A media feeding frenzy on alien-like life in the Arctic   /   Beauchamp, B.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. iii-iv
ASTIS record 61103

... As we were flying over the narrow pass [near Borup Fiord in 1990] with mountains towering all around us, I could not help noticing a large patch of yellow-stained ice on a glacier tongue right beneath us. ... Some 10 years later, Dr. Steve Grasby of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) set out to study the phenomenon. ... [he] confirmed my initial observation of hydrogen sulphide and native sulphur, but also demonstrated the presence of a complex array of precipitates, including an extremely rare natural occurrence of the mineral vaterite. He also documented a rich biota of cold-loving, sulphur-reducing, and sulphur-oxidizing bacteria, which were thriving at depth both within and beneath the glacier, feeding upon sedimentary sulphates (gypsum and anhydrite) that lay some two kilometres beneath the ice. ... Last summer, the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA) organized an exploratory expedition to Borup Fiord Pass to do some reconnaissance work. Our plan was to acquire new hydrological and biological information about the spring and its underlying geological plumbing system, as well as to obtain a set of preliminary spectral measurements from the ice surface that could be compared with data collected from satellites orbiting over the site. ... what really set this expedition apart from earlier ones to Borup Fiord Pass was the media fanfare it generated both before its departure from Calgary and upon its return from the High Arctic. ... Rare are the scientists who do not feel a certain level of pride when their work makes it into the mainstream media. ... But many scientists will confess that they experience a certain degree of embarrassment when they look back at what has been written about their work in magazines or said on television. That's because the popular press thrives on stories that can sell. While the story of scientists studying bacterial life within glaciers does not have much appeal, it becomes a red-hot piece of news if a connection with life on other planets can be made, even if that link is entirely hypothetical. And it does not take long for that hypothetical link to become the story itself, above and beyond the solid science that is behind it. ... With the International Polar Year (IPY) upon us, a great many scientists will be called upon to comment on issues of popular interest with broad media appeal. Standing high above them all is the issue of climate change and its accelerated pace in the Arctic and Antarctic. Yet through the current widespread interest in climate change, a supremely important issue for all of humanity, a dark side of the media and its relationship with scientists is emerging. ... The current media feeding frenzy on climate change is a different beast altogether, and more and more it is not the science that is being fed upon, but the scientists themselves. And that can't be good.

A Hans Krüger Arctic expedition cache on Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut   /   Park, R.W.   Stenton, D.R.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 1-6, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61106

In 1999 a team of geologists discovered an archaeological site near Cape Southwest, Axel Heiberg Island. On the basis of its location and the analysis of two artifacts removed from the site, the discoverers concluded that it was a hastily abandoned campsite created by Hans Krüger's German Arctic Expedition, which was believed to have disappeared between Meighen and Amund Ringnes islands in 1930. If the attribution to Krüger were correct, the existence of this site would demonstrate that the expedition got farther on its return journey to Bache Peninsula than previously believed. An archaeological investigation of the site by the Government of Nunavut in 2004 confirmed its tentative attribution to the German Arctic Expedition but suggested that it is not a campsite, but the remains of a deliberately and carefully constructed cache. The finds suggest that one of the three members of the expedition may have perished before reaching Axel Heiberg Island, and that the survivors, in order to lighten their sledge, transported valued but heavy items (including Krüger's geological specimens) to this prominent and well-known location to cache them, intending to return and recover them at some later date.

