Some thoughts on ecology, evolution and economics

Arctic Science Community of Practice

During the COVID-19  outbreak, I will be posting information and hosting discussions related to my work with the Parks Canada Agency. The lack of access to internal documents makes this interim measure necessary. The information shared here is not classified.  The opinions expressed do not represent those of the Government of Canada.

One of the goals in establishing a national park is to find out how the ecosystem works.  This leads to better management and better appreciation of heritage places by Canadians. The emphasis on research, inventory and monitoring is especially important in our northern parks.  This page will serve as a repository for a number of documents on arctic research and a place for discussion and questions about what this means for individual parks.

ArcticNet 2019

The meeting in Halifax in December 2019 included several Parks Canada staff. The attached ArcticNet 2019 Summary gives an overview but it is worth looking at the abstracts for the meeting.  I encourage you to download the abstracts and search for your favourite keywords.  It will give you a good picture of advances in that area in Canada.

Arctic Biodiversity Symposium

This meeting was held in Ottawa in February 2020, covering a range of Canadian and international perspectives on the variety of life above the treeline. I have attached  an Arctic Biodiversity Symposium summary as well as the slides from my overview of inventory and monitoring in northern national parks, entitled: Third of a million .

State of the Arctic Ocean

Department of Fisheries and Oceans released this review of the State of Arctic Seas (including Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay) in April 2020. The headline variable is sea ice extent and seasonality, which is linked to many other variables. Overall, populations used for commercial harvest (halibut, shrimp and char) are stable, while populations used for subsistence are declining or have an unknown trend.  The technical report has many interesting case studies.

Remote Sensing for Arctic and Alpine parks

Staff from Parks Canada, Environment Canada and Polar Knowledge gathered in Edmonton in February to examine remote sensing methods. In particular, they looked at improving the current methods for northern and alpine remote sensing, standardizing ground truth observations and introducing new remote sensing measures as seen in the Remote Sensing Summary