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Non-professional indigenous staff in northern research   /   Francis, K.E.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 270-275
ASTIS record 9357
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... Clearly we are witnessing a fundamental change in the terms of reference for northern research arising from the Northerner's rejection of his imposed role as object of investigation and curiosity. ... social research has been jeopardized in many northern areas today. This is an especially unfortunate situation in that there remains need both for better general understanding of northern communities and environments and for the benefits that could be realized by the communities, as well as outside interests from well-considered and well-executed research. There have been some recent efforts to establish more empathetic and more effective approaches to social and environmental research in the North, the Arctic Institute's Man-in-the-North (MIN) Project being a notable one. The MIN Project sought local initiatives on both needs and procedures in social change in broad terms. The fact that the results of the project have not been entirely consistent with the rush of events only further demonstrates the basic differences between the self-perceived needs of northern people and the "benefits" being laid on them by external forces. The absence or near absence of qualified professional staff indigenous to northern communities is often cited as a deterrent to effective participation of northern people in research. ... In attempting to determine the possibilities for effective involvement of local non-professional staff in professional research roles, the University of Toronto and the Mackenzie Institute of Inuvik, with the support of the Donner Canadian Foundation, have now concluded the field phase of an experimental program of research on resident travel and land use in several communities in northwestern Canada. The program was highly unorthodox .... Project personnel in each community were selected as much on the basis of benefit to them as on their qualifications for the job. ... Working together they produced a nearly faultless record of the travels and land use of everyone in the large and dynamic Mackenzie Delta community of Aklavik. I have described briefly the nature of this project. There have been both negative and positive results. The most prominent positive result was the strong demonstration of the value of local experience in both conceptual and operational problems. One significant negative result was the demand and apparent need for greater guidance, reassurance and human contact of professional staff by the non-professionals. ... It appears that professionals, besides the obvious contributions they can make, can have a strong catalytic function. They can also, of course, dampen the initiatives of the non-professional staff if they are of such disposition. Since this is largely a matter of personality and sensitivity, it points up the importance of these factors in the selection of professionals who will be involved in northern work. ... [Suggestions for methodology are proposed for selection of suitable professionals and non-professionals, communication with Native organizations, etc.]


The igloo and the natural bridge as ultimate structures   /   Handy, R.L.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 276-281, figures
ASTIS record 10239
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The Eskimo snow igloo is not a hemisphere as frequently depicted, but a catenoid of revolution with an optimum height-to-diameter ratio. This shape eliminates ring tension and shell moments and therefore prevents failure by caving or bulging. Rainbow Natural Bridge, Utah, is a catenary, probably because of weathering along the trajectory of maximum compressive stress.


Ice regime and ice transport in Nares Strait   /   Dunbar, M.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 282-291, ill., figure
ASTIS record 10240
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In order to assess the part played by ice export through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in the heat budget of the Arctic Ocean, one of the factors that must be known is the length of time per year that the channels are sealed by fast ice. To establish this for Nares Strait, a series of flights was undertaken through the winters of 1970-71 and 1971-72. The resulting observations, combined with a search of historical records, suggest that the date of consolidation of ice in this channel tends to be late. A tentative calculation of annual export leads to the conclusion that the contribution of the Canadian channels may be greater than has been supposed.


Air quality in a Subarctic community, Fairbanks, Alaska   /   Holty, J.G.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 292-302, ill., figures, tables
ASTIS record 10241
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Expanding population centred around Fairbanks has brought concern that air pollution in the area may become intolerable. The atmosphere of the lower Chena River Valley is extremely stable during much of the year. Temperature inversions are believed to be among the steepest in the world. Inversions at -35C or below are characterized by a dense layer of "ice fog." This study found that pollution levels doubled or tripled during periods of extreme cold inversions. Some pollutants approached national urban averages, while total suspended matter and carbon monoxide averages exceeded ambient standards. Since air contaminants as well as ice fog increase with human habitation, the possibility of pollution reaching hazardous proportions in this subarctic community should be viewed with urgency.


