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: 21 - 40 of 47 Next
21. 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
22. Arctic Oceanographic Observations

Observations of the Arctic Ocean have been made since the 1800s at varying levels of intensity. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the physical and chemical composition of Arctic waters, the circulation of the waters within the Arctic Ocean, and flows into and out of the Arctic Ocean. Physical observations are conducted on properties of the water column including ocean temperature, sea surface temperature, salinity, pH, carbon, changes in ice coverage and extent, hydrographic measurements, nutrients, etc. Surface drifters either embedded in the ice, or (lately) able to float and operate in ice infested waters, provide measurements of a limited number of surface ocean and meteorological variables. . Additional observations are obtained on ocean currents, waves and tides. Biological observations are captured within a separate inventory item titled “Arctic Marine Biodiversity Monitoring”. Recently, a focus has been on increasing understanding of the impacts of climate change on Arctic waters (e.g., increasing temperature, decreasing pH, decreasing salinity, changing ice conditions, etc.). Data is gathered by ship with in situ measurements, deployment of moorings and buoys, helicopters (e.g. for ice measurements), and satellites (e.g. sea surface temperature). Main gaps: Large geographic areas of the Arctic are not covered regularly. Network type: - Thematical observations: of all oceanographic parameters - Field stations: Research ships and ice breakers of the Canadian Coast Guard; other ships of opportunity as available; moorings and buoys - Community based observations: - Coordination: National coordination of the program provided within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence (NCAARE)

Atmosphere Oceanography
23. CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring & Assessment Network (CARMA)

The main objective is to monitor and assess the impacts of global change on the Human-Rangifer System across the Arctic through cooperation, both geographically and across disciplines. CARMA is a network of researchers, managers and community people that share information on the status of the world's wild Rangifer (reindeer and caribou) populations and how they are affected by global changes (e.g. climate change and industrial development). CARMA is primarily focussed on the status of most of the large migratory Rangifer herds and thus, as yet, do not deal with woodland caribou and Peary caribou in North America or forest and marine reindeer in Fennoscandia and Russia. As well, the do not deal with domestic reindeer or the herding economy. Network type: - Networking - Data, experience and knowledge exchange

Ecosystems
24. Atmospheric Observations

To acquire atmospheric data in support of both the prediction and detection of severe weather and of climate trend and variability research. This serves a broad range of users including researchers, policy makers, and service providers. Main gaps: Long-term, atmospheric monitoring in the North poses a significant challenge both operationally (e.g. in-situ automated snowfall measurements) and financially (charterd flights for maintenance and calibration).Most monitoring in the North is limited to populated areas. Attempts to develop an AMDAR capacity out of First Air and Canadian North fleets failed due to economical and technical difficulties. As demonstrated through impact studies, benefits of AMDAR in the North would be tremendous, however would require acquisition and deployment of specialized sensing packages such as TAMDAR (which includes measurements of relative humidity), development of datalink capacity through satellite communications (e.g. Iridium), and upgrading some aircraft systems when possible, especially the aircraft navigation systems. Network type: Atmospheric observing stations over land and sea composed of: - Surface Weather and Climate Network: o In-situ land stations comprising both Hourly stations and Daily Climate observations - Marine Networks: o Buoys (moored and drifting) o Ships: Automatic Volunteer Observing System - Upper Air Network: o In situ (radiosonde) o In situ Commercial Aircraft (AMDAR)

Oceanography Atmosphere Human health
25. C-ICE 2001

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Cryospheric Experiment (C-ICE) is a multi-year field experiment that incorporates many individual projects, each with autonomous goals and objectives. The science conducted has directly evolved from research relating to one of four general themes: i. sea ice energy balance; ii. numerical modeling of atmospheric processes; iii. remote sensing of snow covered sea ice; and iv. ecosystem studies.

Atmospheric processes Biology Mapping Climate variability Spatial trends Remote Sensing Sea ice Climate change Shipping Modelling Ice Polar bear Oceanography Arctic Ice cores GIS Energy Balance Food webs Data management MicroWave Scattering Atmosphere Ocean currents Ecosystems Marine mammals
26. Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and metals in Landlocked char

