Environmental Change in the Western Arctic

Regions: Inuvialuit Settlement Region

Tags: physical sciences, fossils, environmental change, climatic history, glaciation

Principal Investigator: England, John H (15)
Licence Number: 13865
Organization: University of Alberta
Licensed Year(s): 2012 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002
Issued: Jun 30, 2005
Project Team: Dr. Mark Furze (Research Assistant, University of Alberta), Dr. Jonathan Doupe (Researcher, University of Alberta), Roy Coulthard (Researcher, University of Alberta), Chantel Nixon (Researcher, University of Alberta), Eli Nasogaluak (Research Assistant, Aurora College), Vernon Amos (Research Assistant, Aurora College), Steven Curley (Research Assistant, Nunavut Arctic College), Dr. Catherine La Farge (Curator, University of Alberta)

Project Description: The researchers will use geological mapping and sampling, radiocarbon dating, and cosmogenic dating techniques to reconstruct sea level change and the extent and dynamics of glacial ice for the western Queen Elizabeth Islands during the Ice Age. This reconstruction will improve researchers’ knowledge of the glacial and climatic histories of this region.

The researchers will be mapping and surveying ancient shorelines, which are now far inland and above modern sea level. These shorelines often contain fossils that can be dated by radiocarbon analysis. The researchers will collect small samples of fossil sea shells and driftwood (a few grams), which are only a tiny proportion of the existing fossil material that is widespread on the landscape. The location of all samples is surveyed using simple GPS receivers and altimetres to determine sample elevations.

The researcher team will operate out of small field camps using ATV's. Field camps will be located at the north and south ends of Eglinton Island, at the head of Walker Inlet on Prince Patrick Island, and at four sites along the north shore of Banks Island. Two Natural Resources Technology Program (NRTP) students from Sachs Harbour have been hired as field assistants for the Banks Island field camp.

The researcher will supply a summary of the research to Sachs Harbour, Holman, and Cambridge Bay. The researcher will also give a lecture at Aurora College in the Fall of 2005. If possible, the researcher hopes to visit Sachs Harbour in the Fall of 2005 to share research results and discuss the community’s potential for involvement with the project over the next few years.

The study will be conducted at Melville Island, Eglinton Island, Walker Inlet, Prince Patrick Island, and Banks Island from June 30 to August 5, 2005.