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Canada, the Antarctic and the Madrid Protocol   /   Adams, P.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. iii-iv
ASTIS record 52862
PDF

The House of Commons of Canada passed Bill C-42, An Act respecting the protection of the Antarctic Environment, in June 2003. By it, Canada ratifies the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (the "Madrid Protocol"), which designates Antarctica as a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. Through this legislation, Canada will have the legal instruments to manage and monitor its citizens and others on Canadian projects in the Antarctic with respect to the environmental codes of conduct established by the Madrid Protocol. Canadians have been involved in Antarctica since the first overwintering at the turn of the 19th century. The level of activity, over the years and today, is much greater than most people think. The Arctic Institute of North America, established in the 1940s, has always had an interest in both polar regions; its Act of Parliament refers to both hemispheres. ... The Antarctic Treaty of 1961 establishes that Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only. It prohibits military activity, nuclear tests, and radioactive waste disposal. It promotes international cooperation in research and suspends all sovereignty claims. The Antarctic Treaty System includes the Antarctic Treaty itself, the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Seals (CCAS, 1972), the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR, 1980), and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (1991), also known as the Madrid Protocol. ... Canada acceded to the Antarctic Treaty and the CCAMLR in 1988 and to the CCAS in 1990. The Madrid Protocol entered into force in 1998, ratified by 29 nations. Canada signed it (agreed to it in principle) in 1991, but did not ratify it. Bill C-42 ... is summarized as follows: The purpose of this enactment is to protect the Antarctic environment, particularly by implementing the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. This enactment provides a permitting regime that gives the Minister the necessary powers to ensure that the activities undertaken by Canadian expeditions, Canadian vessels and Canadian aircraft in the Antarctic are subject to an environmental impact assessment prior to their occurrence. This enactment creates prohibitions to protect the Antarctic marine environment, specially protected areas and historic sites and monuments in the Antarctic, and species that are native to the Antarctic. The provisions of the legislation, including regulations adopted pursuant to the bill, apply to all, regardless of nationality, on Canadian expeditions (that is, expeditions organized in or proceeding from Canada) to the Antarctic. They apply to all Canadians, Canadian vessels, and aircraft in the Antarctic and to anyone at a Canadian station there. There will be a permit system for people and activities covered by the legislation. This will encompass such things as environmental impact assessment, specially protected areas, waste management, and emergency plans. ... There are monitoring, reporting, and inspection provisions to allow enforcement. In Canada, the enforcement provisions are in line with the Fisheries Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), and the Species at Risk Act (SARA). ... formal ratification of the Madrid Protocol shows our willingness as a nation to enforce these standards. ...


New ways of mapping : using GPS mapping software to plot place names and trails in Igloolik (Nunavut)   /   Aporta, C.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 321-327, maps
ASTIS record 52864
PDF

The combined use of a GPS receiver and mapping software proved to be a straightforward, flexible, and inexpensive way of mapping and displaying (in digital or paper format) 400 place names and 37 trails used by Inuit of Igloolik, in the Eastern Canadian Arctic. The geographic coordinates of some of the places named had been collected in a previous toponymy project. Experienced hunters suggested the names of additional places, and these coordinates were added on location, using a GPS receiver. The database of place names thus created is now available to the community at the Igloolik Research Centre. The trails (most of them traditional, well-traveled routes used in Igloolik for generations) were mainly mapped while traveling, using the track function of a portable GPS unit. Other trails were drawn by experienced hunters, either on paper maps or electronically using Fugawi mapping software. The methods employed in this project are easy to use, making them helpful to local communities involved in toponymy and other mapping projects. The geographic data obtained with this method can be exported easily into text files for use with GIS software if further manipulation and analysis of the data are required.

L'utilisation combinée d'un récepteur GPS et d'un logiciel de cartographie s'est révélée être une façon directe, souple et peu coûteuse de cartographier et de présenter (sous forme numérique ou imprimée) 400 lieux-dits et 37 pistes utilisés par les Inuits d'Igloolik, dans l'est de l'Arctique canadien. Les coordonnées géographiques de certains lieux-dits avaient été relevées lors d'un projet de toponymie précédent. Des chasseurs expérimentés ont suggéré les noms d'autres endroits, et ces coordonnées ont été ajoutées sur place, à l'aide d'un récepteur GPS. La banque de données des lieux-dits ainsi créée peut maintenant être consultée par la collectivité au Centre de recherche d'Igloolik. Les pistes (la plupart étant des itinéraires traditionnels bien courus, utilisés depuis des générations à Igloolik) ont été cartographiées surtout lors de voyages, en recourant à la fonction de trajectographie d'un appareil GPS portable. D'autres pistes ont été dessinées par des chasseurs expérimentés, soit sur des cartes imprimées, soit de façon électronique à l'aide du logiciel de cartographie Fugawi. Les méthodes employées dans ce projet sont faciles à utiliser, ce qui les rend utiles pour les collectivités de la région qui participent à des activités toponymiques et à d'autres travaux de cartographie. Les données géographiques obtenues avec cette méthode peuvent être facilement exportées en fichiers-textes pour être utilisées avec un logiciel SIG si l'on a besoin de procéder à d'autres manipulations et analyses des données.


