Arctic, Circumpolar: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Arctic, Circumpolar as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

It is also possible to browse and query the full list of projects.

Displaying: 1 - 12 of 12
1. Monitoring of Cs-137 and Sr-90 in consumption milk

Monitoring of cesium-137 and strontium-90 in consumption milk is a sub-programme of a national monitoring program regarding environmental radiation in Sweden. The sub-programme has been ongoing since 1955. In the event of increased deposition of radionuclides, e.g. after a nuclear accident, transfer to cow milk is a quick process. The concentration in milk is therefore a good indicator of any changes of the levels of radionuclides in the area. Monitoring is performed at 5 dairies: Umeå, Sundsvall, Kallhäll, Jönköping and Malmö, where milk is sampled 4 times per year.

137-Cs 90-Sr Cesium Contaminant transport Exposure Food gamma radiation Human health Long-range transport Mapping milk Radioactivity Radionuclides strontium Temporal trends
2. FUVIRC-Finnish Ultraviolet International Research Centre

FUVIRC will serve ecosystem research, human health research and atmospheric chemistry research by providing UV monitoring data and guidance (i.e. calibration of instruments, maintenance of field test sites), research facilities (laboratories and accommodation), instruments and equipment.

Arctic Atmosphere Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate change Ecosystems Forest damage Geophysics Human health ozone Populations Reindeer Temporal trends UV radiation
3. LAPBIAT-Lapland Atmosphere-Biosphere facility

The main objective of the facility is to enhance the international scientific co-operation at the seven Finnish research stations and to offer a very attractive and unique place for multidisciplinary environmental and atmospheric research in the most arctic region of the European Union. Factors such as, arctic-subarctic and alpine-subalpine environment, northern populations, arctic winters with snow, changes in the Earth's electromagnetic environment due to external disturbances and exceptionally long series of observations of many ecological and atmospheric variables should interest new users.

Arctic Atmosphere Atmospheric processes Biodiversity Biological effects Biology Climate Climate change Climate variability Data management Ecosystems Emissions Environmental management Exposure Geophysics Human health Local pollution Long-range transport Modelling ozone Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Populations Reindeer Spatial trends Temporal trends UV radiation
4. 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 [] 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
5. Stofnun Vilhjálms Stefánssonar ‐ The Stefansson Arctic Institute, SAI (SAI)

The Stefansson Arctic Institute is an Icelandic governmental (Ministry for the Environment) research institute with focus on the Arctic region, also involved in public dissemination of research, exhibits, and international collaboration on northern human dimension issues, social and cultural change and human development, economic development and interdisciplinary aspects of human‐environmental relations in the Circumpolar Arctic and Northern North Atlantic. The institute is involved in a range of research and information dissemination projects and programmes. The institute was responsible for leading and hosting the project secretariat and publishing the Arctic Human Development Report (AHDR), the first comprehensive scientific assessment of human welfare, social development and cultural change in the circumpolar Arctic, and the follow-up projects Arctic Social Indicators (ASI-I, and ASI-II) 2006-2010. The Institute leads the work on the second AHDR (2010-2014); and follow-up work to the ASI projects includes the implementation of an Arctic Social Indicators monitoring system with a piloting of a monitoring system in the Inuvialuit region of Canada, North West Territories. The ASI indicators work is also being applied in community case studies on the Alaska North Slope Borough, as well as the North-Atlantic region, Yamal-Nenets, Sakha-Yakutia, and Nunavut. Main gaps: Not specified Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Community based observations

Human health
6. 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
7. 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
8. Arctic Observing Network (AON)

