A Northern Perspective

    August 7, 2012

    The Canadian Circumpolar Institute estimates that at any one time there are about 200 U of A researchers across 13 faculties conducting research in the North. Here’s a look at some of the work coming out of the CCI and where it's happening.

    Map of the circumpolar region showing locations of Univeristy of Alberta research projects

    Use of a northern-centric map like this one is becoming increasingly common for people who do research in the North, says Marianne Douglas. Flipping the continent on its head is another reminder of the North’s importance.

    1. John England

    The Arctic Archipelago

    As NSERC Northern Research Chair, this professor emeritus with the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences studies environmental change in Arctic Canada from the ice age to present. His study of ancient glaciers has led to a rethinking of the Bering land bridge and an analogue for modern western Antarctica based on the catastrophic break-up of the ancient Laurentide Ice Sheet.

    2. Brenda Parlee

    Great Slave Lake, N.W.T., Fort McMurray, Alta.

    The current Canada Research Chair in Social Responses to Ecological Change, Parlee is co-appointed to the Faculty of Native Studies and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. She investigates how small, remote northern communities respond to the social, economic and cultural forces that come alongside natural resource development.

    3. Andrew Derocher

    Beaufort Sea, Hudson Bay

    The go-to guy for all things polar bear, Derocher is investigating the effects of the breakup of sea ice on polar bear habitats. The biological sciences professor is looking at where they are going now in search of their favourite prey—the ringed seal—and the implications of climate change on this and other Arctic species.

    4. Karen Goodman

    Aklavik, N.W.T.

    Goodman, a professor with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is working with health officials and community leaders in Aklavik and several other Arctic communities to investigate why indigenous people of the Circumpolar North have higher frequencies of Helicobacter pylori infection and stomach cancer. The bacteria inflames the stomach lining and increases the risk of peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

    5. Catherine Bell

    Akitsiraq Law School, Iqaluit, Nunavut

    Bell specializes in aboriginal legal issues, including dispute resolution, property law, cultural heritage law and community-based legal research. The U of A law professor taught at and helped with the development of the Akitsiraq Law School for Inuit Students.