En 1999, une équipe de géologues a découvert un lieu d'importance archéologique près du cap Southwest, sur l'île Axel Heiberg. En fonction de l'emplacement découvert et de l'examen de deux artefacts de ce lieu, on a conclu qu'il s'agissait d'un campement abandonné rapidement par l'expédition allemande de l'Arctique de Hans Krüger, qui aurait disparu entre les îles Meighen et Amund Ringnes en 1930. Advenant que l'attribution à l'expédition de Krüger soit exacte, l'existence de ce lieu montrerait que l'expédition serait allée plus loin qu'on ne l'avait cru lors de son voyage de retour à la péninsule Bache. Grâce à des fouilles réalisées par le gouvernement du Nunavut en 2004, on a pu confirmer provisoirement l'existence de ce lieu et l'attribuer à cette expédition allemande de l'Arctique, tout en laissant supposer qu'il ne s'agit pas d'un campement mais plutôt des restes d'une cache construite avec soin. Les découvertes laissent croire que l'un des trois membres de l'expédition aurait péri avant d'arriver à l'île Axel Heiberg, et que les survivants, dans le but d'alléger leur charge, auraient transporté des objets précieux, mais lourds (dont les spécimens géologiques de Krüger) à cet endroit important et bien connu pour les y cacher, ayant l'intention de revenir les récupérer plus tard.

Further documentation supporting the former existence of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in northern Quebec-Labrador   /   Loring, S.   Spiess, A.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 7-16, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61107

The discovery in 1976 of a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) skull in an 18th-century Labrador Inuit midden effectively ended speculation about the former existence of the species in the barrenlands of northern Quebec and Labrador. We analyzed a photograph of a bear skull taken in 1910 at an Innu camp in the Labrador interior (east of the George River), which appears to be that of a grizzly bear. Coupled with previously unpublished historical accounts by Lucien Turner (Smithsonian naturalist in northern Quebec, 1881-83) and William Duncan Strong (anthropologist in Labrador, 1928-29), Innu oral history accounts, and archaeological evidence, this photograph further substantiates the theory that a small number of grizzly bears were present in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula and survived into the 20th century.

En 1976, la découverte d'un crâne de grizzli (Ursus arctos) sur un tertre inuit du Labrador remontant au XVIIIe siècle a mis fin à la formulation d'hypothèses à propos de l'existence de cette espèce sur les terres stériles du nord du Québec et du Labrador. Nous avons analysé la photo d'un crâne d'ours prise en 1910 à un camp innu dans l'intérieur du Labrador (à l'est de la rivière George), et il semblerait que ce crâne soit celui d'un grizzli. Cette photographie, alliée aux récits historiques inédits de Lucien Turner (naturaliste du Smithsonian dans le nord du Québec de 1881 à 1883) et de William Duncan Strong (anthropologue au Labrador de 1928 à 1929), aux récits historiques des Innus transmis oralement et à des documents archéologiques, vient étayer davantage la théorie selon laquelle un petit nombre de grizzlis aurait évolué dans la péninsule du Québec-Labrador et aurait survécu jusqu'au XXe siècle.

The most southerly record of a stranded bowhead whale, Balaena mysticetus, from the western North Atlantic Ocean   /   Ledwell, W.   Benjamins, S.   Lawson, J.   Huntington, J.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 17-22, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61109

An immature female bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) was discovered stranded dead at Witless Bay Point, just south of Mobile Point (47°14' 68.00"N, 52°47' 90.00"W) on the southern shore of the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) on 15 April 2005. This is the second bowhead found stranded dead in Newfoundland in seven years. The first, also an immature female, was discovered in a fjord in northeastern Newfoundland near Rattling Brook (49°40' N, 56°10' W) in October 1998. These animals represent the only bowhead whales known to have been sighted, alive or stranded dead, in waters around the island of Newfoundland. Some possible causes of the death of this most recent animal are discussed, including chronic inflammation of the vertebrae and the associated locomotive difficulties.

Le 15 avril 2005, on a trouvé un baleineau boréal femelle (Balaena mysticetus) en détresse morte à Witless Bay Point, juste au sud de Mobile Point (47°14' 68.00"N, 52°47' 90.00"O), sur la côte sud de la presqu'île Avalon de l'île de Terre-Neuve (Terre-Neuve et Labrador, Canada). Il s'agissait de la deuxième baleine boréale retrouvée en détresse à Terre-Neuve en sept ans. La première, également une jeune femelle, avait été trouvée dans un fjord du nord-est de Terre-Neuve, près de Rattling Brook (49°40' N, 56°10' O) en octobre 1998. Il s'agit des seules baleines boréales à n'avoir jamais été repérées, vivantes ou mortes, dans les eaux entourant l'île de Terre-Neuve. Certaines des causes possibles de la mort récente de ce baleineau sont abordées ici, dont une inflammation chronique des vertèbres et les troubles locomoteurs qui en découlent.

