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Igloolik, Canada

Ford J.D.,McGill University | Bolton K.,McGill University | Shirley J.,Nunavut Research Institute | Pearce T.,University of Guelph | And 2 more authors.
Ambio | Year: 2012

This study maps current understanding and research trends on the human dimensions of climate change (HDCC) in the eastern and central Canadian Arctic. Developing a systematic literature review methodology, 117 peer reviewed articles are identified and examined using quantitative and qualitative methods. The research highlights the rapid expansion of HDCC studies over the last decade. Early scholarship was dominated by work documenting Inuit observations of climate change, with research employing vulnerability concepts and terminology now common. Adaptation studies which seek to identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce vulnerability to climate change and take advantage of new opportunities remain in their infancy. Over the last 5 years there has been an increase social science-led research, with many studies employing key principles of community-based research. We currently have baseline understanding of climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in the region, but key gaps are evident. Future research needs to target significant geographic disparities in understanding, consider risks and opportunities posed by climate change outside of the subsistence hunting sector, complement case study research with regional analyses, and focus on identifying and characterizing sustainable and feasible adaptation interventions. © Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012. Source

Harper S.L.,University of Guelph | Edge V.L.,University of Guelph | Edge V.L.,Public Health Agency of Canada | Ford J.,McGill University | And 5 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2015

Summary Food- and waterborne disease is thought to be high in some Canadian Indigenous communities; however, the burden of acute gastrointestinal illness (AGI) is not well understood due to limited availability and quality of surveillance data. This study estimated the burden of community-level self-reported AGI in the Inuit communities of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, and Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada. Cross-sectional retrospective surveys captured information on AGI and potential environmental risk factors. Multivariable logistic regression models identified potential AGI risk factors. The annual incidence of AGI ranged from 2·9-3·9 cases/person per year in Rigolet and Iqaluit. In Rigolet, increased spending on obtaining country foods, a homeless person in the house, not visiting a cabin recently, exposure to puppies, and alternative sources of drinking water were associated with increased odds of AGI. In Iqaluit, eating country fish often, exposure to cats, employment status of the person responsible for food preparation, not washing the countertop with soap after preparing meat, a homeless person in the house, and overcrowding were associated with increased odds of AGI. The results highlight the need for systematic data collection to better understand and support previously anecdotal indications of high AGI incidence, as well as insights into unique AGI environmental risk factors in Indigenous populations. Copyright © 2015 Cambridge University Press. Source

Inuksuk A.,Nunavut Research Institute
Canadian Geographer | Year: 2011

This text is the English translation of an interview conducted in Inuktitut by a younger Inuit, Paul Irngaut, with an experienced Inuit elder, Aipilik Inuksuk, on the topic of sea ice. Inuksuk describes his knowledge of sea ice while remembering his own experiences. The interview was recorded in 1988 in Igloolik as part of the Igloolik Oral History Project. © The Canadian Geographer © 2011 Canadian Association of Geographers. Source

Ford J.D.,McGill University | McDowell G.,McGill University | Shirley J.,Nunavut Research Institute | Pitre M.,The Lonsdale Group | And 6 more authors.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers | Year: 2013

This article advances a vulnerability framework to understand how climatic risks and change are experienced and responded to by Inuit harvesters using a case study from Iqaluit, Nunavut. The article makes important contributions to methodological design in vulnerability studies, emphasizing the importance of longitudinal study design, real-time observations of human-environment interactions, community-based monitoring, and mixed methods. Fieldwork spanned five years, during which sixty-four semistructured interviews were conducted and historical records examined to develop an understanding of the processes and conditions affecting vulnerability. A local land use monitoring team was established, collecting ∼22,000 km of land use Global Positioning System (GPS) data and engaging in biweekly interviews (more than 100) on exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. This was complemented by analysis of instrumental data on sea ice and climate conditions. Results indicate that sea ice conditions are changing rapidly and affecting trail conditions, safety, and access to harvesting grounds. GPS data and biweekly interviews document real-time adaptations, with traditional knowledge and land-based skills, resource use flexibility, and mobility underpinning significant adaptability, including utilizing new areas, modifying trail routes, and taking advantage of an extended open water season. Sociospatial reorganization following resettlement in the 1950s and 1960s, however, has created dependency on external conditions, has reduced the flexibility of harvesting activities, and has affected knowledge systems. Within the context of these "slow" variables, current responses that are effective in moderating vulnerability could undermine adaptive capacity in the long term, representing overspecialized adaptations, creating the potential for further loss of response diversity and flexibility, and engendering potential downstream effects, creating trajectories of maladaptation. These findings challenge previous research that has argued that current resilience of the Inuit socioecological system is indicative of high adaptive capacity to future change and indicates that climate change might pose more serious risks to the harvesting sector than previously assumed. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Medeiros A.S.,York University | Luszczek C.E.,York University | Shirley J.,Nunavut Research Institute | Quinlan R.,York University
Arctic | Year: 2011

Recent residential, commercial, and industrial development in the catchments of several Arctic streams has heightened the need to assess these freshwater systems accurately. It was imperative to develop methods that would be both effective at judging ecological condition of tundra streams and suitable for use by local groups. An investigation of two streams influenced by urbanization in Iqaluit, Nunavut, was carried out between July and August each year in 2007 - 09. Simple summary metrics (e.g., Shannon Index) and multivariate analysis (DCA, RD A) both demonstrated biological impairment in the benthic community at site locations downstream of urbanized portions of a local stream. This impairment was characterized by a loss of diversity and a dramatic shift of the benthic community to one dominated by chironomids from the subfamily Orthocladiinae. Elevated levels of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) and several metals (Zn, Sr, Rb, Al, Co, Fe) were also found to be significantly related to benthic assemblages within these disturbed areas. This investigation also addressed taxonomic sufficiency, indicating that while family-level taxonomic identifications were sensitive enough to differentiate between pristine and impacted stream sites, a more precise taxonomic identification of the dominant benthos taxa (Insecta: Diptera: Chironomidae) to sub-family/tribe level identified a significant shift towards pollution-tolerant taxa. This higher taxonomic resolution will allow for the adaptation of protocols and the use of simple summary metrics to be effective for a community-based biomonitoring program in Arctic tundra streams. © The Arctic Institute of North America. Source

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