The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory III
Principal Investigator: Holmes, Robert Max (3)
Licence Number: 16204
Organization: Woods Hole Research Center
Licenced Year(s): 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Issued: Jan 11, 2018

Objective(s): To study the six largest rivers in the Arctic: the Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers in North America, and the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma Rivers in Russia.

Project Description: The Arctic Great Rivers Observatory project studies the six largest rivers in the Arctic: the Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers in North America, and the Ob', Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma Rivers in Russia. We are interested in how climate change is impacting Arctic rivers. The research team will take measurements of the concentration of naturally-occurring chemicals (like carbon and nitrogen) and try to determine whether or not they are changing.

The team plan to collect water samples from the Mackenzie River near the Tsiigehtchic ferry crossing. Samples will be collected on six days per year, once every other month. Samples will be collected from boat or through the ice at the well-established site used by the Water Survey of Canada. Water will be collected by immersing a sample bottle directly underneath the water surface, or by using a bottle that is able to collect a water sample from a discrete depth. Samples will be filtered and frozen or refrigerated in plastic bottles. The team will also measure water temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, and water conductivity. On each sampling day, less than 16 litres of water will be collected. Fish or invertebrates will not be collected.

We will be collecting water samples six times per year from the Mackenzie River near Tsiigehtchic, using a boat or through the ice. Sampling will be overseen by staff at the Aurora Research Institute, and we have had discussions with the Gwichya Gwich'in Renewable Resource Council (RRC) about involving local community members in our sampling efforts.

In their letter of support for this project, the Gwichya Gwich'in RRC requested that the team provide a presentation to the community and to school children. The research team are more than happy to accommodate this request!

Results will be presented to community members in Tsiigehtchic, through community presentations, presentations to school kids, or via any other venue. The research team also make the results of the research available on the project website (www.arcticgreatrivers.org).



The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 12, 2018 to December 31, 2018.