Streamflow in the Mackenzie basin, Canada   /   Woo, M.-K.   Thorne, R.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 328-340, ill., maps
ASTIS record 52865
PDF

Rivers of the Mackenzie Basin exhibit several seasonal flow patterns that include the nival (snowmelt dominated), proglacial (influenced by glacier melt), wetland, prolacustrine (below large lakes), and regulated flow regimes. The Mackenzie amalgamates and moderates these regimes to deliver spring peak flows, followed by declining summer discharge and low winter flows, to the Arctic Ocean. The mountainous sub-basins in the west (Liard, Peace, and northern mountains) contribute about 60% of the Mackenzie flow, while the interior plains and eastern Canadian Shield contribute only about 25%, even though the two regions have similar total areas (each occupying about 40% of the total Mackenzie Basin). The mountain zone is the dominant flow contributor to the Mackenzie in both high-flow and low-flow years. A case study of the Great Slave system demonstrates the effects of natural runoff, regulated runoff, and lake storage on streamflow, as well as the large year-to-year variability of lake levels and discharge. Despite a warming trend in the past three decades, annual runoff of the Mackenzie Basin has not changed. Significant warming at most climatic stations in April (and at some, also in May or June) could have triggered earlier snowmelt. The first day of hydrograph rise for the main trunk of the Mackenzie (seen as a proxy for breakup) has advanced by about three days per decade, though the trend was not statistically significant for the mountain rivers. Peak flows do not reveal any trend, but the arrival of the spring peaks has become more variable. More evidence is needed to interpret these flow phenomena properly.

Les rivières du bassin du Mackenzie manifestent plusieurs modèles d'écoulement qui comprennent les régimes d'écoulement nival (dominé par la fonte des neiges), proglaciaire (influencé par la fonte glaciaire), de marécages, prolascustre (en aval de grands lacs) et régularisé. Le Mackenzie combine et modère ces régimes pour donner des débits de pointe au printemps, suivis d'un débit à la baisse en été, puis de faibles débits en hiver, en direction de l'océan Arctique. Les sous-bassins montagneux occidentaux (Liard, Peace et montagnes du Nord) contribuent pour environ 60 % au débit du Mackenzie, tandis que les plaines intérieures et le Bouclier canadien oriental ne contribuent que pour environ 25 %, même si les deux régions ont une superficie globale semblable (chacune occupant environ 40 % de la superficie totale du bassin du Mackenzie). La zone montagneuse apporte la contribution majeure au régime du Mackenzie, dans les années à fort débit comme dans celles à faible débit. Une étude de cas du réseau du Grand lac des Esclaves révèle l'impact sur le débit fluvial de l'écoulement naturel, de l'écoulement régularisé et de la hauteur d'eau dans le lac, ainsi que la grande variabilité d'une année sur l'autre du niveau et du débit des lacs. Malgré la tendance au réchauffement des trois dernières décennies, l'écoulement annuel du bassin du Mackenzie n'a pas changé. Un réchauffement notable enregistré à la plupart des stations climatiques en avril (et à certaines aussi en mai ou juin) pourrait avoir provoqué une fonte nivale précoce. Le premier jour où se manifeste l'augmentation du régime hydrique pour l'artère principale du Mackenzie (considéré comme un indicateur de la débâcle) a avancé d'environ trois jours par décennie, bien que statistiquement cette tendance ne soit pas significative pour les rivières de montagne. Les débits de pointe ne révèlent aucune tendance, mais l'arrivée des pics printaniers est devenue plus variable. Il faudrait des preuves supplémentaires pour interpréter correctement ces phénomènes d'écoulement.


Gyrfalcon feeding behaviour during the nestling period in central West Greenland   /   Booms, T.L.   Fuller, M.R.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 341-348, ill.
ASTIS record 52866
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We studied gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) food delivery and feeding behavior during the nestling period in central West Greenland during the 2000 and 2001 field seasons. We used time-lapse video cameras installed at three nests to record 2677.25 hours of nestling video. Ptarmigan delivered to nests were usually plucked prior to delivery and included the breast and superior thoracic vertebrae. Arctic hare leverets were rarely plucked and often delivered in parts. The most commonly delivered leveret part was the hind legs attached to the lower back. Passerines were rarely plucked and usually delivered whole. After feeding the young, adults removed 20.9% of prey items from the nest, which included items both with and without obvious muscle still attached. Prey delivery rates were similar among nests and increased as nestlings aged. Prey delivery frequency peaked in the morning and evening, with a distinct lull in the late evening and early morning hours. Male and female adults delivered a similar number of prey, though males typically delivered smaller prey than females. Gyrfalcons cached and re-delivered at least 9.1% of all items delivered, and one item was cached and retrieved three times.

