Arctic Institute of North America

Boothbay Harbor, ME, United States

Arctic Institute of North America

Boothbay Harbor, ME, United States
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CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - December 08, 2016) - A collaborative research project titled 'GENICE' that partners the University of Calgary and the University of Manitoba has been awarded $10.7 million as part of the Genome Canada 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition (LSARP). Announced today in Montreal by Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, the research teams will be led by the University of Calgary's Casey Hubert, associate professor in the Faculty of Science and Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair in Geomicrobiology, and University of Manitoba's Research Professor Gary Stern, Centre for Earth Observation Science. They will combine their expertise in the areas of genomics, microbiology, petroleomics and sea-ice physics to investigate the potential for natural microbial communities to mitigate oil spills, as warmer temperatures and melting sea ice usher in increasing shipping throughout Arctic waters. "Bioremediation in the cold Arctic and in the presence of sea ice remains poorly understood," Hubert says. "By developing a better understanding of how Arctic microbes will be mobilized in the event of a spill, we can better model and map what will happen and what our response should be, should an accidental spill ever occur," says Hubert. With northern shipping increasing by 166 per cent since 2004, and cruise ships and tourism increasing by 500 per cent in the past five years, the pressures on the Northwest Passage have never been greater. The Passage represents a sea route connecting the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which has never been busier. "The expertise that Manitoba brings to the table are in the areas of petroleomics and sea ice physics as well as our new facility [under construction in Churchill, Manitoba] that will allow us to study oil degradation processes under controlled Arctic conditions," says Stern. The soon-to-be-completed Churchill Marine Observatory (CMO) is a globally unique, highly innovative, multidisciplinary research facility located in Churchill, Manitoba, adjacent to Canada's only Arctic deep-water port. The CMO will directly support the technological, scientific, and ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social research that is needed to safely guide (through policy development) the unprecedented Arctic marine transportation and oil and gas exploration and development throughout the Arctic. The University of Calgary is partnering closely with the University of Manitoba on this CFI-sponsored initiative, which is being built at the perfect time to support the new Genome Canada project. "The idea is that we will be able to emulate different thermodynamic states of the sea-ice and how, under these conditions, different crude and fuel oils will interact with native microbial populations in a controlled environment," Stern adds. The 2015 LSARP competition aims to support applied research projects focused on using genomic approaches to address challenges and opportunities of importance to Canada's natural resources and environment sectors, including interactions between natural resources and the environment, thereby contributing to the Canadian bioeconomy and the well-being of Canadians. "Climate change may present the opportunity for year-round shipping traffic along Canada's Arctic coast. The work of the GENICE team on genomics-based bioremediation will help Canadian companies and agencies be better prepared to mitigate the environmental impact of expanding industrial activities in the Arctic." Reno Pontarollo, President & CEO, Genome Prairie notes. "Casey Hubert and Gary Stern are working to address the growing pressures on Arctic marine environments, while also offering insights into protecting other coastal areas in Canada," notes John Reynolds, acting vice-president (research) at the University of Calgary. "We thank Genome Canada and their subsidiaries, as well as the wide range of partners who have come together to support this project." The project will be managed by Genome Alberta in conjunction with Genome Prairie and with an international collaboration of funding partners that have shown the desire to protect the complex Arctic environment: Genome Canada, Alberta Economic Development and Trade, University of Manitoba, Natural Resources Canada, Arctic Institute of North America, Arctic Research Foundation, Stantec Consulting Ltd., National Research Council of Canada, Research Manitoba, University of Calgary Petroleum Reservoir Group, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Georgia Institute of Technology, Churchill Northern Studies Centre, Amundsen Science Inc., Environment and Climate Change Canada, Genome Quebec, Aphorist, and Aarhus University. About the University of Calgary The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more information, visit Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at About the University of Manitoba For nearly 140 years, the University of Manitoba has been recognized as Manitoba's premier university - shaping our leaders, enhancing our community, and conducting world-class research. Our home is Manitoba but our impact is global. The university has a tradition of excellence in research, scholarly work and creative activities. Our connection to the agricultural and natural landscapes of the Canadian Prairie, to the Arctic, to local and Indigenous communities, has shaped our research focus. We have made pioneering contributions in many fields and developed life-changing solutions to problems faced by peoples in Manitoba, Canada and the world. About Genome Alberta Genome Alberta is a publicly funded not-for-profit genomics research funding organization based in Calgary, Alberta but leads projects at institutions around the province and participates in a variety of other projects across the country. In partnership with Genome Canada, Industry Canada, and the Province of Alberta, Genome Alberta was established in 2005 to focus on genomics as one of the central components of the Life Sciences Initiative in Alberta, and to help position genomics as a core research effort. For more information on the range of projects led and managed by Genome Alberta, visit

Strong W.,Yukon Research Center | Strong W.,Arctic Institute of North America
Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research | Year: 2017

