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Behaviour of the buff-breasted sandpiper at the nest   /   Sutton, G.M.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 2-7, col. ill.
ASTIS record 10003
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Observations of Tryngites subruficollis on Victoria and Jenny Lind Islands, 1962 and 1966, indicate that the female, alone, incubates and rears the brood and that the species is polygamous. Brood patches were absent in males collected in June and July; however, the skin of the chin and throat of each was vascularized. A female, flushed from eggs, did not feign injury but when flying close to the observer, slowed speed by allowing legs to dangle.

Comportement au nid du Bécasseau roussâtre. Des observations sur le Bécasseau roussâtre (Tryngites subruficollis) faites en 1962 et 1966 dans les îles Victoria et Jenny suggèrent que la femelle est seule responsable de la couvée et de l'élevage de la portée et que l'espèce est polygame. Des mâles pris en juin et en juillet étaient dépourvus de marques de portée, mais dans chaque individu la peau du menton et de la gorge était vascularisée. Une femelle éloignée de ses œufs le 12 juin 1966 ne se livra à aucune simulation de blessure, mais lorsque son vol l'amenait près de l'observateur, elle laissait pendre ses pattes pour ralentir.


On the biology of an intertidal chthamalid (Crustacea, Cirripedia) from the Chukchi Sea   /   Southward, A.J.   Southward, E.C.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 8-20, ill.
ASTIS record 10004
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A Pacific-boreal species, Chthamalus dalli occurs in the narrow intertidal zone near Cape Thompson, Alaska. Diatoms and filamentous green algae, but no other animals, were associated with the barnacles, which apparently survive the winter frozen in the ice foot. Growth is less than in southern species, but continues for five or more years; maturity is reached in two years and breeding can occur at a water temperature of 6°C. There appears to be only a very slight cold adaptation, shown by cirral activity, compared with C. dalli from Southeast Alaska and southern California.

Sur la biologie d'un chthamalide intertidal (Crustacea, Cirripedia) de la mer de Tchoukotsk. Près du cap Thompson, Alaska, on trouve dans la zone intertidale l'espèce pacifique-boréale Chthamalus dalli. A part quelques algues éphémères, les autres organismes sont absents de la zone intertidale : la cirripède en question passe l'hiver gelée dans le pied-de-glace. La croissance, étudiée sur les anneaux de la coquille, semble plus lente que dans des localités plus méridionales, mais dure cinq ans ou plus : la maturité est atteinte en deux ans et la reproduction a lieu à une température de l'eau de mer de 6°C. La comparaison entre les courbes de l'activité cirrale et de la température montre un léger déplacement latéral (adaptation au froid) par rapport à la même espèce dans le sud-est de l'Alaska et le sud de la Californie. Les auteurs discutent de l'absence de l'espèce boréale-arctique Balanus balanoides et concluent que pour les conditions hydrographiques existantes, la période de reproduction estivale plus longue chez C. dalli a pu lui donner un avantage sur B. balanoides dans la colonisation de l'est de la mer de Tchoukotsk.


Permafrost depths, lower Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories   /   Mackay, J.R.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 21-26, figures
ASTIS record 10005
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Reports 1965-66 ground temperature records for seven new sites established in the lower Mackenzie valley, indicating permafrost thickness of about 350 ft for Arctic Red River, 400 ft in site 14 mi west of Fort McPherson, 350 ft or more in the south central Mackenzie Delta, and 60-100 ft at four sites in the outer Delta which are within two feet of sea level. In the distal part of the Delta, where new islands are growing, perma- frost is aggrading downwards in the saturated alluvial soils.

Profondeurs du pergélisol, basse vallée du Mackenzie, T.N.-O. Au moyen de cables à thermistor installés dans des puits sismiques forés à cette fin, on a relevé les températures dans le sol pour sept sites de la basse vallée du Mackenzie, pour la période de 1965 à 1966. À partir de ces premières mesures, on estime l'épaisseur du pergélisol à environ 350 pieds (120 m) pour Arctic Red River et à 400 pieds (135 m) pour un site localisé à 14 milles (23 km) à l'ouest de Fort McPherson. Dans la partie sud-centrale du delta, zone de chenaux mouvants et de lacs en voie de comblement, l'épaisseur est de 350 pieds (120 m), ou peut-être plus. Dans la partie digitée du delta, où de nouvelles îles se forment, le pergélisol progresse en profondeur dans les matériaux, le pergélisol peut n'avoir que de 60 à 100 pieds (20 à 34 m) d'épaisseur : il devrait continuer à y progresser encore pendant plusieurs siècles.