The objectives of this study are to determine temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, especially mercury, in landlocked Arctic char in Char Lake and Resolute Lake by analysis of annual sample collections, to investigate factors influencing contaminant levels in landlocked char such as the influence of sampling time, water temperature and diet, and to provide this information on a timely basis to the community of Qausuittuq (Resolute). The rationale is that small lakes in the high arctic are replenished annually with snowmelt runoff and direct precipitation which represent significant fractions of their water budgets. Declining concentrations of POPs, or increasing levels of previously unstudied POPs, in air and precipitation should be reflected relatively quickly in changes in levels in food webs and top predator fishes, compared to the vast marine environment. We know this to be the case from the sedimentary record of POPs and mercury in small arctic lakes. This project collects landlocked arctic char from lakes near Resolute annually and analyses them for mercury, a suite of other metals as well as persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides including toxaphene). Results will be compared over time. The first samples were collected from Char and Resolute Lakes in 1992/93. The next set were collected in 1997 and annually since then. Char are being collected from several lakes in the area because of limited sample numbers in some lakes and the possibility of local influences. Samples are also being archived for future analyses.

Organochlorines PCBs landlocked arctic char mercury Heavy metals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Temporal trends
27. Spatial trends and pathways of POPs and metals in fish, shellfish and marine mammals of northern Labrador and Nunavik

The objectives of this study were to develop baseline data on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and metals, in freshwater and anadromous fish, shellfish, and marine mammals, important to Inuit communities of Northern Labrador and Nunavik in order to provide the same level of information that is available for other Canadian arctic regions. 1999-00 was the final year of the project. Successful collection of mussels (Mytilus edulis), arctic char (sea run), scallops and walrus samples were made in 1999. During 1998 major collections of ringed seal, sea run arctic char and blube mussels (Mytilus edulis) were made. Chemical analyses of POPs and metals in ringed seals and char collected in 1998-99 were completed in 1999-2000. Low concentrations of mercury, selenium and lead were found in samples of scallops from Labrador while cadmium and arsenic levels were much higher than the other elements, especially in gut samples. Arsenic was the most prominent of the five metals determined in mussels from Nunavik. Mercury levels were low (0.02-0.03 ug/g wet wt) in char from Labrador collected in 1999 similar to our previous observations in Labrador and Nunavik. Much higher levels of mercury and selenium were found in landlocked char (at Kangiqsujuaq) and than in all sea run char from widely separated sites Nunavik and Labrador. Mercury and selenium levels in seal liver did not differ among the 5 locations after adjustment for age of the animals. Percent organic mercury levels increased with age in seal muscle from about 80% in animals from 0-2 yrs to about 100% in adult animals. Mercury levels in walrus meat (muscle) were relatively low compared with liver and kidney. Levels of tributyl tin in char muscle ranged from <0.01 to 0.85 ng/g wet wt and highest levels were found in samples from Kangirsuk (Ungava Bay region). PCBs and other organochlorines were present at very low levels in mussels and arctic char from locations in Nunavik and Labrador. In general, levels of PCBs and SDDT in ringed seal blubber in this study were similar to levels found in ringed seal blubber at other eastern Arctic locations.

mercury Spatial trends arctic char ringed seals
28. Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and metals in ringed seals from the Canadian Arctic

The objective of this project is to study long term temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants and mercury in ringed seals from the Canadian arctic. The project rationale is that there are previous results for POPs and mercury in ringed seal tissues for many locations. Furthermore there may be regional differences in temporal trends due to geographical differences in POPs and mercury in marine waters and food webs within the Canadian arctic. It is relatively cost efficient to return to the same locations for additional samples using the same sampling and anlaysis protocols are were used in previous studies (see AMAP and Canadian Assessment Reports). Samples are being collected with the help of hunters and trappers organizations in each community. During 2000-01 samples are being collected at Resolute, Arctic Bay and Pond Inlet. The study will also analyse samples collected recently (1998/99) from Pangnirtung, Arviat and Grise Fiord. Results will be compared with previous data which the Principal Investigator generated in the 1980's and early 1990's. Preliminary results will be available in mid-2001.

Organochlorines PCBs mercury Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Temporal trends ringed seals Marine mammals
29. Sociodemographic factors influencing nutrition and contaminant exposure in Nunavik

Risk determination for traditional food should consider the potential risks from exposure to contaminants and the sociocultural, nutritional, economic and spiritual benefits associated with traditional food. Factors which influence Inuit food choices should be further analyzed to add precision to the evaluation of risks and benefits of traditional food consumption. The data of the Nutrition Santé Québec Survey are a potential source for this type of analysis since data are available and are representative of the entire region of Nunavik. The proposed work consists of more detailed analysis of the existing data on food intake among the Inuit of Nunavik collected in 1992 during the Santé Québec Health Survey and to extend our analyses to contaminant intakes. Intakes (mean and median) of traditional and market foods, nutrients and contaminants will be calculated according to the makeup/structure of households, the level of education, the level of household income and coastal place of residence. Intakes will also calculated according to the social assistance status of Inuit. Among Inuit depending on social assistance, comparisons of food, nutrient and contaminant intakes according to the time of the month in which the survey took place will be examined. Statistical comparisons of food intakes will also be done between Inuit who stated having lacked food in the month prior to the survey and those who did not. Nutrient intakes will be compared with daily recommended nutrient intakes (RNI) based on nutritional recommendations issued by Health Canada. More detailed and reliable information regarding sociodemographic factors affecting food intake, nutritional status and contaminant exposure among Inuit will help to orient public health authorities in the promotion of health through traditional food consumption.