Optical properties of the Arctic upper water   /   Smith, R.C.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 303-313, figures, table
ASTIS record 10242
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Optical properties of the Arctic Upper Water have been measured from Fletcher's Ice Island, T-3, in the Arctic Ocean. Beam transmittance for various wave-lengths and the upwelling and downwelling irradiance have been measured to a depth of 120 metres. In the spectral region of maximum transmittance, the beam transmittance was found to be 93.1% per metre and the diffuse attenuation coefficient for irradiance was 0.0444 per metre. The data show that the Arctic Upper Water, in early May before the snow cover on the ice has cleared, is optically uniform and very clear.


Holocene history of a portion of northernmost Ellesmere Island   /   Lyons, J.B.   Mielke, J.E.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 314-323, figures, table
ASTIS record 10243
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Radiocarbon dates and glaciological features of the Ward Hunt area along northernmost Ellesmere Island suggest the following chronology, which is consistent with worldwide climatic oscillations: 1) 10,000-4100 B.P.: deglaciation, and development of several marine levels, particularly one now 40 m above sea level, at 7500 300 B.P.; 2) 4100-2400 years B.P.: climatic deterioration, glacial readvance and formation of ice shelves; 3) 2400-1400 years B.P.: general climatic amelioration; development of dust ablation horizon on Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, glacial retreat; 4) 1400 B.P.-present: climatic deterioration, with renewed thickening of Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, and beginnings of growth of ice rises; the last-mentioned experienced maximum growth in the interval between 350-170 years ago; slight glacial readvance. The isostatic rebound curve for northernmost Ellesmere Island differs from that of the Tanquary Fiord area 80 miles (128 km) to the south because of differing Pleistocene ice thicknesses. We estimate these to average at least 600 m for the former area and 1800 m for the latter.


Arctic pharmacognosia   /   Smith, G.W.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 324-333
ASTIS record 10244
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Studies into the history of native uses of local plant materials for medicine have often provided significant insight into the structure and achievements of their culture. In addition, the documentation of such practices has frequently led to the discovery of important new pharmaceutical products and procedures. Literature on this subject is briefly reviewed, representing initial research into the history and chemistry of pharmacologically-exploited arctic natural products, particularly those of Alaska.


Greenland's policy in the seventies   /   Bornemann, C.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 334-335
ASTIS record 10245
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The year 1971 marked the beginning of an epoch in Greenland's policy. The colonial status of the island had been abolished a couple of decades before, and efforts had been initiated to introduce comprehensive reforms. The goal to be achieved was a rapid improvement of the population's standard of living .... At the election of the Provincial Council in Greenland in 1971 a new generation came to the fore, and several young politicians were elected whose attitude to the policy so far pursued was very critical. ... Insofar as the Greenlanders are concerned it is recognized that the political reforms have resulted in a considerable improvement in the material conditions of life, but it is maintained that the price has been too high. Serious social problems have followed in the wake of the rapid development, and the cultural life of Greenland has been endangered by the concentrated Danish humanitarian effort. The young people want a continuation of the policy of development, but at a slower pace, and with more consideration for the needs of the villages and the hunting districts. They want the political agencies in Greenland to be given added power, and think that the educational policy should be changed. More weight should be attached to Greenlandic within the schools, and the educational program should be planned to meet requirements in Greenland rather than just being a copy of the educational system in Denmark. The Danish influence making itself so heavily felt within the sector of private business in Greenland should be limited .... Greenlanders want to be allowed to decide their own affairs. ... It is expected that by the end of the 1970s the local administration, roads, power plants, schools, etc. will have been taken over entirely by the Greenlanders themselves. The role of the central government will be limited to the granting of subsidies in amounts which, on the whole, will be based on the number of inhabitants in each municipality. These proposed reforms, however, apparently do not satisfy the young politicians ... whose ultimate goal is Home Rule. ... One of the most difficult questions in connection with Home Rule for Greenland is how to combine any such system with the subsidy arrangement under which the Danish Government at the moment contributes Dkr. 700 million a year to Greenland. Normally, Home Rule would involve economic independence, but it is a serious question whether the economic resources of Greenland would be sufficient to finance the community in the process of development. The principal industry of Greenland - the fisheries - has during recent years been faced with considerable difficulties owing to an unfavourable climatic change, over-fishing and international restrictions. ... In connection with the Home Rule issue no desire has been expressed for complete severance from Denmark. ... The development of Greenland's policy during the coming years will be exciting. Quite a few Greenlanders are opposed to the out-spokenness of the new politicians and find their views too radical. It is now a question, of whether the young politicians can manage to stick together and whether they will be able to win the sympathy of the general public in Greenland for their views before the election of the Provincial Council in 1975.