Microbiological studies of aquatic habitats of the area of Inuvik, Northwest Territories   /   Boyd, W.L.   Boyd, J.W.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 27-41, ill., figures, tables
ASTIS record 10006
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Results of chemical analyses and bacterial counts of waters in eight lakes and the Mackenzie River at Inuvik, show a uniform chemical composition throughout the ice-free period (Jun-Aug), an increase in psychrophilic and mesophilic bacteria, and low counts of thermophilic bacteria and molds. Water supplied to Inuvik from the Mackenzie River, has been pumped into Hidden Lake during freeze-up, allowed to settle, then filtered and chlorinated. This system is described and problems of circulation and sewage disposal noted, with tabulated data on microbial and chemical properties of the sewage lagoons.

Études microbiologiques d'habitats aquatiques de la région d'Inuvik, T.N.-O. Les auteurs ont mené des études chimiques et microbiologiques dans des lacs et des mares et sur le fleuve Mackenzie, au voisinage d'Inuvik. Sauf pour quelques exceptions, la composition chimique de la plupart de ces eaux était uniforme tout au long de la période pendant laquelle elles étaient libres de glace. Dans tous les cas, le nombre de bactéries psychrophiles et mésophiles augmentait, mais pas nécessairement au même moment; les comptages de bactéries thermophiles et de moisissures donnèrent des chiffres assez bas. Des études auxiliaires furent aussi menées sur l'eau de ruissellement et sur les réseaux d'adduction d'eau et d'égouts de la ville.


Devon Island programs, 1966   /   Barr, W.   Brooke, R.C.   Hussell, D.J.T.   King, R.H.   Koerner, R.M.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 44-49, map
ASTIS record 55201
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Five field parties availed themselves of the facilities at the Arctic Institute's Base Camp on Devon Island during the 1966 field season. Each party consisted of two men (or in the case of the glaciology party, one man and one woman). The general areas of study were glaciology, botany, ornithology, periglacial geomorphology, and glacioisostatic geomorphology. A base-camp staff of three, including two Boy Scouts, provided a valuable service in maintaining the Base Camp, and in assisting the various field parties as required. The first party flew to Devon Island from Resolute Bay on 11 June, and the remainder followed on 16 and 29 June. Some of the party left Devon Island by air on 13 August, while the remainder were evacuated by the icebreaker John A. Macdonald on 29 August. Transport to and from Devon Island was greatly simplified through the kind assistance of Dr. F. Roots of the Polar Continental Shelf Project; whenever weather and the needs of his own project permitted, he made every effort to assist in the movement of equipment and personnel to and from Devon Island. ...


Icefield Ranges Research Project, St. Elias Mountains, Yukon, 1966   /   Ragle, R.H.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 49-53
ASTIS record 55202
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The Icefield Ranges Research Project (IRRP) continued in 1966 to expand its areas of research. Though work began 1 June and continued until the first week in September, the major portion of the summer investigations was carried out between 20 June and 20 August. Interdisciplinary by nature, IRRP is a combination of investigations in many research fields. In the broad categories of geography, geology, and biology, there were in 1966 twenty studies conducted by more than forty persons, including support personnel. Twelve graduate and two undergraduate college students represented eight colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Three Canadian scouts, with a number of young students and technical personnel, also assisted in various programs. The Arctic Institute was again awarded by the National Science Foundation a Research Participation for College Teachers (RPCT) grant to allow six teachers to take part in the IRRP research program. Three teachers who were awarded 1965-66 Academic Year Extension grants by the Division of Undergraduate Education in Science of the National Science Foundation returned as participants in the 1966 RPCT program. Participants were equally divided between the earth and biological sciences. IRRP also gave support in part to four independent short-term studies in geology and biology, as well as to a special reconnaissance of mountaineering objectives for the Yukon Territory's Canadian Centennial project in 1967. ...


