Integrated Regional Impact Study of the Coastal Western Canadian Arctic

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: geology, bathymetry, oceanography, marine ecosystem, meteorology, marine biology

Principal Investigator: Merzouk, Anissa (1)
Licence Number: 16189
Organization: ArcticNet
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016
Issued: Dec 10, 2017
Project Team: Two ArcticNet mooring professionals will join scientists and Coast Guard crew onboard the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Objective(s): To focus on the recovery and deployment of oceanographic moorings as part of ArcticNet’s Long-Term Oceanographic Observatories project aiming to extend a 10-year time series of the oceanographic properties in the Amundsen Gulf region.

Project Description: The 2017 field program constitutes a subset of activities of the ArcticNet’s marine-based research program that has been conducted in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (IRS) within the framework of Scientific Research Licenses awarded for 2009-2013, for 2014-2015 and for 2016-2017.

Planned activities will focus on the recovery and deployment of oceanographic moorings as part of ArcticNet’s Long-Term Oceanographic Observatories project aiming to extend a 10-year time series of the oceanographic properties in the Amundsen Gulf region. Moorings will also be deployed within the framework of joint programs with the integrated Beaufort Observatory (iBO) and the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC).

The ArcticNet marine-based research program is a multi-year sampling program developed around 4 main research components: 1) a mooring program; 2) a meteorology, ocean & sea ice component; 3) a marine resources and environment component; and 4) a geology/bathymetry component.

Two oceanographic moorings will be recovered and re-deployed in the Amundsen Gulf as part of the ArcticNet Long-Term Oceanographic Observatories (LTOO) project. Four moorings will also be recovered and re-deployed as part of the ArcticNet-iBO joint program. The integrated Beaufort Observatory (iBO; 2015-2018) is a mooring-based program targeting the shelf and slope environment of the Canadian Beaufort Sea. The major goal of iBO is to extend existing time-series and expand regional coverage to contribute key information required for decisions on development, regulations and management in the offshore Beaufort Sea. Finally, two benthic landers will be recovered on the Mackenzie Shelf slope in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC).

Three of the five general objectives of ArcticNet are to: 1) involve northern communities and Inuit organizations as partners through bilateral exchange of knowledge, training and technology; 2) contribute to the training of the next generation of young Arctic specialists (including northern residents) and, 3) contribute to the development and dissemination of the knowledge needed to formulate policies and strategies to adapt to change in the Arctic. Hence, it is ArcticNet’s mandate to involve the residents of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) at various levels of research and training.

Oceanographic fieldwork in the ISR started in 2004 which generated various involvement opportunities for the residents. During the 2016 marine- based research program in the ISR (from 25 August to 17 September), local involvement opportunities include positions on the CCGS Amundsen as wildlife monitors. These wildlife monitors from Inuvialuit were recruited by Kavik-Stantec. Wildlife monitors have been a great asset in the past and we intend to continue hiring them as part of the ArcticNet program.

As part of ArcticNet’s education and training initiatives, the Schools on Board program was developed to bridge Arctic research with science education in high schools across Canada. Since 2005, the ArcticNet Schools on Board program has welcomed a number of Inuit students from the NWT onboard the CCGS Amundsen. This year, 3 berths have been reserved for northern students. The program will recognize schools that implement (or are interested in implementing) an Arctic science component to their science curriculum, and then offer them the opportunity to nominate a student and/or teacher to participate in this year’s field study onboard the ship. This will be an excellent opportunity for young, enthusiastic students to see part of their environment and experience first-hand Arctic research. Information on the Schools on Board program and the application process is provided on the ArcticNet website (www.arcticnet.ulaval.ca).

Part of the IRAs mandate is to promote communication between researchers and community members and therefore facilitate the dissemination of results and information to and from the communities.

As in past years, research results will be communicated to Inuvialuit organizations and communities through progress reports submitted to the Aurora Research Institute as well as during community visits and regional scientific meetings conducted by ArcticNet researchers.

The ArcticNet annual report is also sent out to Inuit partners and Northern organizations. To promote communication between researchers and community members and therefore more easily distribute results and information to and from the communities, ArcticNet co-funds a full time Inuit Research Advisor position in all 4 Inuit regions of Canada (see: http://www.arcticnet.ulaval.ca/research/advisors.php).

All results from ArcticNet’s marine-based research program are made available as peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. Once the intellectual property rights of the researchers and partners are satisfied for publication, relevant data sets will be incorporated into the central database of ArcticNet (http://www.polardata.ca/) and offered for inclusion in national and international data banks.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from December 7, 2017 to December 31, 2017.