The Future of Arctic and Northern Research in Canada


The Arctic is undergoing unprecedented changes, spurred in large part by climate change and globalization. Record levels of sea ice loss is expected to lead to increased trade through the Northwest Passage. Ocean warming and changes to the tundra will transform marine and terrestrial ecosystems, while permafrost thaw will have significant effects on infrastructure and the release of greenhouses gases. As a result of these trends, Northern communities, and Canada as an Arctic and maritime country, are facing profound economic, social, and ecosystem impacts.

Set against this shifting backdrop, Canadian researchers continue to advance the frontiers of knowledge on a host of issues, ranging from the environmental impacts of changing snow and ice cover to the social and cultural effects of Arctic tourism and trade. But Canada’s Arctic research landscape is both complex and fragmented. A clear vision is required to ensure that Canada remains a global leader in Arctic and Northern research, fostering new discoveries while respecting the values, priorities, and knowledge of Indigenous and Northern communities.

The sponsor:

A consortium of Arctic and northern research and science organizations from across Canada, led by ArcticNet (see full list below*).

The question:

Based on assessment of current knowledge and evidence, what are the key foundational elements to create an inclusive, collaborative, effective, and world-class Arctic and northern science system in Canada?


* ArcticNet Inc., Amundsen Science, Arctic Institute of North America / University of Calgary, Arctic Research Foundation, Canadian Museum of Nature, Carleton University, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Dalhousie University, Global Affairs Canada, Government of Yukon, Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Canada, McGill University, MEOPAR, Natural Resources Canada / Polar Continental Shelf Program, NSERC, Ocean Frontier Institute, Oceans North, Parks Canada, PermafrostNet, Polar Knowledge Canada, Société du Plan Nord, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Université Laval, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa, University of Saskatchewan, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo, Yukon University, Aurora College/Aurora Research Institute, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Government of Northwest Territories, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Kativik Regional Government, Makivik Corporation, Memorial University, National Research Council (NRC) Canada, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., Nunatsiavut Government, Nunavut Arctic College / Nunavut Research Institute