Polar bear studies during 1966   /   Flyger, V.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 53
ASTIS record 60861
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Polar bear migratory habits and population dynamics are relatively unknown and to learn more about these aspects, the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) is supporting a long-range, research project. With funds from the Office of Naval Research the Institute sent Dr. Martin W. Schein to the Arctic Research Laboratory at Point Barrow during April 1965 and he returned to ARL with Dr. Vagn Flyger in March 1966. With the help of the able pilots at the Arctic Research Laboratory and their small ski equipped airplanes, they developed the following technique for capturing bears. When weather permitted they flew out over the ice in the general area north of Point Barrow with Cessna 180 airplanes. While one airplane flew at an elevation of about 100 feet and searched for polar bear tracks, the other airplane, containing Flyger and Schein, flew slightly behind and at an altitude of about 500 feet. Upon finding polar bear tracks, the planes followed them until they came upon the bear. The plane containing the biologists went on ahead about two or three miles in the direction the bear was travelling and deposited Flyger and Schein on the ice where they hid behind a pressure ridge. The plane then took off and the two planes drove the bear to the waiting biologists. When the bear got to within approximately 50 yards, it was shot with an automatic projectile syringe from a rifle. Syringes contained the drug succinylcholine chloride which paralyzed the bear within a few minutes. While the bears were immobile, they were examined, measured, and marked with ear tags and dye so that they could be recognized later if seen. Five bears were captured but of these four died because of a combination of overdoses of the drug and circumstances connected with chasing the bear with aircraft. Much, however, was learned from these animals which made it possible to be more successful in capturing and marking bears in Svalbard during August 1966. The Norsk Polarinstitutt invited Dr. Flyger, supported by AINA, and Dr. Albert W. Erickson, supported by the New York Zoological Society, to accompany them on a polar bear capturing expedition to Svalbard during the summer of 1966. This expedition under the direction of Mr. Thor Larsen from the University of Oslo, operating in the pack ice near Kong Karls Land in a seal hunting vessel was able to capture four bears, mark them, and release them alive. This time a different drug was used: M-99, a synthetic opiate. Working from a ship was much easier than with aircraft because it was possible to observe the bear closely before shooting it with a projectile syringe, thus lessening the chance of an overdose. Plans are now under way for a large scale program to mark polar bears over the entire Arctic. ... The feasibility of studying bear movements with radio transmitter-receivers is being explored with the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). Telemetric methods which have been used on other animals including brown and black bears are not applicable to arctic conditions. Recently developments in satellite technology have raised the possibility that perhaps polar bears can be studied by employing a Nimbus B satellite. Such a satellite would pick up messages (giving location, heartbeat, respiration rate, internal temperature, and external temperature) from a transmitter-receiver on a collar around the neck of the bear and relay them to a tracking station on earth. The practicability of this is being studied at present with NASA.


Permafrozen peat sampling - dynamite and chain-saw   /   Nichols, H.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 54
ASTIS record 60862
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The recovery of specimens of frozen peat for purposes of palynology and radiocarbon dating is notoriously difficult. A recent development by the Geological Survey of Canada has been the attachment of a powerdrive to the SIPRE ice-borer which allows the rapid recovery of 3 inch (7.6 cm.) diameter cores from frozen ground. The borer weighs 105 lbs. (c 48 kg.) and the motor 26 or 85 lbs. (12 or 39 kg.) depending on the type employed. This equipment does not entirely fulfil the requirement for a small lightweight sampler which is easily portable by one man over long distances through rough country. An unpremeditated encounter with a permanently frozen peat bank in subarctic Canada led the author to employ explosives for sampling, after work with a hammer and chisel had provided samples big enough for pollen analysis but not for radiocarbon dating. The explosion of two dynamite charges at the base of the peat face resulted only in the exposure of a fresh (frozen) surface. A third charge shattered the peat face so that the vertical bank was faced with partially-broken lumps of frozen peat. These were in situ, but they could then be prised away from the parent body after the depth below surface had been noted. In this fashion a sequence of irregularly-shaped peat blocks was obtained which gave an approximately vertical and almost continuous peat section from the upper permafrost surface to the minerogenic base (a total depth of about one metre). This type of sampling is considered to be a hit-or-miss method, with no guarantee of success, and it is not recommended save as a last resort. Users are advised that inhalation of the explosion gases which linger at the site for some minutes after detonation may lead to intense headaches lasting many hours. Subsequently it was found that a conventional 5½ horsepower chain-saw was capable without adaptation of cutting frozen peat without difficulty and with close control. I am not aware of the previous use of this tool for peat sampling, but I make no claim for originality in its employment. I merely observe that I was once unaware of its potential and I suspect that this ignorance may be widespread. The chain-saw is light in weight (15 lbs. or 7 kg.), inexpensive (c. 150 U.S. dollars), small, and is easily obtainable from general stores throughout the United States and Canada. It allows the easy excavation of frozen peat monoliths big enough for C14 and plant macrofossil analysis (c. 20 to 25 cm. square) provided that there is an exposed peat face. Where no exposed peat bank exists it is possible to use explosives to excavate a hole in the peat, thus providing an exposure which may be sampled by chain-saw. The shallowness of peat in areas subject to permafrost (often less than two metres of organic accumulation for the post-glacial in Arctic North America) makes such excavation relatively easy.