Durant les campagnes sur le terrain de 2000 et 2001 dans le centre du Groenland occidental, on a étudié chez le faucon gerfaut (Falco rusticolus) l'apport en nourriture et le comportement alimentaire pendant le séjour au nid. À l'aide de caméras vidéo filmant à intervalles, installées à trois nids, on a enregistré 2677,25 heures de vidéo au nid. Les lagopèdes apportés au nid étaient en général plumés avant d'y être déposés et comprenaient la poitrine et les vertèbres supérieures du thorax. Les jeunes lièvres arctiques étaient rarement pelés et étaient souvent apportés en morceaux. La partie du levraut la plus communément apportée était les pattes arrière rattachées au bas du dos. Les passereaux étaient rarement plumés et étaient en général livrés entiers. Après avoir nourri leurs petits, les adultes enlevaient du nid environ 20,9 % des parties des proies, comprenant des morceaux qui pouvaient comporter ou non du tissu musculaire évident. Le rythme de l'apport des proies était semblable parmi les divers nids et augmentait avec l'âge des oisillons. La fréquence de l'apport des proies passait par un maximum le matin et le soir, avec une accalmie très nette tard dans la soirée et au petit matin. Les mâles et les femelles adultes apportaient le même nombre de proies, mais les mâles livraient en général de plus petites proies que les femelles. Les faucons gerfauts dissimulaient dans une cache puis ressortaient par la suite au moins 9,1 % de tous les morceaux apportés, et un morceau a été dissimulé et ressorti trois fois.


Human Dorset remains from Igloolik, Canada   /   Lynnerup, N.   Meldgaard, J.   Jakobsen, J.   Appelt, M.   Koch, A.   Frøhlich, B.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 349-358, ill., maps
ASTIS record 52868
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Skeletal remains of four Dorset Palaeo-Eskimo individuals were found at Alarnerk (NhHd-1), Melville Peninsula, in 1954 by the joint Danish National Museum-University of Pennsylvania Expedition, which was excavating Dorset and pre-Dorset sites. These remains included one complete mandible, two fragmentary mandibles, and a cranial fragment. One of the mandibular fragments, found in a grave, was from a child approximately nine months old. The other remains were found in middens at the site. These remains add to the otherwise very sparse Dorset human material. Analysis of the dental morphology, as well as morphometric analysis of the complete mandible, shows Eskimoid characters and resemblance with later period Greenlandic human skeletal remains.

En 1954, à Alarnerk (NhHd-1) dans la péninsule de Melville, l'expédition menée conjointement par le Musée national du Danemark et l'université de Pennsylvanie pour effectuer des fouilles sur des sites de culture dorset et pré-dorset, a mis au jour des restes humains appartenant à quatre individus du paléo-esquimau du Dorset. Ces restes comprenaient une mâchoire inférieure complète, deux mâchoires inférieures partielles et un fragment de crâne. L'un des fragments mandibulaires, trouvé dans une sépulture, appartenait à un enfant âgé d'environ neuf mois. Les autres restes ont été découverts dans des tertres localisés sur le site. Ces restes viennent s'ajouter aux très rares éléments humains du Dorset déjà mis au jour. L'analyse de la morphologie dentaire du mandibule complet, ainsi que son analyse morphométrique, révèle des caractères esquimoïdes et une ressemblance avec des restes de squelettes humains groenlandais datant d'une période postérieure.


Polar bear aerial survey in the eastern Chukchi Sea : a pilot study   /   Evans, T.J.   Fischbach, A.   Schliebe, S.   Manly, B.   Kalxdorff, S.   York, G.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 359-366, ill., maps
ASTIS record 52871
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Alaska has two polar bear populations: the Southern Beaufort Sea population, shared with Canada, and the Chukchi/Bering Seas population, shared with Russia. Currently a reliable population estimate for the Chukchi/Bering Seas population does not exist. Land-based aerial and mark-recapture population surveys may not be possible in the Chukchi Sea because variable ice conditions, the limited range of helicopters, extremely large polar bear home ranges, and severe weather conditions may limit access to remote areas. Thus line-transect aerial surveys from icebreakers may be the best available tool to monitor this polar bear stock. In August 2000, a line-transect survey was conducted in the eastern Chukchi Sea and western Beaufort Sea from helicopters based on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker under the "Ship of Opportunity" program. The objectives of this pilot study were to estimate polar bear density in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort Seas and to assess the logistical feasibility of using ship-based aerial surveys to develop polar bear population estimates. Twenty-nine polar bears in 25 groups were sighted on 94 transects (8257 km). The density of bears was estimated as 1 bear per 147 km² (CV = 38%). Additional aerial surveys in late fall, using dedicated icebreakers, would be required to achieve the number of sightings, survey effort, coverage, and precision needed for more effective monitoring of population trends in the Chukchi Sea.

