightings of nearly a century ago.
Flow alterations related to hydroelectric development have affected both the fish stocks and the Cree Indian subsistence fishery in the lower LaGrande River, northern Quebec. Evaluated against several years of baseline data, the initial biological impact of the project on fish populations, mostly whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis) and cisco (C. artedii) appeared to be relatively small. Nevertheless, fishing activity in the lower river and the estuary largely ceased from 1979 to 1981, due to physical modifications of traditional fishing areas and other social and economic effects related to the hydro project. Some fishermen modified their methods and continued harvesting in the affected area, but others abandoned the affected area and fished lakes and rivers along the recently constructed road network. It is concluded that earlier impact assessments fell short of predicting these impacts.
Aerial surveys were used to assess the timing and route of the swimming migration of Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia) near southern Baffin Island and northern Labrador in the autumn of 1977, 1978 and 1979. Several hundred thousand adults and chicks from six southern Baffin area colonies departed east through Hudson Strait, in the direction of surface currents, in the latter half of August. Most murres from three eastern Hudson Strait colonies were in offshore waters in early September, arrived in the northern Labrador Sea within a few days, and were followed later in September by murres from three western Hudson Strait colonies. From the Labrador Sea, murres go to marine wintering sites around Newfoundland. Murres from a large colony on southeast Baffin Island apparently did not migrate to the Labrador Sea through western Davis Strait; instead, they either migrated through central Davis Strait en route to Newfoundland, or east to west Greenland, which was also the probable destination of many adult murres which flew by a drillship in southwest Davis Strait.
In the early mornings of 7, 22 and 23 January 1982, intense cold air drainage was observed in the valleys on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains west of Fort Nelson, British Columbia. Temperature differences of 31 degrees C were noted, the coldest temperature recorded being -71 degrees C (a new North American record), though even colder temperatures probably occurred at other sites. These were produced by an intense cold arctic high-pressure cell which gave regionally still air and clear skies and permitted marked local cooling during the nights. Similar conditions should be expected elsewhere along the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in northern B.C. and southern Yukon Territory.
In order to improve the understanding of arctic ice shelf evolution, ice coring and water sampling were undertaken and observations made on the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and surrounding area during spring 1982. A total of 74 m of 7.6 cm diameter ice core was obtained from seven locations including Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, Ayles Fiord and Milne Ice Shelf. Water sampling of Lake 'A' and Disraeli Fiord indicated that these water bodies remain stratified. Observations of ice conditions between Ward Hunt Island and Cape Evans revealed the following: accretion of multi-year ice along the front of Ward Hunt and Milne Ice Shelf; grounding and/or loss of approximately 40 square km of ice shelf near Cape Discovery; possible development of rolls in multi-year ice in Ayles Fiord; and evidence of former ice tongues in Milne Fiord.
The carcass of an adult muskox bull (Ovibos moschatus) killed by a barren-ground grizzly bear (Ursus arctos richardsoni) was found in the Thelon Game Sanctuary. It is suggested that adult muskox bulls along the Thelon River system have become prey for at least some grizzly bears that have learned to ambush them in dense vegetation.
... He was of an original and inventive turn of mind, and the shelter given to the masthead lookout by the "crows' nest" is his creation. ... Being dissatisfied with an agricultural life, he determined to go to sea and set himself the task of learning navigation and astronomy. His early voyages took him to places as far away as St. Petersburg and Spain, where he was captured managed to escape through stratagem. He joined a Whitby whaling vessel when he was 25, and from then on he found ample opportunity for developing his skills. ... Studying each job to be done, he soon worked out the quickest and most efficient way of doing it. One example involved the flensing of whales. Not long after he had been given command of a whaler, he challenged four men busy at the job, saying he could do it single-handedly in half the time. They were crestfallen when he accomplished it in one-third of the time. In ice navigation he possessed that extra sense also attributed to Captain Cook. It seemed as if he knew what was over the horizon, and he safely led every ship under his command into calm waters heavily populated with whales. But hunting whales was not the sum total of his sailing life. He had an inquiring mind and was early led to report on arctic winds, currents, and ice conditions to Sir Joseph Banks, who voyaged with Captain Cook. In 1806 he forced his ship, the Resolution, through the Spitsbergen ice barrier into open water in the far north. They reached an estimated 81 31 N latitude and could have sailed even farther, had it not been for the commercial design of the voyage and the scarcity of whales. Even so, the Scoresbys (his son was with him as mate) held the record for sailing farthest north for nearly a century, if one discounts sledging journeys. ... The achievements of William Scoresby Senior and his son form an unrivalled chapter in the history of the Arctic, for indubitably the formative years of Scoresby junior were largely shaped by the leadership of his father who, though lacking formal education and sophistication, was yet an original and forceful character, seeing in the Arctic opportunities for exploration and investigation far exceeding the commercial endeavours which were his main object. His son brilliantly continued and greatly enlarged his father's early ambition. That the father's example and training won his son for arctic science cannot be doubted.