Near-total loss of caribou on south-central Canadian Arctic Islands and the role of seasonal migration in their demise   /   Miller, F.L.   Barry, S.J.   Calvert, W.A.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 23-36, ill., 1 map
ASTIS record 61115

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) on the south-central Canadian Arctic Islands (Prince of Wales, Somerset, and Russell islands) declined by 98% sometime between 1980 and 1995 - a near-total loss of a known genetically distinctive group of Arctic Island caribou. In contrast, caribou on the adjacent Boothia Peninsula seemingly increased by 38% from 1985 to 1995, while experiencing heavy annual hunting pressure. Our evaluation leads us to three primary conclusions. 1) It would have been biologically impossible for the estimated 1985 population on Boothia Peninsula (4831 ±543 SE caribou one year old or older) to sustain the estimated annual harvest of 1100 one year old or older animals without continual annual ingress of caribou from beyond Boothia Peninsula. Our analysis of the 540 possible combinations of population parameters indicates that at any size within ±2 SE of the 1985 estimate (3745-5917 caribou one year old or older), the Boothia Peninsula caribou population would have gone to "mathematical extirpation": 99% of the combinations by 1995 and 100% by 1999. 2) The continued unsustainable level of harvest was masked by the annual winter infusion of migrant caribou onto Boothia Peninsula from Prince of Wales, Somerset, and Russell islands. 3) Caribou persisted on Boothia Peninsula, but only because of the simultaneous near elimination of the Arctic Island caribou ecotype in the Prince of Wales, Somerset, and Russell islands geographic population. This caribou resource cannot be properly conserved without adequate monitoring and periodic estimates of population sizes and annual harvest rates throughout the entire Prince of Wales, Somerset, and Russell islands-Boothia Peninsula complex.

Entre 1980 et 1995, le nombre de caribous (Rangifer tarandus) du centre-sud de l'archipel Arctique canadien (îles du Prince-de-Galles, Somerset et Russell) a chuté de 98 %, ce qui représente la perte quasi totale d'un groupe génétiquement distinct de caribou de l'archipel Arctique. Par contre, il semblerait qu'entre 1985 et 1995, le caribou de la péninsule de Booth s'est accru de 38 %, malgré l'énorme pression exercée par la chasse tous les ans. Trois conclusions dérivent de notre évaluation. 1) Du point de vue biologique, il aurait été impossible pour la population estimée de la péninsule de Booth en 1985 (4 831 ±543 (écart type) caribous d'un an ou plus) de soutenir la récolte annuelle estimée de 1 100 bêtes d'un an ou plus sans apport annuel continuel de caribous provenant d'ailleurs que la péninsule de Booth. Notre analyse des 540 combinaisons possibles de paramètres de population laisse croire que tout écart de ±2 de l'écart-type des estimations de 1985 (3745-5917 caribous d'un an ou plus) de la population de caribous de la péninsule de Booth aurait fait l'objet d'une « extirpation mathématique » : 99 % des combinaisons vers 1995 et 100 % vers 1999. 2) Le taux continuellement insoutenable de récolte était masqué par l'infusion hivernale annuelle de caribous en migration sur la péninsule de Booth provenant des îles du Prince-de-Galles, Somerset et Russell. 3) Le caribou a persisté sur la péninsule de Booth, mais seulement en raison de la quasi-élimination simultanée de l'écotype du caribou de l'archipel arctique en ce qui a trait à la population géographique des îles du Prince-de-Galles, Somerset et Russell. Cette ressource en caribou ne peut être bien conservée sans la surveillance adéquate et l'estimation périodique de l'effectif de la population et des taux de récolte annuels à l'échelle de tout le complexe des îles du Prince-de-Galles, Somerset et Russell ainsi que de la péninsule de Booth.