L'Alaska a deux populations d'ours polaires : celle du sud de la mer de Beaufort, commune avec le Canada, et celle de la mer des Tchouktches / mer de Béring, commune avec la Russie. À l'heure actuelle, on ne possède pas d'estimation fiable de la population de la mer des Tchouktches / mer de Béring. En raison des conditions variables de la glace, de la portée limitée des hélicoptères, de la très grande étendue du domaine vital de l'ours polaire et des conditions météorologiques particulièrement mauvaises - facteurs qui limitent l'accès aux régions éloignées -, il n'est peut-être pas possible d'effectuer des relevés aériens à base terrestre de la population ou des relevés par marquage-recapture. Le meilleur outil disponible pour une surveillance continue de cette population d'ours polaires semble donc être le relevé de transects effectué depuis les airs par un appareil embarqué sur un brise-glace. En août 2000, un relevé de transect a été effectué dans l'est de la mer des Tchouktches et dans l'ouest de la mer de Beaufort depuis des hélicoptères embarqués sur un brise-glace de la garde côtière américaine sous les auspices du programme des navires de passage. Les objectifs de cette étude pilote étaient d'estimer la densité de l'ours polaire dans l'est de la mer des Tchouktches et l'ouest de la mer de Beaufort, et d'évaluer la faisabilité logistique de l'utilisation d'hélicoptères embarqués pour établir des estimations de la population d'ours polaires. Vingt-neuf ours polaires répartis en 25 groupes ont été aperçus dans 94 transects (8257 km). La densité des ours était évaluée à 1 animal par 147 km² (CV = 38 %). Il faudrait réaliser d'autres relevés aériens à la fin de l'automne, en ayant recours à des brise-glace spécialisés, pour en arriver au nombre d'observations, aux activités de relevés, à la couverture et à la précision nécessaires à une surveillance plus efficace des tendances démographiques dans la mer des Tchouktches.


Reevaluating the co-management success story   /   Nadasdy, P.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 367-380
ASTIS record 52873
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The integration of science and traditional knowledge (TEK), a cornerstone of contemporary cooperative management, entails translating First Nation people's life experiences into forms compatible with state wildlife management (e.g., numbers and lines on maps), with all the risks of distortion inherent in any translation process. Even after such a translation, however, knowledge-integration remains fraught with difficulties, many of which seem on the surface to be technical or methodological. Surprisingly, despite these difficulties, the literature is full of accounts of successful co-management. I call for a more critical and nuanced analysis of co-management, one that takes different perspectives into account and calls into question what we mean by "success" in the first place. To this end, I examine the case of the Ruby Range Sheep Steering Committee (RRSSC), a co-management body in the southwest Yukon that some have held up as a model of success. Over the course of three years, RRSSC members gathered information about Dall sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) from many sources and managed to express it all in forms compatible with scientific wildlife management. Yet, even then - with a single exception - RRSSC members failed to integrate their knowledge about sheep. Although there were numerous technical and methodological obstacles to knowledge-integration, the underlying reasons for this failure were ultimately political. Thus, a focus on the political dimensions of knowledge-integration is essential to an understanding and assessment of co-management.

L'intégration de la science et du savoir écologique traditionnel (SET), une pierre angulaire de la cogestion pratiquée de nos jours, nécessite que soit traduit le vécu des gens des Premières nations sous des formes compatibles avec la gestion gouvernementale de la faune (p. ex., chiffres et lignes sur les cartes), avec les risques de distorsion inhérents à toute opération traduisante. Mais même après une telle traduction, l'intégration du savoir reste truffée de difficultés, dont un grand nombre semble être de prime abord d'ordre technique ou méthodologique. Curieusement, malgré ces difficultés, la documentation regorge de témoignages de cogestion réussie. Je réclame une analyse plus critique et plus nuancée de la cogestion, une analyse qui tienne compte de différents points de vue et remette en question ce que l'on entend tout d'abord par «réussite». À cette fin, j'examine le cas du Comité directeur du mouflon de Ruby Range (RRSSC), organisme de cogestion situé dans le sud-ouest du Yukon et qui est cité par certains comme un modèle de réussite. Au cours d'une durée de trois ans, les membres du RRSSC ont collecté de l'information sur le mouflon de Dall (Ovis dalli dalli) auprès de sources multiples et ils sont parvenus à l'exprimer entièrement sous des formes compatibles avec la gestion scientifique de la faune. Pourtant, même là - à une exception près -, les membres du RRSSC ne sont pas arrivés à intégrer leur savoir sur le mouflon. Bien qu'il y ait eu de nombreux obstacles techniques et méthodologiques à l'intégration du savoir, les raisons sous-jacentes à cet échec étaient en fin de compte politiques. Pour comprendre et évaluer la cogestion, il est donc essentiel de se concentrer sur les dimensions politiques de l'intégration du savoir.


Catastrophic die-off of Peary caribou on the western Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canadian High Arctic   /   Miller, F.L.   Gunn, A.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 381-390, ill., maps
PCSP/PPCP contribution, no. 022-03
ASTIS record 52874
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The Peary caribou (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) is an endangered species in Canada, having been in an overall decline since 1961. Sightings of Peary caribou were compared from two aerial searches, in 1993 and 1998, on Bathurst and its neighbouring islands, western Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Canadian High Arctic. The comparison indicated a near-total (98%) cataclysmic decline in the number of Peary caribou seen per unit of search effort. In summer 1993, 2400 caribou were counted during 33.8 h of low-level helicopter searches. In contrast, in summer 1998, only 43 caribou were seen within the same area during 35.2 h of low-level helicopter searches. The frequency of observation was markedly different: 118.3 caribou/100 min in 1993, but only 2.0 caribou/100 min in 1998. The number of carcasses indicated that the decline resulted from deaths and not from mass emigration. Males died at a disproportionately higher rate than females among all 1+ yr old caribou, and bulls (4+ yr) compared to cows (3+ yr) had died at an even greater rate. Widespread, prolonged, exceptionally severe snow and ice conditions from 1994-95 to 1996-97 caused the die-off. Trends in snowfall are consistent with predictions for global warming in the western Canadian High Arctic. Future climate change may increase the frequency of years with unfavorable snow and ice conditions, which could prevent or at least impede future recovery of Peary caribou populations on the western Queen Elizabeth Islands, particularly to sizes that would support subsistence harvesting.