To the arctic enthusiast the name of William Scoresby, F.R.S., needs no introduction. The author of An Account of the Arctic Regions, the whaling captain-turned scientist is too closely associated with pioneer arctic research to remain long unknown, even to the most modest beginner in polar studies. Indeed, the activities and achievements of this remarkable man place him in a class apart from almost all those who have journeyed and researched in polar regions. Carrying on with great success the most demanding and arduous of all maritime activities - the hunting and capture of whales - he yet collected over a period of some 15 years data on sea currents and temperatures, ice formation and movement, wind directions and velocities, magnetic variations, marine organisms, biology of whales, structure of snow crystals and much besides, gathering all this original work together in his two-volume classic Account of the Arctic Regions. The publication of this work in 1820 marks the beginning of the scientific study of the polar regions. And if this were not sufficient claim to fame, Scoresby's second volume was a significant addition to the literature of the sea in its accounts of whaling adventures and the dangers and thrills of the chase, which compare favourably with those of the great maritime novelists. ... The results of Scoresby's scientific work in the Arctic have long been part of the fabric of our polar knowledge, and in his published works he left us first-hand accounts of his voyages in Greenland waters. Geographically speaking, his most important voyage was that of 1822. The uncharted coastline of east Greenland became clear of ice around 1820, and in 1822 Scoresby, in the midst of an arduous whaling voyage, sailed along some 400 miles of this inhospitable landscape, charting it, and naming points as he went in honour of scientific and other friends, chief of which was Scoresby Sound, named for his father. Almost all his place names survive today. They are currently being listed by A.K. Higgins of the Greenland Geological Survey. ... He left active sea life in his thirties and entered the Church, and despite a busy life he continued to work for science with his pen, sending many papers to the Royal Society and the British Association, of which he was a founding member. Scoresby visited America and Canada twice in the 1840s, lecturing to support his many social endeavours in the industrial parish where he pioneered five schools for the illiterate mill-working children of Bradford. ... William Scoresby's life was crowned by his final act of undertaking a voyage to Australia in order to verify his theories of compass behaviour in iron ships; the simple outcome of this was the conclusion that the only reliable place for the ship's compass was aloft. ...
Prominent in the important but routine survey work undertaken by the British Navy around the globe after the Napoleonic wars, a spectacular failure as an arctic explorer, and most unpopular officer in the fleet, Sir Edward Belcher remains today in relative, perhaps deserved, obscurity. ... In February 1837, he replaced the ailing Captain Beechey on a survey of the Pacific Coast. Taking command at Panama of H.M.S. Sulphur and Starling, he sailed to the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands, thence to Prince William Sound and along the south coasts of Russian America (Alaska), and from there south to San Francisco and again to waters off Central America. In 1839 he retraced the same route. During the two voyages he surveyed many ports and islands, fixed the position of Mount St. Elias, and made the first scientific survey of Nootka Sound, settling questions outstanding since the voyages of Cook and Vancouver. However, these achievements were marred by Belcher's consistent "bad temper, caprice, and malice", which made him detested by his officers and men. ... In 1852, in spite of his poor reputation as a commander and his lack of experience handling vessels in ice, Belcher was placed in charge of the largest in the series of expeditions which the British government sent out to seek Sir John Franklin. Five ships were given him for the task: the Assistance (Belcher, and Commander G.N. Richards), the steam tender Pioneer (Osborn), the Resolute (Kellett), the Intrepid (M'Clintock), and the North Star (Pullen). Leaving the North Star at Beechey Island as a base, Belcher sent the Resolute and the Intrepid westward to Melville Island, while he took the Assistance and Pioneer northward up to Wellington Channel. As it turned out, they were too far north to find traces of Franklin, but Belcher and Osborn discovered Belcher Channel, explored the north coast of Bathurst Island, and Belcher himself discovered and visited North Cornwall Island. Belcher and Osborn spent the winter of 1852-1853 in Northumberland Sound, while the Resolute and the Intrepid, under Kellett, wintered at Melville Island. In the course of long sledge expeditions, Kellett and his men completed the exploration of Melville and Prince Patrick islands, and found and rescued the men of a previous expedition on the Investigator (McClure), locked in the ice of Mercy Bay. In the summer of 1853, both divisions failed to extricate themselves, so had to spend a second winter in the ice. By the summer of 1854, Belcher had had enough. Convinced of the impossibility of getting free, unwilling to risk yet a third winter, he disregarded the protests of his subordinates, and ordered the four ships to be abandoned. He and his men made it to the base vessel North Star, and in August set out on the return voyage to England. Court-martialled, Belcher was able to prove that he had acted within his orders. ... He was cleared, but his sword was handed back to him in silence. ... He passed his remaining years in literary and scientific amusements, and died on 18 March 1877.