Science meets traditional knowledge : water and climate in the Sahtu (Great Bear Lake) region, Northwest Territories, Canada   /   Woo, M.-K.   Modeste, P.   Martz, L.   Blondin, J.   Kochtubajda, B.   Tutcho, D.   Gyakum, J.   Takazo, A.   Spence, C.   Tutcho, J.   Di Cenzo, P.   Kenny, G.   Stone, J.   Neyelle, I.   Baptiste, G.   Modeste, M.   Kenny, B.   Modeste, W.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 37-46, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61119

In July 2005, several scientists from the Mackenzie GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment) Study, known as MAGS, met with aboriginal people in Deline on the shore of Great Bear Lake to exchange information on climate and water in the region. Topics discussed pertained directly to the northern environment, and they included climate variability and change, wind, lightning, lake ice, lake level, and streamflow. The traditional knowledge shared by the residents is a rich source of local expertise about the landscape and climate systems of the Deline area, while the scientific knowledge provided by MAGS presents a scientific basis for many observed climate and water phenomena, particularly on a broad regional scale. Through cordial and open discussions, the meeting facilitated the sharing of traditional knowledge and scientific results. The meeting enhanced the potential for traditional knowledge to help direct and validate scientific investigations and for scientific knowledge to be used in conjunction with traditional knowledge to guide community decision making.

En juillet 2005, plusieurs scientifiques de l'étude Mackenzie GEWEX (expérience internationale sur l'énergie et le cycle hydrologique), connue sous le nom de MAGS, ont rencontré les Autochtones de Deline, sur la côte du Grand lac de l'Ours dans le but d'échanger des données sur les conditions climatiques et hydrologiques de la région. Les sujets à l'étude se rapportaient directement à l'environnement nordique, plus précisément la variabilité et le changement climatiques, le vent, la foudre, la glace lacustre, le niveau des lacs et le débit des cours d'eau. Les connaissances traditionnelles des habitants de la région représentent une riche source d'expertise locale au sujet du paysage et des systèmes climatiques de la région de Deline, tandis que les connaissances scientifiques fournies par MAGS constituent une base scientifique pour de nombreux phénomènes climatiques et hydrologiques observés, surtout sur une vaste échelle régionale. Grâce à des discussions cordiales et ouvertes, cette réunion a donné lieu au partage de connaissances traditionnelles et de résultats scientifiques. Cette réunion a également permis d'accroître la possibilité que les connaissances traditionnelles aident à diriger et à valider les enquêtes scientifiques, et que les connaissances scientifiques soient employées de pair avec les connaissances traditionnelles pour favoriser la prise de décisions au sein de la collectivité.

Traditional knowledge of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska   /   Noongwook, G.   Savoonga (Alaska)   Gambell (Alaska)   Huntington, H.P.   George, J.C.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 47-54, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61120

Despite considerable research on the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in Alaskan waters, relatively little has been conducted in the northern Bering Sea. To help fill this gap, we documented traditional knowledge of bowhead whales held by Yupik whalers of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Results include descriptions of the seasonal movements, distribution, and abundance of bowheads near St. Lawrence Island. The bowhead population appears to be increasing, as is the number of young whales seen. Changing environmental conditions are influencing distribution, leading to a somewhat earlier spring migration and a greater presence of whales near the island in winter. Hunters describe two bowhead migration paths near the island. It is unknown whether these two paths are used by two genetically different groups of whales, or whether the animals are simply responding differently to oceanographic conditions or geography. Our findings are consistent with studies of this bowhead population conducted elsewhere and suggest that additional research is needed to determine possible migratory (or genetic) differences between the two migrations of whales seen at St. Lawrence Island.