Le caribou de Peary (Rangifer tarandus pearyi) est une espèce en péril au Canada, vu qu'elle a connu une diminution globale depuis 1961. On a comparé des observations du caribou de Peary faites lors de deux recherches aériennes menées en 1993 et 1998 sur l'île de Bathurst et les îles avoisinantes, celles de la Reine-Élisabeth occidentales dans l'Extrême-Arctique canadien. La comparaison a révélé un déclin cataclysmique quasi-total (98 %) du nombre de caribous de Peary aperçus par unité d'activité de recherche. En été 1993, on a dénombré 2400 caribous durant 33,8 heures de recherches par hélicoptère volant à basse altitude. En revanche, durant l'été 1998, on n'a aperçu que 43 caribous dans la même zone durant 35,2 heures de survol à basse altitude en hélicoptère. La fréquence des observations était nettement différente : 118,3 caribous/100 min en 1993, mais seulement 2,0 caribous/100 min en 1998. Le nombre de carcasses a démontré que le déclin était dû à la mort des animaux et non à une émigration massive. Les mâles mouraient à un taux supérieur à celui des femelles de façon disproportionnée parmi tous les caribous âgés de plus d'un an, et, en comparaison avec les femelles de plus de trois ans, les mâles de plus de quatre ans avaient péri à un taux encore plus élevé. La mortalité massive était due à des conditions d'enneigement et de glace généralisées et persistantes extrêmement rudes. Les tendances dans les chutes de neige rejoignent les prédictions concernant le réchauffement global dans l'ouest de l'Extrême-Arctique canadien. Il se peut que de futurs changements climatiques augmentent la fréquence des années où les conditions d'enneigement et de glace ne sont pas favorables, ce qui pourrait empêcher ou du moins entraver le rétablissement des populations du caribou de Peary dans les îles de la Reine-Élisabeth occidentales, en particulier à des niveaux qui pourraient permettre les prélèvements de subsistance.


A review of apparent 20th century changes in the presence of mussels (Mytilus trossulus) and macroalgae in Arctic Alaska, and of historical and paleontological evidence used to relate mollusc distributions to climate change   /   Feder, H.M.   Norton, D.W.   Geller, J.B.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 391-407, ill., maps
ASTIS record 52876
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Live mussels attached to fresh laminarioid brown algae, all fastened to clusters of pebbles and small cobbles, were repeatedly cast ashore by autumn storms at Barrow, Alaska, in the 1990s. Specimens of Laminaria saccharina and L. solidungula shorten by 100 km a 500 km gap (Peard Bay to Stefansson Sound) between previously known concentrations of these kelp species. For the genus Mytilus, a 1600 km gap in fully documented locations existed between Kivalina in the southern Chukchi Sea and the Mackenzie River delta. Barrow specimens were identified using a mitochondrial DNA marker as M. trossulus, an identity consistent with dispersal from the Pacific-Bering side of the Arctic. Live mussels and macroalgae were neither washed up by storms nor collected by active biological sampling during extensive benthic surveys at Barrow in 1948-50. We cannot interpret the current presence of these bivalves and macrophytes as Arctic range extensions due to warming, similar to those manifested by the tree line in terrestrial systems and by Pacific salmon in marine environments. Supplemental information and critical evaluation of survey strategies and rationales indicate that changes in sea temperatures are an unlikely cause. Alternative explanations focus on past seafloor disturbances, dispersal from marine or estuarine refugia, and effects of predators on colonists. This review suggests refining some interpretations of environmental change that are based on the extensive resource of Cenozoic fossils of Arctic molluscs.

Durant les années 1990, des moules vivantes fixées sur des algues brunes laminaires, toutes attachées à des agrégats de galets et de petits cailloux, ont été rejetées par les tempêtes automnales sur les rivages de Barrow, Alaska. Des spécimens de Laminaria saccharina et de L. solidungula raccourcissent de 100 km la distance de 500 km (de Peard Bay à Stefansson Sound) qui sépare les concentrations précédemment connues de ces espèces de varech. Pour le genre Mytilus, il existait une distance de 1600 km séparant les emplacements très bien documentés allant de Kivalina dans la partie méridionale de la mer des Tchouktches au delta du Mackenzie. À l'aide d'un marqueur ADN mitochondrial, les spécimens de Barrow ont été identifiés comme appartenant à M. trossulus, ce qui s'accorde bien avec une dispersion depuis le côté Pacifique-Béring de l'Arctique. Lors d'un vaste progamme de relevés benthiques à Barrow dans les années 1948-1950, les moules vivantes et les macroalgues n'ont pas été rejetées par les tempêtes ni obtenues par échantillonnages biologiques actifs. On ne peut interpréter la présence actuelle de ces bivalves et macrophytes comme des extensions de leur aire de distribution arctique dues au réchauffement, comme cela est le cas pour la ligne des arbres dans les systèmes terrestres et pour les espèces de saumons du Pacifique dans les milieux marins. D'autres informations ainsi qu'une évaluation critique des stratégies et des justifications de relevés révèlent que les changements dans les températures de la mer sont une cause peu probable. Les autres explications concernent des perturbations antérieures du plancher océanique, la dispersion depuis des refuges marins ou estuariens et l'impact des prédateurs sur les espèces colonisatrices. Cette étude suggère que l'on repense certaines interprétations du changement environnemental fondées sur les vastes quantités de fossiles de mollusques arctiques datant du cénozoïque.


