Long-term ecological and geomorphological investigations in the alpine tundra of the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T.
Principal Investigator: Kershaw, G. Peter (38)
Licence Number: 13838
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2012 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: Jun 09, 2005
Project Team: Michelle Blade (Undergraduate field assistant, University of Alberta), Steve Mamet (Graduate Student, University of Alberta), Eleanor Edye (Graduate Student, University of Alberta)

Project Description: This study is to monitor the environmental impacts of disturbances caused by the Canol Project and to measure the effects on permafrost of climate change. The Canol disturbance studies have been underway since the late 1970's and the permafrost studies since 1990. This is year 15 of a 20-year study.

Access during the summer is via the Yukon along the Canol Road through Macmillan Pass. Beyond the base camp mountain bikes and foot will be the means of transport. Base camp is in the Oldsquaw Lodge building, which has been the base of research operations since 1990. The base camp includes solar cells to power laptop computers. The researchers will be working along the Canol Trail starting from Macmillan Pass, centered on Camp 222 (about 63o18’ N and 129o49’ W), and extending to the approximate northeastern edge of the Mackenzie Mountain Barrens at Mile 216. The research sites are up to 2 km off the Canol Road, except one site in the Dale Valley which is accessible from the AMAX access road, and is about 6 km off the Canol Road and near the Yukon border.

Automated microclimate stations powered by solar energy cells operate year-round. Limited soil sampling and permafrost coring will be conducted and a small amount (<25 kg) could be returned to University of Alberta for analysis. Ground penetrating radar will be used to map distribution of permafrost in several permafrost landforms. Tree coring might be done to determine if annual growth rings change with climate.

Any publications resulting from the study will be sent to the communities involved. Transport to the research site from Tulita or Norman Wells would have to be by charter and the researcher has no budget for such travel. However, if local people are able to come to Camp 222 the researcher would be happy to include them in the research and provide training on the project background and field methods.
The study will be conducted along the Canol Trail between Macmillan Pass at the Yukon border, and the northestern edge of the Mackenzie Mountain Barrens.