Bien que de nombreuses recherches aient été effectuées sur la baleine boréale (Balaena mysticetus) dans les eaux alaskiennes, peu de recherches ont été réalisées dans le nord de la mer de Béring. Afin de combler ce vide, nous avons pris note des connaissances traditionnelles des chasseurs de baleines yupik en matière de baleines boréales sur l'île Saint-Laurent, en Alaska. Les données obtenues prennent la forme de la description des mouvements saisonniers, de la répartition et de l'abondance des baleines boréales près de l'île Saint-Laurent. La population de baleines boréales semble augmenter, comme c'est aussi le cas du nombre de jeunes baleines. L'évolution des conditions environnementales a des effets sur la répartition des baleines et engendre une migration un peu plus hâtive au printemps de même qu'une plus grande présence de baleines près de l'île l'hiver. Les chasseurs décrivent deux chemins de migration pour les baleines boréales. Nous ne savons pas si ces deux chemins sont empruntés par deux groupes de baleines différents du point de vue génétique ou si les baleines réagissent simplement différemment aux conditions océanographiques ou géographiques. Nos constatations sont conformes aux études de cette population de baleines boréales réalisées ailleurs et laissent croire que des recherches plus poussées s'avèrent nécessaires pour déterminer les différences migratoires (ou génétiques) entre les deux migrations de baleines en évidence à l'île Saint-Laurent.

Community monitoring of environmental change : college-based limnological studies at Crazy Lake (Tasirluk), Nunavut   /   Dyck, M.G.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 55-61, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61121

In light of the difficult logistics and high cost of polar research into climate change, involvement of local people can contribute immensely to important data collection. One can use the knowledge and skills of human resources that are already present - teachers, students, and community members. An example is the long-term Arctic monitoring program established at Crazy Lake (63°51' N, 68°28' W) near Iqaluit, Nunavut, to monitor snow and ice thickness, biological components, and water chemistry. Nunavut Arctic College students collected basic limnological data at Crazy Lake during spring field camps held between 10 and 16 April in 2005 and 2006. Mean snow depth ±SD for Crazy Lake was 0.46 ±0.13 m (n=24). White ice averaged 0.13 ±0.12 m and black ice 1.38 ±0.28 m. Total ice thickness (white ice + black ice) ranged between 0.91 and 1.91 m (mean=1.51 ±0.22 m). The total lake cover (snow + ice) averaged 1.97 ±0.20 m. Water depth ranged from 1.48 to 18.58 m (mean=10.10 ±4.99 m).

À la lumière de la complexité de la logistique et du coût élevé de la recherche polaire en matière de changement climatique, la participation des gens de la collectivité de la région à la collecte des données peut jouer un rôle très important en ce sens qu'il est possible de recourir aux connaissances et aux compétences des ressources humaines déjà en place, comme les enseignants, les élèves et les membres de la collectivité. Le programme de surveillance de l'Arctique de longue date établi au lac Crazy (63°51' N, 68°28' O) près d'Iqaluit, au Nunavut, en constitue un exemple. Ce programme vise à surveiller l'épaisseur de la neige et de la glace, de même que leurs composantes biologiques et la composition chimique de l'eau. Les élèves du collège Nunavut Arctic ont recueilli des données limnologiques de base au lac Crazy à l'occasion d'études sur le terrain réalisées au printemps 2005 et 2006, du 10 au 16 avril. Au lac Crazy, l'épaisseur moyenne de neige ±DS était de 0,46 ±0,13 m (n=24). La glace blanche atteignait en moyenne 0,13 ±0,12 m et la glace noire, 1,38 ±0,28 m. L'épaisseur totale de glace (glace blanche + glace noire) variait entre 0,91 et 1,91 m (moyenne=1,51 ±0,22 m). La couche du lac (neige + glace) atteignait en moyenne 1,97 ±0,20 m, tandis que l'épaisseur de l'eau variait entre 1,48 et 18,58 m (moyenne=10,10 ±4,99 m).

