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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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
• 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
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)
Coastal Module of GOOS
The aim of this research program is to examine the response of animal populations to environmental variability at different spatial scales. We attempt to determine how individuals respond to the spatial heterogeneity of their environment, and what are the consequences of this response for the dynamics of subdivided populations. Specifically, we consider an ecological system involving biotic interactions at three levels: seabirds, their tick _Ixodes uriae_, and the microparasite _Borrelia burgdorferi_ sensu lato (Lyme disease agent). Colonies of seabirds represent discrete entities, within and among which parasites can circulate. Our previous work on this system in the norwegian arctic has enable us to show that (1) host dispersal can be affected by local conditions, (2) seabird tick populations are specialised among different host species, namely between sympatric kittiwakes _Rissa tridactyla_ and puffins _Fratercula arctica_, (3) in the kittiwake, females transmit antibodies against _Borrelia burgdorferi_ when their chicks have a high probability to be exposed to the tick vector. We propose to combine different approaches, incorporating field surveys and experiments and population genetic studies (of hosts and parasites), in order to better understand the role of local interactions and dispersal in the dynamics of such a system. The research program implies collaborations with researchers from other french groups, as well as with Canadian (Queen’s University) and Norwegian colleagues (from NINA and the University of Tromsø).
1. Research area # 2 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Study of anthropogenic influences on the Western Arctic/Bering Sea Ecosystem", and 2. Research area #4 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Contaminant inputs, fate and effects on the ecosystem" specifically addressing objectives a-c, except "effects." a. "Determine pathways/linkages of contaminant accumulation in species that are consumed by top predators, including humans, and determine sub-regional differences in contaminant levels..." b. "Use an ecosystems approach to determine the effects of contaminants on food web and biomagnification." c. "Encourage local community participation in planning and implementing research strategies." The objectives of Phase I, Human Ecology Research are to: 1. Document reliance by indigenous arctic marine communities in Canada, Alaska and Russia on arctic resources at risk from chemical pollutants; and, 2. Incorporate traditional knowledge systems of subsistence harvesting. The human ecology components of the project were conducted within the frameworks of indigenous environmental knowledge and community participation. Using participatory mapping techniques, semi-structured interviews and the direct participation of community members in research design, data collection and implementation, research and data collection on the human ecology of indigenous arctic marine communities was undertaken in the communities of Holman, NWT (1998), Wainwright, Alaska (1999), and is underway in Novoe Chaplino, Russia. (2000).