Eleven seral, postfire forest stands in southern Yukon (Canada) were sampled to determine where western white spruce (Picea albertiana ssp. albertiana) seedlings occurred with respect to distance to the nearest lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) tree. Seedling-to-nearest tree distances were assessed at 10-cm increments up to 220 cm. On average, seedlings occurred 54 cm from the nearest pine (n = 490), but peak frequencies were 20–50 cm away, compared to a potential separation distance of 103 cm. Greatest average seedling density occurred 10–20 cm from pine (0.81 m−2), with values between 10 and 120 cm decreasing logarithmatically with increasing distance from pine (r = 0.994, p < .001, n = 11). Spruce seedling densities were <0.02 m−2 beyond 120 cm. The differences in frequency, which represented moderately strong aggregation (Clark-Evans Index 0.34–0.52), and density suggest greater spruce recruitment near lodgepole pine was facilitated by more favorable ecological conditions than further away, for example, greater nutrient availability. The bias in seedling-to-nearest tree distances occurred regardless of stand age (57–165 years), pine density (1599–5935 stems ha−1), or understory vegetation type, although the bias may be weakened by the abundant presence of feathermosses (Hylocomium splendens) on the forest floor. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Apollonio S.,Arctic Institute of North America | Saros J.E.,University of Maine, United States
Arctic | Year: 2013

Numbers, weights, and oxygen consumption of the copepod Limnocalanus macrurus were measured through the winter 1961-62 under the ice of Immerk Lake on Devon Island, Arctic Canada. Maximum abundance was 2361 animals per m3 found under ice in mid June, average adult wet weight was 65 μg, and hourly oxygen consumption per adult ranged from 0.26 μg in late summer to 0.03 μg in early winter. The results are compared with results from Char Lake and Resolute Lake on Cornwallis Island, Arctic Canada. The Immerk population was more stable than those at the other lakes, and weights and oxygen consumption appear to be comparable. The seasonal breeding cycle at Immerk Lake was different from that at Char Lake and similar to that at Resolute Lake. A comparison of Immerk Lake data from 1961-62 and 1972-73 showed almost identical levels of total oxygen metabolism. Immerk Lake copepod oxygen consumption was 6.5% of the total lake metabolism, while that at Char Lake was 6%. These data may assist in future assessment of climate or anthropogenic changes. © The Arctic Institute of North America.

Apollonio S.,Arctic Institute of North America | Townsend D.W.,University of Maine, United States
Arctic | Year: 2011

Vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and inorganic nutrients (nitrate, phosphate, and silicate) were measured at five depths (2, 10, 25, 50, and 80 m) beneath the ice off the southern shore of Jones Sound, north of Devon Island, through the winter of 1961-62. Additional data were collected from the north side of the sound off Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, on 13 May 1962 and 12 May 1969. The over-winter data set is used here to characterize the transition of Arctic waters from autumn to late-spring-early summer. Minimum temperatures (< -1.8°C) and maximum salinities (> 33.2) were reached in late winter and early spring. Oxygen levels declined over the same fall-to-late-spring period and increased markedly in June. Nitrate, phosphate, and silicate concentrations all increased from their lowest values in fall to overall highest values in late spring, after which each nutrient showed evidence of biological uptake. A deep pycnocline, between 50 and 80 m, persisted from November to February, isolating a bottom-water layer that showed evidence of microbially mediated silicate regeneration (silicate concentrations increased, phosphate decreased, and nitrate concentrations were variable). In early spring (19 March to 1 May), nitrate concentrations dropped abruptly at all depths from more than 10 μM to less than 7 μM, apparently in response to the growth of ice algae. Temperature-salinity (T-S) analyses found little evidence of significant water-mass replacements during the study period, but interpretations of coherent variations in nutrient concentrations, as well as observed salinities slightly different from those expected on the basis of ice formation, suggest otherwise. Comparison of results from north of Devon Island with those from sampling off Grise Fiord in May 1962 indicate both higher salinities and lower nutrient concentrations at the latter site; however, data collected at the same site off Grise Fiord in May 1969 showed lower salinities and more variable nutrient concentrations than in 1962. © The Arctic Institute of North America.

Western North American lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelmann ex S. Watson) relevés (n  6,918) were classified to identify regional difference in understory vegetation types. Seventy-nine types with > 5 relevés were recognized, but only 34 included > 40 relevés. Among the latter, shrubs dominated 15 types, excluding consideration of feathermosses. Buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis (L.) Nutt.), twinflower (Linnaea borealis L.), and bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (L.) Spreng.) understory types spanned most of the latitudinal range. Eleven types occurred only north and four only south of 50o N latitude. Latitude explained 82% (P < 0.001, n  5,759) of the elevation variance among relevés, with a northward decline decreasing from 81 to 21 m/degree of latitude. A discontinuity in elevations at 50o N is thought to represent a northward shift from a cordilleran–prairie to a cordilleran– boreal ecoclimatic regime. A comparison of relevé and regression-predicted elevations identified 18 understory types that differed (P < 0.02) from the regional trend. May–August solar insolation, which was used as a proxy for latitudinal differences in slope gradient and orientation, indicated that 77% of P. contorta relevés were associated with more intensive solar insolation sites. When cross-referenced with elevation, 13 types differed from the norm in terms of both elevation and insolation. The results provide a framework for more detailed forest classification. © 2015 Society of American Foresters

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