Canada: projects/activities

Directory entires that have specified Canada as the primary or lead country for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. To see the full list of countries, see the countries list. The specified country may not be the geographic region where the activity is taking place - to select a geographic region, see the list of regions.

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Displaying: 1 - 20 of 47 Next
1. Circumpolar Health Observatory [CircHOB] (CircHOB)

CircHOB is an international collaborative health information system, involved in systematic, standardized, and consistent data collection and analysis. It is population-based, and produces data for all northern regions in all circumpolar countries CircHOB’s purpose is to monitor trends and patterns in health status, health determinants, and health care, provides quantitative evidence for planning and evaluation of health programs and services. It is on-going and sustainable with periodic updates Main gaps: Data on health-related behaviours, attitudes, and practices currently available from health surveys done in various circumpolar countries and regions are not directly comparable, due to differences in the construction of variables, sampling techniques, and contextual meanings of underlying concepts. Substantial international comparative research is needed before such data can be presented. Network type: CircHOB is a flagship project of the Arctic Human Health Expert Group of the Sustainable Development Working Group of the Arctic Council, formed in 2009. CircHOB is a program within the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research Data Center [www.ichr.ca] CircHOB extracts relevant data from existing data sources managed by different groups and agencies in different countries, including: • National population registries, censuses and intercensal estimates • Vital statistics • Mortality/morbidity/health care utilization databases • National/regional health surveys • Statistical reports CircHOB does NOT involve access to individual-level health records nor do any such records cross national borders. It involves the preparation of tables of aggregate data only. Most data are available from websites of national statistical agencies, health ministries, etc. Many but not all sites are available in English and language proficiency in all circumpolar languages [eg. Russian, Finnish, Icelandic] is essential. Some data require special tabulations produced by host agencies

Human health
2. Heavy Metal and Radionuclide Contaminants in Caribou

Objectives 1. To determine tissue residue levels of metals and radionuclides in caribou given its importance as a country food species. 2. To monitor contaminant exposure in caribou as a representative species of the terrestrial arctic ecosystem. 3. To examine metal speciation and isotopes ratios (uranium, thorium, strontium, titanium) which may provide insight into the source of contamination (anthropogenic vs. natural). 4.To provide information on temporal trends in radionuclide and metal levels in several caribou herds to determine whether levels are increasing, decreasing or remaining the same over time. 5. To determine the efficacy of international controls in reducing or eliminating pollutants entering the Canadian Arctic terrestrial ecosystem. Barren-ground caribou are found across northern Canada, and are a major component of the traditional diet in communities across the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut. Caribou are a good indicator species for terrestrial ecosystem contamination given their wide distribution across northern Canada, the simple air-lichen-caribou food chain, the existing baseline data set, and their importance as a country food species. Three (3) caribou herds from across the NWT and Nunavut have been selected as sentinel herds, with a different herd to be sampled each year to determine tissue residue levels and monitor temporal trends. Field collections will be conducted in cooperation with local Hunter’s and Trapper’s Organizations and/or local aboriginal organizations, utilizing local hunters in planning and conducting the field work. Samples will be tested for a wide range of environmental contaminants including 10 heavy metals and 7 radionuclides.

Caribou Exposure heavy metals Indigenous people Long-range transport Radionuclides Spatial trends Terrestrial mammals
3. Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) (NCP)

The Northern Contaminants Program aims to reduce and where possible eliminate long-range contaminants from the Arctic Environment while providing Northerners with the information they need to make informed dietary choices, particularly concerning traditional/country food. To achieve these objectives the NCP conducts research and monitoring related to contaminants in the Arctic environment and people. Monitoring efforts focus on regular (annual) assessment of contaminant levels in a range of media, including air, biota and humans. Environmental research is conducted into the pathways, processes and effects of contaminants on Arctic ecosystems while human health research focuses on assessing contaminant exposure, toxicity research, epidemiological (cohort) studies, and risk-benefit assessment and communications. Main gaps: Contaminant measurements in Arctic seawater, toxicity data specific to Arctic species. Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminants levels and relevant ancilliary parameters - Field stations: Atmospheric observing stations at Alert, Nunavut and Little Fox Lake, Yukon. - Community based observations: Numerous communities throughout the Canadian Arctic participate in sample collection - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided by the NCP secretariat, which also acts as liaison with AMAP.