Observations of wood bison swimming across the Liard River, Northwest Territories, Canada   /   Larter, N.C.   Nishi, J.S.   Ellsworth, T.   Johnson, D.   More, G.   Allaire, D.G.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 408-412, ill., maps
ASTIS record 52879
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We observed a group of 18 wood bison, of mixed sex and age classes, swimming across a 1.7 km wide section of the Liard River on 16 July 2002. Water levels and flow rates were above the long-term average for that time of year, and there was a river current of 14-16 km/h. The animals took at least 27 minutes to negotiate their 3.6 km swim. Younger animals were able to keep more of their head and body above the water level than older mature males. Calves of the year, observed swimming across a secondary channel of the river on 15 July 2003, had only their heads above water. Bison are capable of swimming across lakes and rivers (Wood Buffalo National Park, Yellowstone National Park), but well-documented cases of bison navigating rapidly flowing northern rivers are rare. Open-water crossings of the Liard River are important to the ecology of the Nahanni wood bison population, especially since seismic activity in the Liard River Valley is likely to increase.

Le 16 juillet 2002, on a observé un groupe de 18 bisons des bois, des deux sexes et de groupes d'âge divers, traversant à la nage une section de la rivière Liard large de 1,7 km. Le niveau d'eau et le débit fluvial dépassaient la moyenne à long terme pour cette période de l'année, et le courant fluvial y était de 14 à 16 km/h. Les animaux ont mis au moins 27 minutes pour négocier leur traversée de 3,6 km. Les plus jeunes pouvaient garder hors de l'eau une plus grande partie de leur tête et de leur corps que d'autres mâles plus âgés. Les veaux de l'année, que l'on a observés le 15 juillet 2003, durant leur traversée à la nage d'une branche secondaire de la rivière, n'avaient que la tête hors de l'eau. Les bisons sont capables de traverser des lacs et des rivières (parc national Wood Buffalo, parc national Yellowstone), mais on ne connaît que peu de cas bien documentés de bisons négociant la traversée de cours d'eau nordiques à courant rapide. La traversée des eaux libres de la Liard est importante pour l'écologie de la population du bison des bois de la Nahanni, en particulier si l'on considère que la prospection sismique va probablement augmenter dans la vallée de la Liard.


David Moody Hopkins (1921-2001)   /   Hamilton, T.D.   Brigham-Grette, J.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 423-424, ill.
ASTIS record 52890
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David M. Hopkins, a Quaternary geologist widely known for his broad-ranging studies of the Bering Land Bridge region ("Beringia"), passed away at his home in Menlo Park, California, on November 2, 2001. Dave was a longtime member of Alaskan units of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In search of a deeper understanding of Beringia, he became a pioneer in interdisciplinary research and in collaborative research with Russian investigators. Following his retirement from the USGS in 1985, Dave became director of the Alaskan Quaternary Center and Professor of Quaternary Studies at the Fairbanks campus of the University of Alaska. During the 57 years of his professional career, he was a mentor, friend, and source of inspiration to several generations of Arctic scholars. ... After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in Geology in 1942, he joined the USGS and began graduate studies at Harvard University. Dave spent his initial field seasons with the USGS in southern regions of Alaska, where he investigated strategic minerals, engineering geology, and other aspects of geology that were considered essential to the ongoing war effort. In 1944, he was inducted into the Army and assigned to carry out meteorological observations at Cold Bay, situated at the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. Following his discharge, Dave resumed graduate studies at Harvard and field work with the USGS. He obtained an M.S. degree in Geology (1948) and a Ph.D. in Quaternary Geology (1955) from Harvard University. In 1947, Dave began geological investigations on the Seward Peninsula under the permafrost program of the USGS Alaska Terrain and Permafrost Section (which later became the Branch of Alaskan Geology). ... In 1948, he initiated a productive collaboration with the botanist Robert Sigafoos. Their seminal publications on the interactions of permafrost, soil, and vegetation on the Seward Peninsula are considered classics today. Dave also began a long-term collaboration with the archeologist Louis Giddings on dating and reconstructing the paleoecology of prehistoric village sites and other early human habitations in northwestern Alaska. ... Dave's investigations of elevated and submerged gold-bearing beaches at Nome during the 1950s initiated his long-lasting interest in the sea-level history of Beringia and the paleoecology of parts of the Bering platform that are submerged today. ... Dave's broadening interests in the paleoecology of Beringia led to increasing contacts with Russian colleagues that developed into a fruitful, 40-year collaboration across the Bering Strait. ... After Dave's retirement from the USGS, he began a second career of teaching and research as Distinguished Professor of Quaternary Studies at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks (UAF). ... As a direct result of Dave's broad-ranging research on the northern Seward Peninsula, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) set aside much of his former field area as the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. ... Dave's scientific influence encompasses such diverse fields as bedrock geology, marine geology, paleontology, limnology, hydrology, ecology, archeology, and paleoclimatology - the topics of his more than 200 refereed papers and abstracts. Numerous awards and commendations from the USGS and other scientific organizations recognized his contributions. ... During his highly productive career, Dave always found time to advise and encourage younger colleagues and students. ... We shall all miss his warmth, his humor, and his infectious passion for Beringia, but his legacy of inspired research and interdisciplinary scholarship will be enduring. ...