Challenges in community-research relationships : learning from natural science in Nunavut   /   Gearheard, S.   Shirley, J.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 62-74
ASTIS record 61122

The context and conduct of Arctic research are changing. In Nunavut, funding agencies, licensing bodies, and new regulatory agencies established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement require researchers to engage and consult with Inuit communities during all phases of research, to provide local training and other benefits, and to communicate project results effectively. Researchers are also increasingly expected to incorporate traditional knowledge into their work and to design studies that are relevant to local interests and needs. In this paper, we explore the challenges that researchers and communities experience in meeting these requirements by reviewing case studies of three natural science projects in Nunavut. Together, these projects exemplify both success and failure in negotiating research relationships. The case studies highlight three principal sources of researcher-community conflict: 1) debate surrounding acceptable impacts of research and the nature and extent of local benefits that research projects can and should provide; 2) uncertainty over who has the power and authority to dictate terms and conditions under which projects should be licensed; and 3) the appropriate research methodology and design to balance local expectations and research needs. The Nunavut research licensing process under the Scientists Act is an important opportunity for communities, scientists, and regulatory agencies to negotiate power relationships. However, the standards and procedures used to evaluate research impact remain unclear, as does the role of communities in the decision-making process for research licensing. The case studies also demonstrate the critical role of trust and rapport, forged through early and frequent communication, efforts to provide local training, and opportunities for community members to observe, participate in, and derive employment from project activities. Clarifying research policies in Nunavut is one step to improving relations between scientists and communities. In addition, steps need to be taken at both policy and project levels to train researchers, educate funding programs, mobilize institutions, and empower communities, thus strengthening the capacity of all stakeholders in northern research.

Le contexte et la réalisation des travaux de recherche dans l'Arctique sont en pleine évolution. Au Nunavut, les organismes de financement, les organismes de délivrance de permis et de nouveaux organismes réglementaires mis sur pied en vertu de l'Entente sur la revendication territoriale du Nunavut exigent des chercheurs qu'ils recourent aux services des collectivités inuites et les consultent à toutes les étapes des travaux de recherche, qu'ils assurent la formation des personnes auxquelles ils font affaire et leurs fournissent d'autres avantages, puis qu'ils communiquent bien les résultats des projets réalisés. Par ailleurs, on s'attend de plus en plus à ce que les chercheurs intègrent les connaissances traditionnelles à leur travail et conçoivent des études qui se rapportent aux intérêts et aux besoins cernés dans la région. Dans ce document, nous nous penchons sur les défis que doivent relever les chercheurs et les collectivités pour répondre à ces exigences en nous appuyant sur les études de cas de trois projets en sciences naturelles réalisés au Nunavut. Ensemble, ces projets exemplifient tant la réussite que l'échec en matière de négociation de relations de recherche. Ces études de cas mettent en évidence trois sources principales de conflits entre les chercheurs et la collectivité : 1) le débat concernant les incidences acceptables de la recherche de même que la nature et l'étendue des avantages ressentis à l'échelle locale découlant ou susceptibles de découler des projets de recherche; 2) l'incertitude quant à savoir à qui revient le pouvoir et l'autorité de dicter les modalités en vertu desquelles les projets de recherche devraient se voir accorder un permis; et 3) le caractère adéquat de la méthodologie et de la conception de la recherche en matière d'équilibre des attentes des gens de la région et des besoins de la recherche. En vertu de la Loi sur les scientifiques, le processus de délivrance des permis de recherche au Nunavut constitue une manière importante pour les collectivités, les scientifiques et les organismes réglementaires de négocier des rapports de force. Cependant, les normes et les méthodes servant à évaluer les incidences des projets de recherche ne sont toujours pas claires, ce qui est également le cas du rôle des collectivités dans le processus de prise de décisions en matière de délivrance des permis de recherche. Les études de cas font également ressortir le rôle critique de la confiance et des relations, ceux-ci étant le résultat de communications qui se font fréquemment et sans tarder, d'efforts pour fournir de la formation à l'échelle locale et d'occasions, pour les membres de la collectivité, d'observer ce qui se passe, de participer et de se trouver du travail dans le cadre des activités de recherche. Au Nunavut, la clarification des politiques de recherche constitue une manière d'améliorer les relations entre les scientifiques et les collectivités. De plus, des mesures doivent être prises sur le plan des politiques et des projets pour former les chercheurs, sensibiliser les responsables des programmes de financement, mobiliser les établissements et habiliter les collectivités et ce, afin de renforcer la capacité de tous les intervenants touchés par les travaux de recherche dans le Nord.