Atmosphere Ecosystems Human health Oceanography
4. A comparison of time-related changes in trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane and trans-chlordane residues in rat tissues and the relationship between tissue residue levels, functional changes and gender.

Short term: To compare changes in trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane and trans-chlordane residues over time in fat and other tissues (using the rat model), and to relate fat and tissue residue levels to clinical changes in male and female rats. Long term: To provide current information on the toxicity of chlordane metabolites and constituents, including trans-nonachlor and oxychlordane.

Biological effects Organochlorines Toxicology Pesticides
5. Spatial and long-term trends in organic contaminants and metals in fish species important to the commercial, sports, and domestic fisheries of Great Slave Lake and the Slave River ecosystem.

i. Determine mercury, metals and persistent organic contaminant pollutants (POPs) concentrations in lake trout harvested from two locations (West Basin near Hay River, East Arm at Lutsel K’e) and burbot harvested from one location (West Basin at Fort Resolution) in 2015 to further extend the long-term (1993-2013 (POPs) and 1993-2014 (mercury)) database. ii. Determine POPs trends in lake trout and burbot using our 1993-2014 data base. iii. Continue our investigations of mercury trends in predatory fish to include lakes in the Deh Cho, Great Bear Lake, and other lakes as opportunities arise. iv. Participate in and contribute information to AMAP expert work groups for trend monitoring for POPs and mercury. v. Integrate our mercury trend assessments with studies we are conducting in the western provinces as part of Canada’s Clear Air Regularly Agenda for its Mercury Science Assessment. vi. Work with communities in capacity building and training.

Slave River biomagnification Catchment studies Pollution sources Contaminant transport Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Organochlorines Mackenzie River Basin PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people Long-range transport Spatial trends Environmental management Climate change Emissions Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Food webs Atmosphere Temporal trends Ecosystems Great Slave Lake
6. Assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of HCH isomers in the arctic environment

In order to assess the spatial and temporal patterns of the a-, b- and g-isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) in the arctic biotic and abiotic environment, it is proposed that: (1) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared over time in air, water, seals, beluga, polar bears and seabirds to determine any shifts in isomeric ratios and how those shifts interrelate among the various media, and (2) concentrations and ratios of HCH isomers be compared spatially in the abiotic and biotic media and reasons for any patterns explored.

Shelf seas Pathways Organochlorines trends fish Long-range transport seawater Spatial trends HCH isomers Modelling Polar bear Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) sediment Seabirds Sediments Atmosphere Ocean currents Temporal trends zooplankton Marine mammals air
7. Retrospective survey of organochlorines and mercury in arctic seabird eggs

In order to address the the question of utility of arctic seabird eggs as an indicator of contaminant temporal trends, it was proposed that: (1) archived arctic seabird egg contents be re-analyzed for organochlorines according to a standardized pooling and analytical protocol in order to confirm whether those residues have been decreasing since the mid-1970s, (2) archived arctic seabird egg contents be analyzed for mercury and selenium to determine whether or not those levels have been increasing or decreasing since the mid-1970s, (3) egg contents and adult livers be analyzed by full scan and ICP to identify any "new" or previously unidentified organochlorines (MS full scan) or metals (ICP) which may have entered the Canadian arctic food chain.

Organochlorines Canadian Arctic Heavy metals Exposure Arctic Seabirds metals Temporal trends
8. Role of contaminants in seaduck population decline: metals in oldsquaw

In order to determine the role of contaminants in declining populations of seaducks, it is proposed that: (1) archived samples of Oldsquaw collected from their Canadian arctic breeding grounds be analyzed for Hg, Se and Cu (in liver), Cd (in kidney), Pb (in wing bone), and selected samples be screened for a wider range of metals (in liver), and (2) archived samples of Oldsquaw wing bone be analyzed for stable isotopes (13C/12C; 15N/14N, and 34S/32S) and strontium (Sr) to discriminate whether birds from certain geographical areas of the Arctic are overwintering in freshwater (i.e. Great Lakes) or marine environments.

Populations Heavy metals stable isotopes Exposure Arctic oldsquaw metals
9. Assessment of organochlorines and metal levels in Canadian arctic fox

1) To determine tissue residue levels of organochlorines and metals in arctic fox feeding in or near an arctic coastal environment. 2) To assess whether or not residue levels found in arctic fox pose a potential wildlife health risk. 3) As part of a pilot project, to determine residue levels and assess potential wildlife health risk to wolverines feeding in or near a coastal environment.