Louis Otto Quam (1906-2001)   /   Britton, M.E.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 425-426, ill.
ASTIS record 52892
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Louis O. Quam, highly respected geologist/geographer, academician, and government science administrator, died on 25 July 2001 at age 95. He was best known in the United States and Canada, but widely recognized in several other countries for his many contributions to the advancement of the field of geography, for his influence on expenditure of significant government resources to fund geographic and other research, and for his broad administrative support of research in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. ... He attended public schools in Boulder, Colorado, graduating from high school in 1925, and later attended the University of Colorado there, earning Bachelor of Arts (1931) and Master of Science (1932) degrees in geology. Numerous recognitions acclaimed his achievements in earth sciences and science administration .... he decided to complete his formal education at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. There, holding the Libby Fellowship, he completed requirements for his doctorate in Physical Geography (1938). Next, he returned to the University of Colorado as Assistant Professor of Geography (1938-42). At this point, his promising career was interrupted by a period of service in the United States Navy (1943-46). Honorably discharged from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander, Quam quickly returned to university life as Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville (1947-50). ... Several events in the immediate post-war years would dominate Louis' career. These included the founding of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) (1946) and the establishment of its Arctic Research Laboratory (later renamed Naval Arctic Research Laboratory (NARL) at Barrow, Alaska (1947) and then, the most dominating of all, the founding of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) (1950). ... Quam accepted appointment to the ONR as Head, Geography Branch, Earth Sciences Division in 1950 .... In the ONR, Quam was drawn into membership of many committees and panels of other organizations that were related in diverse ways to his fields of responsibility. ... Shortly after his arrival at ONR, the Environmental Sciences Branch, Biological Sciences Division, elected to give up support of its Arctic research program, including NARL in Alaska. ONR management had to determine quickly whether to let the program lapse or to find another administrative entity within the organization willing to take it over. ... The Chief of Naval Research agreed to transfer the program, along with the pertinent budget, and Louis took over (1951). For four years, he was the sole manager of the Arctic Program .... These functions were, of course, additional to his other duties as Head of the Branch. ... Dr. Quam would have been pleased to know that some specific instances of his distinguished accomplishments are recorded here, not to be forgotten. ... In the opinion of the author, Quam's greatest single policy decision on behalf of Arctic research was his action to operate NARL as a Navy-funded laboratory, and also to recognize it as a national asset that should be made available for the use of others besides the ONR contractors or subcontractors (e.g., AINA [Arctic Institute of North America] under the terms of the ONR contract) for whom it existed. ... By 1967, Quam had enjoyed major successes in the field of Arctic research. At age 61, he was capable of further challenges, and a notable challenge was at hand: the NSF offered him the prestigious position of Chief Scientist of its Office of Antarctic Programs. ... Louis accepted the offer and served two years in the Chief Scientist position (1967-69). At this point, the office was renamed in recognition of its total responsibilities, becoming the Office of Polar Programs. Louis was designated Acting Head of the office, a position he held for two years (1969-71); he then served as Chief Scientist for two more years, until his retirement in 1972. ... He was a good and decent man, whether at home or in the office, and he will be affectionately remembered and missed by all who knew him.


