Polar Knowledge Canada, Museum of Nature Partner for Arctic Research

Polar Knowledge Canada

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) and the Canadian Museum of Nature have signed a Letter of Agreement to continue collaborating on research and monitoring in the North and Arctic to further understand rapidly changing northern ecosystems.

POLAR and the Canadian Museum of Nature have a history of collaboration on research that improves our understanding of the Arctic environment. This agreement furthers the goal for both POLAR and the museum of improving knowledge of northern terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in the context of rapid environmental change. This agreement also contributes to Canada’s commitment to the conservation of biological diversity and new global targets currently being negotiated in Montreal at COP15 of the Conference of the Parties on Biological Diversity.

Over three years, POLAR will provide funding and in-kind field services to a value of $1 million to the Canadian Museum of Nature in support of researchers who will collect baseline information on terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, focusing on population dynamics of lemmings, tundra vegetation and Arctic seaweeds and kelp forests. The museum’s researchers will have access to local field support experts and state-of-the-art facilities at the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

These projects will also focus on biodiversity and on bridging Indigenous knowledge to answer a broad range of questions that impact northern communities. Some of that research will include:

  • the impacts of climate change on population dynamics and the abundance cycles of small mammals and the impact on other wildlife;
  • the vulnerability of Arctic plant species with different life history traits and flowering times in a warming climate;
  • the establishment of baseline data on marine biodiversity and distribution, specifically Arctic fish and seaweed.
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