It is the duty and responsibility of a scientist to make his discoveries widely known as soon as possible. Scientists know that they must publish for the good of their own careers. But there are also many other good reasons to inform the general public. To me, there are at least three very important and concerned audiences - schools, the "public" and northern peoples - with whom as scientists we must share our knowledge. ... Northerners are now developing an awareness of what Western science is all about. They are trying to build a new life, a synthesis of the old and the new, of the North and the South. The northern values and traditions will be supplemented and enhanced by southern knowledge and technology. Randy Pokiak, mayor of Tuktoyaktuk, has stated that he would like to see scientists speaking in the northern schools, that native people want to be involved in science and that they are now encouraging their children to become involved. The native people should be good students and listeners and teachers, for they have studied, observed and understood the wildlife and the environment for centuries. It was a matter of life and death for them. They are concerned that a lot of research that you and I undertake does not address local problems. Northerners, particularly, and southerners too, should and must be involved in northern science. Talk to them, preferably face to face. Share your knowledge!
Fur trappers in the Northwest Territories : an econometric analysis of the factors influencing participation
Arctic, v. 43, no. 1, Mar. 1990, p. 1-8
ASTIS record 29675
Commercial fur trapping, once the primary economic activity of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Northwest Territories, now accounts for only a small fraction of the income received by native people. Many adult native males do continue to engage in commercial trapping, nevertheless, though with varying degrees of commitment. A review of the recent literature reveals a wide variety of suggested motivations for this continuing involvement. Through the use of econometric techniques we are able to analyze the motivations of two distinct sub-groups of trappers. One group, accounting for about 15% of those who trap, has a substantial commitment to the activity and is motivated primarily by the income-earning potential of fur sales. The second group, which includes approximately 85% of the participants, consists of those whose participation is best explained by the lack of alternative employment opportunities.
Changes in the population dynamics of the George River caribou herd, 1976-87
Arctic, v. 43, no. 1, Mar. 1990, p. 9-20, ill., map
ASTIS record 29676
A recent decrease in the George River caribou herd recruitment was caused both by an increasing calf winter mortality since 1977 and an increase in their summer mortality since 1984. A reduction in pregnancy rate could also be partly responsible for a decline in gross recruitment. Evaluation of net recruitment shows that the rate of increase of the herd has been negative since 1984. The probable causes of the decline involve the negative effects and interrelation of various factors: decline of the physical condition of females, habitat deterioration on the current calving grounds (former summer range), increase in energy expenditures related to more extensive movements, delayed birth dates, increase in density within their range and especially on calving grounds, increase in wolf populations and exceptionally high snow accumulation during the 1980-81 winter.
The Joint Arctic Weather Stations of Canada and the United States were built in the Queen Elizabeth Islands of northern Canada. The Eureka and Resolute stations were established in 1947 and another two, Mould Bay and Isachsen, in 1948. In the summer of 1948 the U.S. icebreakers Edisto and Eastwind reached Dumbbell Bay on the north coast of Ellesmere Island, where a cache was deposited for a fifth Canadian station, Alert. This station was established by air from Thule in April 1950. Unlike earlier satellite stations, the eight regular station personnel were supplemented by four extra men to aid in construction of the buildings and a gravel airstrip. During the spring a message left at Cape Sheridan by Peary in 1907 was found and evidence, including an unreported marker, of the 1875-76 British Admiralty Expedition was discovered. Equipment failures and supply problems later on caused construction delays, which were relieved by air drops. One of these led to the crash of an RCAF Lancaster and the death of all aboard. An RCAF Canso sent to investigate was damaged during an attempted takeoff but was repaired when the Eastwind arrived with support and badly needed equipment. Completion of the station proceeded rapidly after this, and it became operational in September 1950. As an important Cold War listening post on the northern rim of the continent, its population of specialists grew to more than 200.
Subsistence fisheries, as distinct from commercial and recreational, exist throughout much of the Canadian North and satisfy local needs for fish protein. These fisheries have been investigated quantitatively only since the 1970s. Many of these studies are in the "grey literature"; methods of study and reporting are not standardized, and interpretation of data is often problematic. Nevertheless, some generalizations can be offered from a preliminary survey of harvest study data from 93 communities and from 10 regional studies representing Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. The data indicate a wide range of harvest values, clustering at about 60 kg of whole fish per capita per year. If these data are representative, there is a significant subsistence fishery sector important for the local economies of hundreds of communities. Most of these fisheries are not being reported in fishery statistics, nor are they being monitored and assessed.