From isotopes to TK interviews : towards interdisciplinary research in Fort Resolution and the Slave River delta, Northwest Territories   /   Wolfe, B.B.   Armitage, D.   Wesche, S.   Brock, B.E.   Sokal, M.A.   Clogg-Wright, K.P.   Mongeon, C.L.   Adam, M.E.   Hall, R.I.   Edwards, T.W.D.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 75-87, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61125

Evolving research in Fort Resolution and the Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories, aims to improve understanding of how the natural ecosystem functions and responds to various environmental stressors, as well as to enhance the stewardship of natural resources and the capacity of local residents to respond to change. We seek to integrate approaches that span the natural and social sciences and traditional knowledge understandings of change, employing a research design developed in response to the concerns of a northern community. In doing so, we have strived for a research process that is collaborative, interdisciplinary, policy-oriented, and reflective of northern priorities. These elements characterize the new northern research paradigm increasingly promoted by various federal funding agencies, northern partners, and communities. They represent a holistic perspective in the pursuit of solutions to address complex environmental and socioeconomic concerns about impacts of climate change and resource development on northern societies. However, efforts to fulfill the objectives of this research paradigm are associated with a host of on-the-ground challenges. These challenges include (but are not restricted to) developing effective community partnerships and collaboration and documenting change through interdisciplinary approaches. Here we provide an overview of the components that comprise our interdisciplinary research program and offer an accounting of our formative experiences in confronting these challenges.

Des travaux de recherche en cours à Fort Resolution et dans le delta de la rivière des Esclaves, aux Territoires du Nord- Ouest, visent à mieux comprendre le fonctionnement de l'écosystème naturel, à réagir aux divers facteurs d'agression environnementaux ainsi qu'à rehausser la gérance des ressources naturelles et la capacité des habitants de la région à réagir au changement. Nous cherchons à intégrer des méthodes qui englobent les sciences naturelles et sociales et favorisent la compréhension du changement du point de vue des connaissances traditionnelles. Nous cherchons également à employer une méthodologie respectueuse des inquiétudes de la collectivité du Nord. Ce faisant, nous avons abouti à un processus de recherche caractérisé par la collaboration, l'interdisciplinarité et les politiques, processus qui tient également compte des priorités dans le Nord. Ces éléments définissent le nouveau paradigme de recherche dans le Nord qui est de plus en plus préconisé par divers organismes de subvention fédéraux, partenaires du Nord et collectivités. Ils représentent une perspective holistique en guise de solutions à des enjeux environnementaux et socioéconomiques complexes portant sur les incidences du changement climatique et de l'exploitation des ressources sur les sociétés du Nord. Toutefois, les efforts visant à concrétiser les objectifs de ce paradigme de recherche font face à une multitude de défis. Ces défis comprennent (mais sans s'y restreindre) la formation de partenariats efficaces avec les collectivités, des efforts de collaboration et la prise de notes sur les changements qui s'opèrent grâce à des méthodes interdisciplinaires. Ici, nous fournissons un aperçu des éléments de notre programme de recherche interdisciplinaire et donnons un aperçu de l'expérience formative qui a découlé de ces défis.

William A. Burnham (1947-2006)   /   Mattox, B.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 99-100, ill.
ASTIS record 61127