The overall goal of AON is to obtain data that will support scientific investigations of Arctic environmental system change. The observing objectives are to: 1. Maintain science-driven observations of environmental system changes that are already underway; 2. Deploy new, science-driven observing systems and be prepared for detection of future environmental system change; 3. Develop observing data sets that will contribute to (a) the understanding of Arctic environmental system change (via analysis, synthesis and modelling) and its connections to the global system, and (b) improved prediction of future Arctic environmental system change and its connections to the global system. Main gaps: Understanding Change and Responding to Change panels, has formed an AON Design and Implementation (ADI) Task Force. Composed of Arctic and non-Arctic scientists with experience and expertise in scientific observing and observing system operation and design, the goal of the task force is to provide advice to the scientific community and NSF on observing system/network design options that are available for identifying gaps that hinder scientific understanding of Arctic environmental system change. The task force will hold two workshops and address two main objectives: (1) evaluate the current SEARCH science questions and observing priorities, and recommend new priorities in the light of the environmental system changes that have occurred since 2005; and (2) evaluate observing system/network design methods, including pilot projects and small-scale tests. A publicly available report will be released in summer 2010. It is anticipated that the report will be of interest to the broader Arctic science community, the governments of the Arctic countries and other countries, NGOs and numerous stakeholders.

Environmental management Oceanography Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
9. Polar Bear/Human Interaction Database (PBHIMS)

Track and analyze all bear/human conflicts for all circumpolar polar bear range states (countries). As a result of on-going and predicted future habitat loss, polar bears are expected to spend longer periods of time on land where they are susceptible to human disturbance. At the same time, human activity in coastal areas of the Arctic is increasing (e.g. oil and gas exploration, tourism) in conjunction with an increased number of nutritionally stressed bears occurring on land. The increasing trend of both polar bear and human use of coastal areas has the potential to result in increasing polar bear-human interactions. Harvest data indicates that defense of life kills have been increasing (USFWS unpublished data). To date, polar bear attacks have been rare but when they do occur, they evoke strong public reaction, especially for residents of communities within the range of polar bears. For sound management of polar bears to be implemented, and adequate protection afforded to people living, recreating, and working in polar bear country, it is imperative that polar bear managers assemble a database of critical information related to bear-human interactions. Interactions with humans may threaten polar bears by: (1) displacement from preferred habitats, such as denning, feeding and resting areas; (2) ingestion of or exposure to contaminants or toxic substances; (3) association of humans with food (food-conditioning) resulting in nuisance bears being killed due to safety concerns for local residents/workers. Polar bear managers can help maintain the current status of their polar bear populations by reducing lethal take of polar bears during bear-human interactions. To prevent escalating conflicts between polar bears and humans, bear-human interaction plans need to be developed and implemented. During the March 2009 Polar Bear Range States Meeting in Tromso, Norway the U.S. was tasked with taking the lead on developing a polar bear / human interaction initiative to address the anticipated future increase in interactions due to climate change. Tor Punsvik, Environmental Advisor, Office of The Governor of Svalbard, Norway and Dr. Terry D. DeBruyn, Polar Bear Project Leader, FWS, Alaska were requested by the Range States to develop a polar bear/human interaction database for the next Range States Meeting in Canada in 2011. It is anticipated that a draft database, populated with data from both the U.S. and Norway, will be ready by November 2009 for testing and comment by the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). The draft database will be distributed to PBSG members, comment sought, and a request made that members populate the database with pertinent polar bear/human incidents (of primary interest, initially, are records from each country that relate to the use of bear spray and fatalities (both bear and human) resulting from bear-human interactions). At a subsequent meeting of U.S. and Norway in spring 2010, the database will be updated and thereafter redistributed to the PBSG and Range State members. It is anticipated that data from all Polar Bear Range States will then be available for consolidation and validation in winter 2010 and ready to present at the Range States meeting in 2011. To ensure the success of the project, partnering with various agencies and pertinent groups in the range state countries will occur. The Polar Bear Range States parties agree on the need to develop comprehensive strategies to manage bear-human conflicts. Some existing strategies include active deterrence, reduction of attractants, and community education and outreach. Expertise developed for management of other bear species should be consulted in the development of strategies specific to polar bears. The parties agreed to exchange experiences with management of bear-human interactions. Two specific opportunities were identified to develop bear-human interaction strategies: the upcoming Bear-human Workshop in November 2009 in Canmore, Alberta, Canada and the Polar Bear Aversive Conditioning Workshop planned to be held in Alaska in 2010. The Polar Bear-Human Information Management System (PBHIMS) has been developed to standardize the collection of polar bear data across the Range States. This system provides a user-friendly data entry interface and the ability to analyze the collected data. Data stored in the system includes bear-human conflicts, bear observations, bear harvests, and bear natural history data. Scanned images of the original bear forms, narratives, reports, and photos can be attached to each incident to provide additional information that may not be captured in the system. Main gaps: Developed for use by USFWS; other range states are not using it yet.