During 1973 and 1974, 1877 regurgitated pellets were collected from 15 glaucous gull colonies on inland lakes, river deltas, and coastal reaches of the Beaufort Sea west and east of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. The pellets contained chiefly small rodents, fish, eggs and young of geese and gulls, isopods, berries and grass, and blue mussels. The relative importance of these foods varied among the colonies, both within and between seasons. Predation on young waterfowl was more extensive than predation on eggs. The data show that glaucous gulls are adaptable and opportunistic feeders and that the diversity of foods consumed was high and did not vary within the season.
At about 10,000 B.P. northern Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere islands underwent a climatic amelioration that caused the demise of the last glaciation. Generally, by 8,000 B.P. accelerated retreat left extensive coastal areas ice free. The occurrence of an early Holocene (7475±220 B.P.) bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus L.) skeleton several hundred kilometres north of its present range concurs with other biological and glaciological evidence to indicate that the early Holocene climate in the High Arctic was less severe than at present.
Acquisition of two 38-day wind data sets collected over a fast-ice shelf and at a nearby coastal weather station (Kuujjuarapik) in Hudson Bay allowed the calculation for the first time of an offshore/onshore wind speed ratio for an ice-covered environment. Mean wind over the ice was 29% higher than at the coast, compared to values of 65% for open ocean locations. This reflects the effect of the higher drag coefficient of the sea ice that more strongly attenuates the wind than does the sea surface. The data set also allowed the evaluation of the change in the wind field by local topography. Thus, a strong orographic effect was found in the SW quadrant, as winds of less than 5 m/s were deflected toward the SE and NW.
The ranges of two large caribou herds, the Riviere aux Feuilles and Riviere George herds, were sampled in June and July 1988 to compare vegetation composition. Lichens occupied more than 50% of the ground cover at Riviere aux Feuilles, whereas mosses, bare soil, and graminoids prevailed at Riviere George. Shrubs were more abundant on Riviere aux Feuilles, but the difference was not significant. Plant cover was similar whether sampling sites were selected at random or based on the presence of caribou. Within a season, diets of lactating caribou determined from analyses of rumen contents reflected the differences in vegetation cover. In June, lactating females from the Riviere George herd ate fewer lichens than those of the Riviere aux Feuilles, whereas in July their rumen contained fewer leaves of deciduous shrubs. In Riviere George caribou, graminoids compensated for the low lichen and leaf content in both collection periods; these animals exerted a high selection, particularly for lichens, which were 25 times less available but only 1.5-2 times less abundant in rumina. In July, fragments of Cladina sp. and leaves of Betula glandulosa were especially scarce in Riviere George samples. Protein contents of washed rumen samples were lower for both periods at Riviere George. This pattern of food selection by Riviere George caribou may be due both to long-term grazing of the summer range and to eco-climatic differences.
During John Ross's arctic expedition of 1829-33 in search of a northwest passage, approximately 1000 km of new coastline was mapped. Included in these new coastlines was Lord Mayor Bay on eastern Boothia Peninsula, which was surveyed by Ross's nephew and second-in-command, James Clark Ross, in 1830. The results of the Lord Mayor Bay survey effectively ended any chance of there being a northwest passage south and east of Somerset Island or west of northern Foxe Basin and northwest Hudson Bay. Despite the obvious importance of James Clark Ross's survey, it was not included in John Ross's published narrative of the expedition. The original diary has recently been located and is reproduced here, together with accompanying sketches and observations and a discussion of the circumstances of the survey.
In March 1947, Hugh Keenleyside was recalled from his posting as Ambassador to Mexico and appointed Commissioner of the Northwest Territories and Deputy Minister of Mines and Resources, positions he held until October 1950. His credentials were unusual and his tenure short, but within three and a half years, the former diplomat transformed the somewhat laissez-faire style of northern government into one of active intervention supported by major financial investment. ... Hugh Keenleyside's accomplishments as Commissioner of the Northwest Territories cannot be fully understood without recognizing that he had failed to meet his own expectations and ambitious objectives. Yet regardless of resistance and criticism from his more conservative colleagues and political masters, the determined reformer dramatically changed the direction of government policies to end the period of "benign neglect" and mark the beginning of heavy financial investment and government intervention into almost every aspect of northern affairs. ...
... This Second German North Polar Expedition of 1869/70 resulted in several geographical discoveries in northeast Greenland and the cartographic survey of the region. In addition, geological, glaciological, glacial geomorphological, zoological, botanical and archaeological studies were conducted. Extensive astronomical, geophysical (especially geomagnetic), meteorological and hydrological measurements were carried out. The scientific results of the expedition were published in a volume of nearly 1000 pages (Verein für die Deutsche Nordpolarfahrt in Bremen, 1874; Koldewey et al., 1871). The exact astronomical locations of Borgen and Copeland were an important factor in the development of Alfred Wegener's (1915) theory of continental drift!