Sampling of glacial snow for pesticide analysis on the high plateau glacier of Mount Logan   /   Stengle, T.R.   Lichtenberg, J.J.   Houston, C.S.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 335-336
ASTIS record 10246
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Recently there have been a number of attempts to determine the presence of pollutants in remote areas of the world. The snow of glaciers is a particularly interesting subject for such work, since it contains a record of past years as well as the present. ... Such pollutants are transported by the atmosphere, and it is especially interesting to know if they are present in precipitation that forms at high altitude. As part of the Ice Field Ranges Research Project (IRRP) of 1970, we undertook the study of another common pollutant, the pesticide DDT. Here we report on our attempt to develop techniques for taking snow samples at high altitude in locations where work had to be done under adverse conditions, and with simple equipment. Samples were taken at an elevation of 5,364 metres on Mount Logan, Yukon Territory, Canada. ... The work was performed at temperatures below -20C, and often in high winds. At this elevation the effects of hypoxia are quite marked .... when unpacked in the field, quantities of an oily material were found on the [new SIPRE snow] auger. It was not practical to achieve a thorough cleaning under field conditions, but as much of the material as possible was removed by using Coleman Fuel - a highly refined non-leaded gasoline designed for camp stoves. Provision of suitable sample containers was an important aspect of the preparations. Two-gallon wide-mouth Nalgene jugs were used on the glacier. The mouth was large enough so that the snow core could slide into the jug directly from the auger without intermediate handling. As long as the samples remained frozen, they could be stored in plastic. However, since liquid water slowly leaches material from the jugs, the samples were transferred to glass jars as soon as they melted. ... A special effort was made in the precleaning of both jars and jugs because of the low levels of pesticide expected. ... Precautions were taken to avoid contamination during sample collection. The first few samples were discarded in the hope of removing any residual contamination from the auger. During the sampling process the auger was never touched by bare hands or gloves. The only surface which came into contact with the samples before their arrival at the laboratory were the auger and the precleaned jugs and jars. At the end of the work, one sample was deliberately mishandled as a control. It subsequently showed no contamination from either polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or DDT. Nineteen samples were taken at depths of from 1 to 15 metres. The DDT analysis was carried out ... using a gas chromatographic technique .... DDT was not detected in any of the samples. In seven of the samples the lower limit of detectibility for DDT was 5 nanograms per liter. Due to interference, apparently from PCBs, 10 to 50 ng/l of DDT could have been present in the remaining samples and not have been detected by this method. It is suggestive that the samples showing no PCB contamination were the last ones taken. It is likely that the PCB contamination came from the oily material originally on the auger, and that the remnant of this was removed during the early part of the drilling. On the basis of these results it seems that sampling of glacial snow for trace organic pollutants is feasible, even when samples must be taken under unfavourable conditions with primitive techniques. It is of paramount importance to preclean every surface that will come into contact with the sample, both sampling tools, and sample containers. ...