... Samuel Cresswell was born in 1827, joined the Navy in 1842, and served in the China seas, where he was twice gazetted for service against the pirates of Borneo. On his return to England he was - perhaps through Parry's influence - appointed to the 1848-49 Franklin rescue expedition led by Sir James Ross. ... Captain Collinson took command on the Enterprise; Cresswell became second lieutenant on the Investigator under Commander Robert McClure. Unaccompanied, the latter ship passed through Bering Strait and coasted along the American north shore. Cresswell commanded the whaleboat in which the ship's surgeon Armstrong and the Eskimo interpreter J.A. Miertsching studied the "smoking cliffs" of Franklin Bay. In late autumn McClure discovered Prince of Wales Strait and won for officer and crew the honour of completing the Northwest Passage. They wintered in the frozen strait. In April 1851, McClure sent out travelling sledge parties to search for traces of Franklin. In discharge of his duty, Cresswell explored 170 miles of the east and northeast Banks Island shore, at which time some of his crew were disabled by frostbite. A second excursion took him to the south end of the strait. In the summer the ship rounded Banks Island by its west shore, a voyage of frightful peril, and her throes in the gale-driven pack have been illustrated by Cresswell in a well-known painting. She took refuge in Mercy Bay on the northeast shore of Banks Island and was permanently locked in the ice from 25 September 1851 until the spring of 1853, her crew being reduced to the verge of starvation. On his arrival in late autumn, Cresswell enjoyed a temporary celebrity as bearer of the news that the long-sought Northwest Passage had been discovered, and he was feted by the townspeople of King's Lynn. In 1954 Cresswell served at the rank of commander with the Baltic fleet in the war against Russia. Three years later he sailed to China with a detachment of gunboats, served in the Chinese war on the Peiho River, and then went on a cruise against pirates. ... He is best remembered as the artist of the cruise. His paintings of the ship in the grip of the ice and almost flung over on her side, and of his Dealy Island party, painfully dragging a loaded sledge up a ramp of ice-rubble, do more than the liveliest prose to bring home to us what was endured by the stalwarts of the British Navy in the mapping of Canada's northern archipelago with wind-jammers and man-hauled sledges.
"I must have fame," young Robert Edwin Peary told his mother more than once. In the dwindling nineteenth century, large areas of the planet still had not been visited by man. After much deliberation, Peary made his choice: he would become an arctic explorer, would be the first man to reach the North Pole. ... About 1885 Peary's interest in the North was rekindled. He began poring over voluminous reports of arctic explorers during his free hours. On 13 October of that year, he wrote himself a memorandum (which I found in 1962 in his own voluminous papers) that the time had come "for an entire change in the expeditionary organization of Arctic research." Instead of utilizing large parties and several ships, he wrote, he would have a small group relying on Eskimo assistance. He had not been to the Arctic then, but the method he outlined would eventually bring him success. From 1886 to 1909 Peary devoted himself to planning and leading eight arctic expeditions - one of them of four years' duration. With increasing difficulty, he obtained leaves of absence from the Navy, raised his own money, recruited his own men, made his own rules-and expected strict compliance. ... The early desire for fame became an obsession to reach a goal. During years of exploration Peary mapped unknown lands and showed Greenland to be an island, but he did not get to the North Pole. To him this meant failure. Finally, he succeeded, at the age of 52-a wiry, auburn-haired, mustached man who could still hold his six-foot frame erect, but whose drawn, ruddy face and squinting eyes indicated hard experience. On 1 April 1909, he said good-bye to the last of four compact supporting parties that had accompanied him across the treacherous, ever-shifting ice of the Arctic Ocean. Then, with a black assistant, Matthew Henson, four Eskimos, five sledges, and 40 dogs, he struggled across more floating ice and reached the Pole five days later, according to his navigation, only to return to civilization and learn that Dr. Frederick A. Cook, a former Peary expedition member, was claiming to have arrived first. Virtually all scientific and geographical organizations eventually credited Peary with the achievement and discredited Cook, but controversy still flares occasionally. ...