Populations PCBs Heavy metals Indigenous people Long-range transport Exposure Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Data management Diet Human health Human intake
30. Mercury in Salluit : phase 2 : Effects of mercury on oxydative status and sensorimotor functions

Among all contaminants present in different aquatic ecosystems in Canada, methylmercury (MeHg) is a major source of concern for public health. Currently, it is difficult to reliably determine the threshold of MeHg concentration at which functional changes occur. On the other hand, it is well known that chronic MeHg exposure is very harmful for the nervous system. Oxidative reactions appear to be of central importance to mercury toxicity. Therefore, it is important and urgent to determine with precision the minimal dose at which oxidative stress and neurotoxic effects can be identified since some studies suggest that MeHg toxicity can be detected at level far below the minimal exposure level proposed by the World Health Organization. The main goal of this project is to investigate the effects of mercury on sensorimotor functions in the population of Salluit. We will examine the relationship between the level of MeHg and sensorimotor performance. Afterwards, specific recommendations based on quantitative evidence will be made to the concerned populations so as to diminish long-term risk on health.

Biological effects Populations Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people Exposure Diet Temporal trends Human health Human intake
31. Effects of prenatal exposure to OCs and mercury on the immune system of Inuit infants (year 3)

This study investigates possible detrimental effects on the immune system of Inuit infants which may be induced by prenatal and postnatal (breast feeding) exposure to persistent environmental contaminants such as organochlorine compounds. These substances accumulate in the body of Inuit women in part due to their consumption of sea mammal fat and can be transferred to the foetus during pregnacy and to the infant during breast feeding. Immune system function will be evaluated using several parameters: 1) the level of antibody produced by the infant following Haemophilus influenza immunization; 2) the level of proteins which protect the infant against bacterial infections (complement system) before its immune system is fully developed; and 3) the level of chemical messengers (cytokines) which enable the various cells of the immune system to communicate with each other, thereby maintaining its proper function and assuring the protection of the infant against bacteria, parasitic and viral infections.

Organochlorines Inuit infants mercury vitamin A prenatal exposure assessment Human health
32. Yukon Traditional Foods Monitoring Program

Short Term i) to provide additional information for use in updating health advisories. Long Term i)to investigate the fate and effects of contaminant deposition and transport to the Yukon, allowing Northerners to better manage the issue of contaminants. ii)to determine levels of contaminants for use in long term trend monitoring.

Biological effects Pollution sources Contaminant transport Caribou Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Populations Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people PAHs Long-range transport Spatial trends Petroleum hydrocarbons Terrestrial mammals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Food webs Data management Diet Temporal trends Human health Ecosystems
33. An investigation of factors affecting high mercury concentrations in predatory fish in the Mackenzie River Basin.

1. Continue to investigate spatial and temporal patterns in mercury concentrations in fish in lakes in the Mackenzie River Basin with a focus on predatory fish in smaller lakes near Fort Simpson but also including Great Bear Lake 2. Assess temporal trends in mercury concentrations and influencing factors, e.g., climate change 3. Conduct sediment core studies as opportunities allow to characterize long-term trends in mercury deposition and productivity 4. Integrate the findings of this study with our mercury trend monitoring in Great Slave Lake and the western provinces.

Pathways Sources Biology Organochlorines Mackenzie River Basin Soils Catchment studies Mercury Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people Pollution sources Environmental management Contaminant transport Food webs Sediments Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
34. The Seasonal Cycle of Organochlorine Concentrations in the Canadian Basin

In September 1997, the CCGS Des Groseillers was frozen into the permanent ice-pack and started a year-long science program drifting across the southern Canada Basin. This program provided a unique opportunity to carry out a "vertical" food-chain study in a seasonal context to learn how the physical and biological systems couple to produce contaminant entry into the food web (Figure 1). "Vertical" components included the water and ice, particles, algae, zooplankton (sorted by trophic level), fish and seal.. The interpretation of contaminant data collected during SHEBA will provide information about the relationship between seasonal ice formation and melt, seasonal atmospheric transport and water column organochlorine concentrations in the Canada Basin. In addition our contaminant sampling program was integrated within a larger science plan where other SHEBA researchers studied the physical and biological properties of the water column. This means that contaminant distributions can be interpreted and modeled within the full context of physical, chemical and biological processes, and of atmospheric and oceanic transport mechanisms.