Ecosystems Human health Oceanography
10. ATMospheric Fluxes from Arctic Snow Surfaces - ATMS

The central objectives of the proposed ATMAS project are:  to quantify the photo-chemically triggered NOx and HONO re-emission fluxes from permanently and seasonally snow-covered surfaces in the Arctic near Ny-Ålesund,  to quantify the sources of NO3 in these snow-covered surfaces. In detail, the following scientific objectives of ATMAS can be distinguished: 1. to quantify atmospheric gradient fluxes of HNO3, HONO, particulate nitrogen compounds, and nitrogen in precipitation (snow and rain) above snow surfaces; 2. to quantify the emission of NOx and HONO from the snow pack as atmospheric gradient fluxes 3. to formulate an influx-outflow relationship that can be used in dependence on the snow type for (photo-)chemical atmospheric process models. The results of this research may be expanded to a regional (European) or global scale, to suggest how the NOx and HONO re-emission process and its consequences can be included into regional emission, dispersion and deposition models used in Europe.

Atmospheric processes Ozone gaseous ammonia nitrogen bio-geochemical cycle Pollution sources Climate change tropospheric boundary layer nitrogen oxides Ice Emissions SNOW and SNOWPACK Arctic Data management photochemical production Atmosphere Human health
11. Inuvik Regional Human Contaminants Monitoring Program

The objective of the study is to establish baseline levels of specific heavy metal and organochlorine contaminants in the blood of women and their newborns, from communities in the Inuvik Region. The study examines traditional food consumption as a possible contaminant exposure pathway, while measuring organochlorines and metals in maternal and cord blood, as well as mercury levels in maternal hair. Collection of data from this region will complete the Northwest Territories/Nunavut database on maternal and cord blood. There were 104 women participating in this study from Inuvialuit, Gwich'in and non-native backgrounds. The results are similar to existing data from other regions in the Canadian north and confirm the importance of traditional foods among women of reproductive age. Exposure levels to contaminants were generally within guideline levels with only a few exceptions. Communication of results to the communities will continue until June 2000. Objectives: 1.To obtain regional values for the concentrations of organochlorine and metal contaminants in maternal and umbilical cord blood samples, and the concentration of mercury in hair samples from pregnant women in the Inuvik region. 2.To assess exposure to these contaminants through the frequency of traditional/country food intake and certain other lifestyle factors. 3.To describe any relationship between contaminant levels in blood and hair samples and frequency of consumption of traditional/country foods and selected lifestyle factors.

Human health
12. AMAP Human Health Data Centre

The objectives of the centre are: - to provide access to data from recent human health monitoring and research activities conducted as part of the AMAP national implementation plans. - to provide a means to ensure treatment of data in a consistent manner, uniform statistical analysis etc., including application of objective quality assurance procedures. - to begin the process of establishing a long-term archive of relevant Arctic monitoring data for use in future assessments of temporal trends etc. - to meet the ministerial request from the Alta Conference to include human health data in the AMAP thematic data centres.

Populations Heavy metals Indigenous people Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Data management Temporal trends Human health Human intake