Alan Thomas Belcher (1903-1966)   /   Alexander, S.
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 60
ASTIS record 55203
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Alan Thomas Belcher, former Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and past Executive Director of the Arctic Institute of North America (1957-1960), died in Ottawa on 14 October 1966 at the age of 64. Alan Belcher was 'born into the service' on 8 March 1903 at the Calgary Division H.Q. of the R.C.M.P. where his father, later Deputy Commissioner T. S. Belcher, was stationed as a Sergeant Major. Alan joined the R.C.M.P. at the age of sixteen as a trumpeter, and as soon as his age permitted he followed an interest which was to be lifelong by obtaining a post in the Arctic. He maintained his interest in and close association with that region even after advancing rank precluded further service in the Far North. A close and intimate knowledge of the R.C.M.P. service in a difficult and demanding environment and outstanding personal qualities combined to produce an officer and individual of exceptional calibre. He was known throughout the Force as a strict disciplinarian, yet he held the respect of all and the affection of most who knew him because he had the gift of understanding the viewpoints of others even though he might not be in agreement. The Arctic is not an easy judge of a man; but Alan Belcher was held in high esteem by Eskimo and Indian and the trappers, traders and others of the white community of the North. The arduous dog team patrols he carried out while in the Far North were not newsworthy events because they were made routine by his knowledge, care, and thoroughness; he made no mistakes. An incident in his northern service contributed a placename in Dease Strait when the motor vessel Ptarmigan under his command suffered an engine failure during a storm. As the boat went ashore an Eskimo woman passenger gave birth to a child, and although the vessel could not be salvaged, the mother and child were. The point of land where this incident occurred is now known as Ptarmigan Point. The appointment of Alan Belcher as Executive Director of the Arctic Institute in 1957 offered him scope for application of his experience in and knowledge of the region. His gracious manner and even temperament were equally valuable in the development of the Institute as a truly international organization, and his resignation three years later was cause of regret to the membership. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, and his son, George, both of whom reside in Ottawa.


Anna Magnella Thomas (1903-1966)
Arctic, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 1967, p. 60
ASTIS record 55204
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Anna Magnella Thomas, wife of Rear Admiral Charles W. Thomas, USCG (Ret.), a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, died at Tripler Army Hospital, Honolulu, Hawaii, 20 October 1966. Mrs. Thomas was born in Denmark in 1903 and in 1930 became a registered nurse. She served in the Danish Military Nursing Corps until 1938 when she was appointed to the Crown Colony hospital at Ivigtut, Greenland. In addition to Ivigtut patients she also gratuitously attended Greenlanders from the village of Arsuk and U.S. Coast Guard and Naval personnel at the Naval Operating Facility at Grondal. During her eight years in Greenland she became proficient in the Greenlandic language. In 1946 she married Captain Charles W. Thomas, then Commander Greenland Patrol, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. She was commended by the U.S. Navy for services to U.S. Naval and Coast Guard personnel during World War II. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Trina Anne (14) and a sister, Mrs. J. M. Leroy, wife of Commander Leroy, U.S.N. and three sisters and a brother in Denmark.


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