Pathways Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Spatial trends Sea ice Contaminant transport Climate change Oceanography Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Geochemistry Food webs Temporal trends
35. Transplacental Exposure to PCBs and Infant Development/Human Exposure Assessment.

The main purpose of this research is to examine the consequences of in utero exposure to PCBs on Inuit infants, from birth to 11 months of age. Of particular interest is the impact of PCBs and mercury exposure on newborn’s thyroid hormones, physical growth, physical and central nervous system maturity, on infant’s overall health, mental, psychomotor and neurobehavioral development, and on functional and neural impairment in the domains of visual and spatial information processing. The proposed project is designed to replicate and extend previous findings by studying a more highly exposed cohort of infant, and using new infant assessment paradigms that have been linked to specific brain regions and neural pathways and, therefore, have a potential to provide information regarding possible mechanisms of action. The second objective of this research is to document the exposure to heavy metals, organochlorines and polyunsaturated fatty acids of newborns from selected communities in Nunavik. This ongoing effect study provides the opportunity to perform long time trend analysis of human exposure (data available for same communities since 1993).

Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Indigenous people Exposure Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Reproduction Temporal trends Human health
36. Follow-up of preschool aged children exposed to PCBs and mercury through fish and marine mammal consumption.

The purpose of this research is to examine the long term consequences of prenatal exposure to PCBs and MeHg. This project is designed to study domains of effects overlooked in most of the previous studies. Of particular interest is the impact of exposure on neurophysiological and neurological endpoints that could be related to learning difficulties and disabilities. This study will support the health risk assessment process by providing dose-effect analysis for the neurophysiological and neurological domains of effects of preschool age children from Nunavik (Canada). The total sample will comprise 100 Nunavik Inuit children aged 5-6years. The following exclusion criteria will be applied: Apgar below 5 at 5 minutes of life, evidence of birth trauma, less than 37 weeks of gestation and less than 2500 grams at birth, congenital or chromosomal anomalies, epilepsy, significant disease history, major neurological impairment, fetal alcohol syndrome, presence of facial dysmorphologies associated with fetal alcohol effects.

Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Human health
37. 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
38. Decision-Making and Diet in the North: Balancing the Physical, Economic and Social Components

Specifically, this project aims to: 1. Review and organize the reported social and cultural benefits and risks associated with a traditional diet and related activities (hunting, preparation, consumption); 2. Develop and apply a survey tool to increase our understanding of the determinants of diet behavior; 3. Develop a conceptual framework for the ordered presentation of this information; 4. Link this framework with those organizing information on health and economic benefits and risks associated with traditional foods.

Indigenous people Arctic Diet Human health
39. Effects and Trends of POPs on Polar Bears

LONG TERM: Determine the effects, at the individual and population level, of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and their metabolites in the polar bear; determine trend of POPs in the Arctic marine environment using polar bear tissues as a biomonitor. SHORT TERM: a. Determine 10-year temporal trends of POPs in the Hudson Bay Sub-Arctic Ecosystem from 1990-1989 by analysis of archived polar bear biopsy samples, including changes in enantiomeric composition of -HCH and chlordane compounds and ratio of -HCH/-HCH (cross-referenced to separate proposal on HCHs). b. Determine if there is selective tissue distribution of the enantiomers of chiral contaminants in polar bears, which may influence target organ toxicity, by analysis of archived polar bear samples. c. Determine the endocrine disrupting effect of POPs on testosterone and PCB metabolite profiles by in vitro metabolism studies using polar bear liver microsomes. d. In collaboration with CWS P&N Region, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, determine the immunotoxic effects of PCBs and other organochlorines in polar bears throughout a gradient of exposure (Hudson Bay, low; Svalbard, high). e. Determine the effects of hydroxy-PCBs on circulating thyroid hormone and vitamin A concentrations.

Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Spatial trends Pollution sources Terrestrial mammals Polar bear Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Dioxins/furans Temporal trends Marine mammals
40. Contaminants in arctic sea ducks

To examine concentrations and biological effects of selected trace elements in king and common eiders from various locations in the Canadian arctic.

Biological effects endocrine disruption Heavy metals immune function king eiders Arctic Seabirds common eiders sea ducks