Inspector Alfred Herbert Joy of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is best known for a remarkable 1800-mile (2900-km) patrol by dogsled across the heart of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in 1929. He had a keen interest in and extensive knowledge of the Arctic, its wildlife and people, and was dedicated to upholding the law and jurisdiction of Canada in isolated arctic regions. ... In 1921, following Canada's decision to extend jurisdiction into the Arctic Islands, Joy was selected to represent the government at Pond Inlet, northern Baffin Island. Soon after his arrival he undertook investigation of the Janes murder case. Joy travelled to Cape Crauford in December, where he found and exhumed Janes's body and conducted an autopsy. Later, in his capacity as coroner, he held an inquest and gathered a jury, the accused, and witnesses from as far away as Igloolik, in addition to presiding as Justice of the Peace at the trial. Following the trial he received a notable tribute from Mr. Justice Rivet for his outstanding work on this case-particularly for his thoroughness and fairness. He had enforced the law in the Arctic Islands for the first time. In 1924, Joy made a hair-raising attempt to cross Lancaster Sound by dogsled from northern Baffin Island to test the practicability of communicating with the R.C.M.P. detachment on Ellesmere Island. ... After 1925, when Joy took over detachments on eastern Ellesmere Island (Craig Harbour, Bache Peninsula) and Devon Island (Dundas Harbour), he began a series of long exploratory patrols across the Queen Elizabeth Islands which would do credit to any great polar explorer. During these trips he was able to correct errors on maps, explore new sled routes, make notes on wildlife, vegetation, coal outcrops, archaeological sites, sites of historic interest, weather, and sea-ice conditions. His detailed remarks on the numbers and migration of Peary caribou among the Queen Elizabeth Islands and the long distances arctic hares can travel on their hind legs are of great biological interest. He also foresaw new ways of patrolling the High Arctic, stating: "It would be possible, if necessary, I believe, to carry on an extensive survey of the islands west of Eureka sound by aeroplane." He made important biological and archaeological collections for what is now the national Museums of Canada. His collection of 700 specimens from a Palaeo-Eskimo site was acknowledged by the Chief of the Division of Anthropology to be ... "one of the most valuable accessions that the Division has received since I took charge of it in 1910." ... Joy's end was tragic. He died at the age of 43, apparently of a stroke, on the morning of the day he was to be married in Ottawa. ...
Dr. Raymond Thorsteinsson, Fellow of The Arctic Institute of North America, was awarded the R.J.W. Douglas Medal (1982) for his many contributions to Canadian geology and in particular the geology of the High Arctic. ... He began a lifelong career with the GSC in 1952. Most of the subsequent years were spent on arctic studies. Initially, his field work was done on foot and by dogteam, but soon he pioneered the use of small aircraft, equipped with oversize tires, which could be landed virtually anywhere on the Arctic Islands. This advance resulted in a rapid increase in the geological knowledge and understanding of the Canadian Arctic. It was the work of Dr. Thorsteinsson and his fellow geologists at the GSC which led to extensive land acquisitions by many oil and mining companies in the region during the late '50s and early '60s. Their work still forms the broad base for present exploration. Ray Thorsteinsson made significant contributions in the fields of structural geology and biochronology, as well as in regional stratigraphy. He supplemented his predominantly stratigraphic work by paleontological studies, making fundamental advances in the knowledge of graptolites and of the extinct ostracoderm fishes. He has also established the most complete succession of faunal zones in Pennsylvanian and Permian rocks in the Arctic based on Upper Paleozoic foraminifera, the Fusilinacea. He is Head of the Arctic Islands section of the Geological Survey, and has published more than fifty maps and articles. His maps cover an area larger than the British Isles. ...