Biology Organochlorines Heavy metals stable isotopes Exposure Arctic metals Diet arctic fox wolverine
10. International Circumpolar Surveillance System (ICS) (ICS)

to establish a network of hospital and public health laboratories throughout the Arctic which would allow collection and sharing of uniform laboratory and epidemiological data between Arctic countries that will describe the prevalence of infectious diseases of concern to Arctic residents and assist in the formulation of prevention and control strategies. Main gaps: Currently the sytem only monitors invasive bacterial diseases and tuberculosis but has the potential to be expanded to other countries and could be adapted to monitor other human health issues of concern to Arctic countries.

Human health
11. Northern Human Biomonitoring – Northern Contaminants Program (NCP)

The NCP aims to reduce and, wherever possible, eliminate contaminants in traditionally harvested foods, while providing information that assists informed decision making by individuals and communities in their food use. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the North and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. A multi-disciplinary approach is used to evaluate contaminant concentrations, health effects, dietary research, and risk management/communication to meet the objectives of the NCP. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals, particularly for communities having only two sampling periods; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and other contaminants of interest (e.g., food preservation/storage, personal care products); health effects data. Network type: Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents is essential for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: NCP management committee, review teams, and regional contaminant committees all involve members from federal governments, territorial and provincial governments, northern Aboriginal partner organizations throughout all phases of research planning, implementation and reporting.

Human health
12. Hydrometric Observations

To provide for the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of surface water quantity data and information and services that are vital to meet a wide range of water management, engineering and environmental needs across Canada. Main gaps: The current hydrometric network is deficient in terms of understanding the regional hydrology and river regimes across Canada. The map below integrates Environment Canada’s two key frameworks: the National Drainage Area Framework with the National Terrestrial Ecological Framework to identify network deficiencies. In order to have sufficient information there needs to be at least one active hydrometric station measuring natural flow in each corresponding ecodistrict within a sub-sub drainage area. This strategy ensures that there will be sufficient information to understand the hydrological processes and the interrelationships with the landscape. This information is essential for research and enhancing our predictive capabilities and data transfer. As the map shows, areas of sufficiency are concentrated in the southern, more populated regions of the country. Network sufficiency declines to the north and northeast, with great extents of northern Canada having no coverage at all. Network type: in-situ.water level and streamflow monitoring stations

Oceanography Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
13. Arctic Avian Monitoring Network

The main objective of the Arctic Avian Monitoring Network is to characterize the occurrence of birds in the Arctic to support regulatory responsibilities and conservation of birds and the biodiversity on which they depend. Temporal and spatial changes can be used to indicate changes in ecosystems that might otherwise be difficult to detect (e.g. marine areas) and can also be used to model predicted changes due to human activity. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Some species groups not well covered (e.g. landbirds and shorebirds) Network type: Network consists of programs divided into three species themes that combine common aspects of biology and human use: Waterfowl: e.g. ducks geese and swans • centered on aerial surveys of high density breeding areas and following non-breeding birds using satellite telemetry Seabirds: e.g. gulls, terns and auks • centered on surveys at breeding colonies and of birds at sea (either by direct observation or through the use of data loggers) Shorebirds: e.g. sandpipers, plovers and phalaropes • focused on broad-scale, stratified sampling of terrestrial areas and aerial surveys of non-marine habitats

Oceanography Human health Ecosystems
14. ArcticNet Network of Excellence Observing Program

ArcticNet brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners in Inuit organizations, northern communities, government and industry to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of climate change and globalization in the Arctic. Over 110 ArcticNet researchers and 400 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians from 28 Canadian universities and 8 federal departments collaborate on 28 research projects with over 150 partner organizations from 15 countries. The major objectives of the Network are: • Build synergy among existing Centres of Excellence in the natural, human health and social Arctic sciences. • Involve northerners, government and industry in the steering of the Network and scientific process through bilateral exchange of knowledge, training and technology. • Increase and update the observational basis needed to address the ecosystem-level questions raised by climate change and globalization in the Arctic. • Provide academic researchers and their national and international collaborators with stable access to the coastal Canadian Arctic. • Consolidate national and international collaborations in the study of the Canadian Arctic. • Contribute to the training of the next generation of experts, from north and south, needed to study, model and ensure the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic. • Translate our growing understanding of the changing Arctic into regional impact assessments, national policies and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: Thematical observations:Yes Field stations: Yes on Land (see CEN sheet) and Marine (CCGS Amundsen) Community based observations: Yes Coordination: Yes