A multiscale study of tree-line dynamics in southwestern Yukon   /   Danby, R.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 427-429, ill.
ASTIS record 52894
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... The overall aim of my research project is to shed light on how the forest-tundra ecotone in the mountainous Kluane region of southwest Yukon will respond to continued climatic change. Here the tree line is largely an alpine phenomenon. Valley forests in the region are dominated by white spruce (Picea glauca). With increasing altitude these forests begin to thin, and by 1200 m, individual trees are markedly shorter. By 1300 m, the spruce component of the vegetation is grouped into thick, low sprawling clumps (often with multiple stems) known as "krummholz" and interspersed with willow (Salix sp.) and birch (Betula glandulosa) shrubs. Only the occasional spruce remains at 1400 m. Although willow and birch shrubs are found at this elevation, tundra vegetation is equally important, and it dominates at higher elevations. This zone of transition that constitutes the tree line in the southwest Yukon plays a critical role in landscape structure and wildlife habitat .... Thus, changes in the location or pattern of the tree line could have important consequences for biodiversity and its conservation ..., as well as for subsistence and other human use of these biological resources. Predicting the impact of climate change on the tree line in southwest Yukon is therefore important for developing planning and management strategies that could help resource managers and local residents adapt to or cope with this change. ... to attain an accurate forecast, we need to know (1) how the tree line has responded to climatic change and variability in the past and (2) what factors limit tree growth at high elevations in the region and therefore control tree-line dynamics. The study I have designed to investigate these two questions comprises four linked components, each operating at a particular scale and focusing on a particular element of tree-line dynamics. ... The period of seedling growth is critical for trees at the tree line, since younger individuals are more susceptible to the damaging effects of extremely cold temperatures. ... To quantify seedling response to this warming, I am measuring annual increments of vertical, lateral, and radial growth, and in 2004, I will measure differences in rates of photosynthesis and respiration. ... The second component of my project uses dendrochronology, or tree ring analysis, to identify periods and rates of spruce and willow establishment and relates these events to past climatic change. ... In contrast to the dendrochronological investigation, which emphasizes the process of change, the third investigation is intended to identify changes in the pattern of land cover - specifically tree cover - that have occurred at the forest-tundra ecotone. ... The fourth component of this multiscale study uses spatial information technology to examine how the elevation, density, and relative abruptness of the tree line are related to broad-scale geophysical and topographic variables. ... The methods of all four project components have been used to study vegetation dynamics elsewhere, and many have been tested successfully in tree-line environments. However, their integration and application to a single region makes this study unique, and the results will yield new knowledge useful in determining how northern mountain ecosystems respond to climatic change. From a regional perspective, the data collected and relationships derived from each investigation could be used in modeling future landscape change in the southwest Yukon. In turn, such a model could be used to facilitate a prediction of how subalpine habitat change could affect land cover and wildlife habitat across the Kluane region.


The evolutionary ecology of Arctic fishes   /   Hardie, D.C.
Arctic, v. 56, no. 4, Dec. 2003, p. 430-433, ill.
ASTIS record 52897
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... The general focus of my research is to identify genetic, ecological, and life history adaptations among Arctic marine fishes. The research can be divided into two main sections. The first concerns the life history and general biology of noncommercial Arctic marine species. The second examines the populations of Atlantic cod that persist in Arctic lakes well to the north of their current distribution in Canadian marine waters. ... In general, my research concerns the adaptations of Arctic fishes for survival in their unique environment, with a particular focus on life history traits. ... In my research, I will examine how these [life history trait] trade-offs relate to the demands and limitations of Arctic aquatic environments. ... I have not yet obtained specimens of noncommercial Arctic marine species at the time of this writing. However, an opportunity to work aboard a research trawler fishing for turbot in Davis Strait in the fall of 2003 promises to provide a great diversity of specimens for future study. ... Landlocked populations of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) are known from three coastal lakes in Frobisher Bay (Ogac Lake) and Cumberland Sound (Qasigialiminiq and Tariujarusiq Lakes). ... The objectives of this part of my research include the study of (i) basic physical, chemical, and biotic characteristics of Arctic lakes in which Atlantic cod occur, and (ii) aspects of these populations' biology, life history, and genetics. ... Field camps were established for about two weeks at each of Ogac, Qasigialiminiq, and Tariujarusiq Lakes during July and August 2003. Data on the length, weight, sex, maturity, liver weight, gonad weight, and stomach contents were collected from 100 cod from each lake. Tissue samples and otoliths were also collected for genetic and age/growth analysis, respectively. Underwater video was used to qualify benthic macrofauna and to observe cod behaviour and movement in all three lakes. Plankton tows were made ... to compare micro-invertebrate populations of the three lakes and compare the present population of Ogac Lake to that described ... for 1957-65. Bathymetric measurements by sonar were taken across a number of transects in both Qasigialiminiq and Tariujarusiq Lakes to compare them to Ogac Lake .... Salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen strata were measured in each basin of each lake, again to compare abiotic limnology across lakes and over time at Ogac Lake. Temperature data loggers were deployed near the outflow of each lake to measure the timing and frequency of tidal inflow during high spring tides. ... some preliminary results have been compiled. Like Ogac Lake, Qasigialiminiq and Tariujarusiq Lakes are salt meromictic lakes, although they are warmer than Ogac Lake at all depths, and surface salinity is higher at Tariujarusiq (7‰) than at the other two lakes (< 1‰). ... Cod in all three lakes mature at a large size, as previously reported for Ogac Lake .... Preliminary microsatellite DNA analysis at eight loci has revealed that cod in Ogac Lake exhibit remarkably low genetic variation compared to other Northwest Atlantic cod populations .... Genetic analyses of samples from Qasigialiminiq and Tariujarusiq Lakes are ongoing, but they are expected to reveal similar results. ... The completion of microsatellite DNA analysis for all three populations will conclude our comparisons of genetic variability and divergence, both among these landlocked populations and between these populations and marine cod stocks. We will then explore how long these populations have been isolated and from what marine stock they derive. ... Once age and growth data have been obtained from otolith analysis, we will attempt to relate variability in these features within and among the populations to biotic and abiotic differences among lakes. ...


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