William A. Burnham died on 16 October 2006 after an eight-month battle with brain cancer. During his too-short life, Bill made many contributions to the field of raptor biology, including captive breeding and re-introduction to restore populations of raptors. He loved Greenland and its wilderness as much as he loved its falcons. His master's thesis recorded his pioneering work on the virtually unknown tundra peregrine falcon of West Greenland. He practiced the sport of falconry all his life. He trained many different kinds of raptors, both falcons and short-winged hawks. His tireless efforts provided important support for this little-known sport. ... Bill wrote more than 90 scientific papers and one book, "A Fascination with Falcons" (1997), which described his many adventures in various parts of the world that he visited to foster raptor conservation and sound environmental management. However, he is perhaps best known as the dynamic leader of the Peregrine Fund/World Center for Birds of Prey, in Boise. This unique organization, with an annual budget exceeding US$5 million, 50 employees in the United States, and many more around the world, carries out raptor restoration projects in North America ... and elsewhere. ... Bill first went to Greenland in 1972 and participated in the Greenland Peregrine Falcon Survey for many years. ... Bill spearheaded efforts to restore peregrines through captive breeding and release to the wild. The Peregrine Fund hosted a celebration with more than 1000 participants in August 1999, when the federal government removed the peregrine from the endangered species list. Peregrine restoration has been described as one of the greatest conservation stories of the 20th century. ... In later years, he applied modern remote sensing techniques (e.g., satellite-receiving microtransmitters) to learn more about gyrfalcons and peregrines. For the last 14 years, Bill and his son, Kurt, studied falcons in the Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord) area of central West Greenland, as well as near Pituffik (Thule) in Northwest Greenland. ... they conducted a survey of falcon nest sites in the Uummannaq District. This was actually a re-survey of the precise locations described by Bertelsen in the early 1900s (Bertelsen, 1921). They found few falcons nesting, but of even greater interest, they found nothing at the once-populous seabird colonies listed by Bertelsen. ... Debate about the cause of this catastrophic disappearance of birdlife suggests causes ranging from the deadly nature of modern-day hunting technology to disturbance by increasing numbers of tourist ships sailing close to the cliffs. In autumn 2004, Bill realized a life's dream of trapping and banding gyrfalcons in East Greenland ....

Fifty years of McCall Glacier research : from the International Geophysical Year 1957-58 to the International Polar Year 2007-08   /   Weller, G.   Nolan, M.   Wendler, G.   Benson, C.   Echelmeyer, K.   Untersteiner, N.
Arctic, v. 60, no. 1, Mar. 2007, p. 101-110, ill., maps
ASTIS record 61128

... McCall Glacier, located in the eastern Brooks Range of northern Alaska ..., has the longest and most complete history of scientific research of any glacier in the U.S. Arctic. Spanning the period from the International Geophysical Year (IGY) in 1957-58 to the Fourth International Polar Year (IPY) in 2007-08, this research has resulted in perhaps the best record of recent climate change and its impacts in this region of the Arctic. ... This essay attempts to document the history of research on the glacier, as well as the evolution of research logistics there, through personal anecdotes from some of the scientists involved. ... What were the conclusions and lessons learned from these studies conducted over half a century? First, they demonstrated the usefulness of long-term, systematic quantitative observations on the ground, particularly observations of complex processes, like those observed and measured on McCall Glacier. Such long-term observations are not that frequent in the Arctic, and in these days of satellite remote sensing are becoming even less so. The information obtained from the studies provided a clear picture of the dramatic changes that have occurred in this region of the Arctic, caused largely by changes in the climate. ... The studies also demonstrated the foresight of their early initiators, the dedication and contributions of the scientists who were involved, and the importance of proper data archival. ... There is also another lesson to be learned from this experience. While the McCall Glacier project has at this point turned into a long-term (50-year) study, the record itself was created through the contributions of several short-term projects. These were funded sporadically and resulted in gaps in the record. One of the causes for this is the paucity of federal funding opportunity for long-term glacier research projects. This is a problem not only for glacier research, but for all Arctic research, as long-term studies are the only way to ensure sufficient understanding of important processes such as the climate changes we are experiencing now. The future prospects of obtaining long-term glacier records remains bleak, and the record will likely continue to have gaps. Although modern data loggers for remotely measuring weather, ice melt, and ice motion may help bridge these gaps, it has been and likely will continue to be the initiative, energy, and at some points the personal resources of individual scientists involved that provide a semblance of research continuity. As glaciers around the world continue to recede, will there still be a McCall Glacier or a McCall Glacier Project at the next IPY in 2057? If the present trends continue, the final chapter in the McCall Glacier story may not be far off ....

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