Oceanography Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
15. Centre d'études nordiques (CEN) Observing Program (CEN)

The Centre for Northern Studies (www.cen.ulaval.ca; CEN: Centre d’études nordiques) is an interuniversity centre of excellence for research involving Université Laval, Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Centre Eau, Terre et Environnement de l'Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS). Members also come from the following affiliations: Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, à Montréal and à Trois-Rivières, Université de Sherbrooke, and the College François-Xavier Garneau. The CEN is multidisciplinary, bringing together over forty researchers including biologists, geographers, geologists, engineers, archaeologists, and landscape management specialists. The CEN community also counts two hundred graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and employees. CEN’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of northern regions by way of an improved understanding of environmental change. CEN researchers analyze the evolution of northern environments in the context of climate warming and accelerated socio-economic change and train highly qualified personnel in the analysis and management of cold region ecosystems and geosystems. In partnership with government, industry and northern communities, CEN plays a pivotal role in environmental stewardship and development of the circumpolar North. CEN research activities are focused on three themes: 1 -Structure and function of northern continental environments. 2 -Evolution of northern environments in the context of global change. 3-Evaluation of the risks associated with environmental change and development of adaptation strategies. In 2009, CEN organised an international workshop with the European SAON network SCANNET and also partners throughout Canada. The workshop culminated in the formal incorporation of CEN stations within SCANNET (http://www.scannet.nu/). Main gaps: [Not specified] Network type: CEN operates the CEN Network, an extensive network of meteorological and field stations that were established in consultation with northern communities. The CEN Network comprises over 75 climate and soil monitoring stations and eight field stations distributed across a 4000 km North-South gradient from boreal forest to the High Arctic. The eight field stations are situated at the following sites: Radisson, Whapmagoostui- Kuujjuarapik, Umiujaq, Lac à l’Eau Claire (in the proposed new park Tursujuq), Boniface River, Salluit, and Bylot and Ward Hunt Islands, which are part of two National Parks in Nunavut. The main field station at the heart of the CEN Network is at Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik.

Oceanography Atmosphere Ecosystems
16. International Arctic Human Biomonitoring – Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (International Arctic Human Biomonitoring)

The network was established to assess the implications and impacts of pollution and contaminants on the health of Arctic residents. The biomonitoring program monitors concentrations of contaminants in human tissues in the eight circumpolar nations and assesses spatial and temporal patterns/trends and potential health effects at present and future levels. Where available, contaminant guidelines are used to evaluate risk to populations/communities. AMAP has been designed to have roots in the national programs of participating countries. Main gaps: Trend data of legacy POPs and metals is available, though some communities have only two sampling periods, further monitoing is planned; measurements of tissue concentrations of emerging contaminants and personal care products is just starting and needs to be continued; health effects research needs to be expanded to other regions with high exposure (e.g., arctic Russia). Network type: - Thematical observations: Contaminant concentrations and health effects data - Field stations: None, community / population based research. - Community based observations: Participation of community health workers and community residents for data collection through tissue samples - Coordination: Human Health Assessment Group (HHAG) was created bringing together leading researchers and research coordinators from eight circumpolar countries; AMAP Ring Test (QA/QC program) coordinates and standardizes laboratories for analyzing biomonitoring samples.

Human health
17. Canadian Permafrost Monitoring Network, Canada’s Contribution to Global Terrestrial Network for Permafrost (GTN-P Canada) (GTN-P Canada)

• collect field based measurements of permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness (Essential Climate Variables identified by WMO/GCOS) • disseminate information on permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness (increase public availability • document current permafrost conditions and changes in these conditions and conduct analysis to explain these changes • provide essential information on permafrost conditions for decision making in Canada’s north to ensure sustainable development and to develop strategies to adapt to climate change Main gaps: Large regional gaps still exists especially in central region between Mackenzie Valley and Hudson Bay There is also a lack of long-term funding to maintain network operation and ensure ongoing data collection. Network type: Thematic observations (permafrost thermal state and active layer thickness), consisting of several field sites (>150) throughout northern Canada (see recent GCOS ECV report for map). Most sites in remote areas Limited community based monitoring

