As the climate warms, Canada’s North is one of the most rapidly changing areas of the world. Permafrost is thawing, forests are turning into wetlands, tundra is becoming shrubby, and stream flow and lake levels are changing in often unpredictable ways.
To better monitor and understand the changing environment in the Northwest Territories (NWT), Laurier’s Changing Arctic Network (CANet) team is spearheading the development and upgrading of world-class research infrastructure across the NWT.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT)-Laurier partnership received $3.2 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation in 2015 to develop this infrastructure. The GNWT and Laurier are chief among the organizations contributing the rest of the funding for the $8.2-million project.
The CANet team is led by Professor Philip Marsh, who is Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science. The team selected key sites across the NWT and has made considerable progress in purchasing and installing the equipment and infrastructure, with the full installation to be completed in 2020. The infrastructure is already contributing to and will increasingly support many research projects by multiple partners at the GNWT, Laurier and other institutions over the long term.
The infrastructure supports several different research units, which focus on:
Some pieces of equipment are installed at permanent research sites, while other pieces are portable. In addition, a variety of major improvements to infrastructure and equipment for labs, field camps and technical support staff support all research units.
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