Observations of Arctic sea ice dynamics using the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS-1)   /   Rango, A.   Greaves, J.R.   DeRycke, R.J.
Arctic, v. 26, no. 4, Dec. 1973, p. 337-339, ill.
ASTIS record 10248
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This study shows that ERTS-l, launched by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in July 1972, can be used to make synoptic observations of dynamic changes in arctic sea ice .... Each data swath of ERTS-l is 185 kilometres wide at the surface and is repeated once every 18 days. ... Because of a near-polar orbit, this sidelap increases to over 80 per cent at arctic latitudes. As a consequence of this large sidelap, the tracking of individual ice features for periods up to 5 or 6 days is permitted. The ERTS-1 Multispectral Scanner Subsystem (MSS) records data by simultaneously scanning across the satellite track in 4 spectral bands. The wavelength limits of the 4 bands are: green (0.5-0.6 m), red (0.6-0.7 m), and two near infrared bands (0.7-0.8 m and 0.8-1.1 m). The nominal spatial resolution for all 4 bands is 80 metres. A standard ERTS-1 photographic format has an image scale of nearly 1:1,000,000, which is convenient for direct comparison with available maps. Hendriksen Strait, the passage between Amund Ringnes Island and Cornwall Island at about 7745' N and 9500' W constituted the study area; it is in the Queen Elizabeth Islands of Arctic Canada, and is one of the most enticing and promising areas of recent oil and gas strikes. ... during a 6-day period from 23 to 28 August, ERTS-1 provided 5 days of coverage of Hendriksen Strait. Various types of sea ice can be identified in the ERTS-l imagery (0.6-0.7 m band) .... In such a sequence of observations, a number of sea ice changes with time are detectable. Changes in position of individual ice floes can easily be translated to velocity. A number of ice floes were tracked over the 5-day period and their velocities calculated. The average velocity for ice floe movement was 8.5 kilometres/day .... ERTS-l can be used to study ice floe morphology and dynamics in the Beaufort Sea at time scales of several days to months. Repeated observations of individual ice floes such as those available here will also allow calculation of the ablation of the ice mass, in this case the decrease of surface area with time. ... The ice cover, i.e. the relative amount of sea ice present in a given area, is important for shipping purposes and air-sea interaction processes. The ice cover in Hendriksen Strait on 23 August was approximately 7/10, decreasing to 2/10 by 28 August. This type of sea ice change is easily observed from ERTS-1 .... In regard to the delineation of navigation routes through sea ice, the detection of active melting on the surface of the ice would indicate areas likely to be ice free in the near future. ERTS-1 has the ability to do this through observations of reflectance variability both temporally and spectrally. The second method of observing the sea ice reflectance change is provided by comparing two separate images made at the same time but in different spectral bands. ... Because the absorption of solar radiation by water is much greater in the near infrared than in the visible portion of the spectrum, the lower reflectance is again probably due to the presence of melt-water on the surface of the ice. Thus sea ice with water on it, even in very thin layers, will show a considerable difference in reflectance between these spectral bands of observation. ... Temporal and spectral observations of reflectance variations afforded by ERTS-l thus make it possible to locate areas of sea ice that are in varying stages of melting and breakup. The results presented here demonstrate that for high latitudes, ERTS-1 will provide overlapping coverage on sequential days that will allow observation of dynamic changes in the polar regions. In addition, route planning for shipping in the Arctic should benefit from frequent observations of sea ice movement and reflectance variations of the type obtainable from ERTS-l. Projected further, sea ice observations from ERTS-l over a period of years in the Arctic Islands should aid in the placement of offshore oil-drilling structures. Reflectance measurements over this period will also increase our understanding of the heat balance in the polar regions. Finally, ERTS-l observations of the amount of ice cover versus the amount of open water will be important in determining boundary conditions for future use in models of the global heat balance.


Arctic Institute of North America. Records from this database may be used freely for research and educational purposes, but may not be used to create databases or publications for distribution outside your own organization without prior permission from ASTIS.