Ecosystems
18. Sea Ice

The Canadian Ice Service (CIS), a branch of the Meteorological Service of Canada, is the leading authority for information about ice in Canada’s navigable waters. CIS provides the most timely and accurate information about sea ice, lake ice, river ice and icebergs to: • Ensure the safety of both mariners and Canadians, their property and their environment through the provision of hazardous ice condition warnings • Provide present and future generations of Canadians with sufficient knowledge to support sound environmental policies In summer and fall data collection and analysis is focussed on the Arctic and the Hudson Bay regions with daily satellite acquisitions. In winter and spring, the data collection is focussed on the Great lakes, the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of the St. Lawrence and the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts The following products are produced: • In situ briefings, warnings, daily ice charts, image analysis charts, regional charts, observed charts, short- and long-term forecasts and iceberg bulletins and charts; specialised ice information services for Other Government Departments and research communities • Oil spill monitoring; satellite image analysis for oil spill detection • Annual Ice Atlas • Archive of climatic ice information Main gaps: Satellite monitoring of Arctic sea ice is limited to: • Canadian waters, • Bi-Weekly acquisitions from January to March • Weekly acquisitions from April to May • Daily acquisitions of areas where shipping is active from June to November Network type: various: satellite data, observations from ships and aircraft. CIS acquires and analyses thousands of satellite images, conducts millions of square kilometres of airborne reconnaissance and receives hundreds of ship and shore ice reports annually.

Human health Oceanography
19. National Glacier-Climate Observing System – State and Evolution of Canada's Glaciers (SECG) (SECG)

The State and Evolution of Canada's Glaciers initiative provides information and data products produced by the Federal Government's National Glacier-Climate Observing System (monitoring, assessment and data portal) and related freshwater vulnerability research in western and northern Canada. The Glacier-Climate Observing System is delivered through an integrated monitoring and research collaborative comprised of Natural Resources Canada-Geological Survey of Canada (lead agency), Geomatics Canada-Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Environment Canada-National Water Research Institute and Water Survey of Canada, Parks Canada Agency, C-CORE Polar View, and academic partners that include the universities of British Columbia, Northern British Columbia, Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatchewan, Regina, Toronto, Brock, Trent and Ottawa, and related academic initiatives such as the Cold Water Collaborative and those supported by the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science. SECG is a contribution to the NRCan Earth Sciences Sector - Climate Change Geoscience Program. With this data research is conducted on the relationship between climate, glacier fluctuations and their impacts on freshwater systems (e.g., river flow, cold stream ecology, groundwater recharge, flow to oceans). The development of improved remote sensing tools is also a major research thrust. With the support of the Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, the Canadian Consortium for Lidar Environmental Applications Research (C-CLEAR), and the NASA - Wallops Flight Facility, new tools and a systematic approach are increasingly brought to bear to understand more completely and with reduced uncertainty the magnitude, causality and impacts of Canada's changing glaciers. System outputs are used to a) inform national and international climate change programs and process; b) improve knowledge regarding the nature and locations of historical, current, and potential future impacts of climate change, c) assist Canadians in understanding and adapting to climate change impacts on natural resources at a regional and national scale. The System also provides leadership and co-ordination of Canada's contribution to World Meteorological Organization’s Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) and its Global Terrestrial Network for Glaciers (GTN-G), the contribution of Essential Climate Variables for GEO/GEOSS, and providing such as Official Communications to the Parties of the Convention UNFCCC. Main gaps: Regional representativeness has been improving with the re-establishment of former sites or the establishment of new sites. Contributions to thematic needs such as water resources, flow to oceans and sea-level change will require improved co-ordination with hydrometric and other monitoring entities. Which Network type: - Thematical observations: yes - Field stations: yes, 20 reference observing sites - Community based observations: some in development (Grise Fjord) - Coordination: SECG guides and co-ordinates observations conducted by partners; SECG co-ordinates reporting for Canada (e.g., GCOS-GTN-G, WGMS)

Ecosystems
20. Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Network

The main objective of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring Network is to develop and implement, for priority marine ecosystems, an integrated, long-term biodiversity monitoring plan to detect changes in biodiversity temporally and spatially, and to establish links between such changes and anthropogenic drivers. Main gaps: Large gaps both spatially and temporally. Many datasets cover short periods. Network type: - Thematical observations: all trophic levels and appropriate proxy variables for biodiversity - Field stations: fixed locations on land; research ships and icebreakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings - Community based observations: connected to scientific projects - Coordination (e.g. not directly involved in observations, but coordinates data and use (for instance AMAP) : national coordination of the network, development of plans, data analysis, reporting

Human health Oceanography