Community Reporting Award

Communication with northerners and their communities is a vital part of the research process. In addition to communicating research objectives and methods prior to initiating a project, UAlberta North recognizes the value and importance of reporting and discussing research progress with communities.

UAlberta North allocates funding annually for the purpose of community reporting and for communicating about a research project. Below, our awardees and their projects are highlighted to show the importance of community engagement in research!

Scott Zolkos

Scott Zolkos

Effects of permafrost retrogressive thaw slumps on stream ecosystems

In August 2019, I met with the communities of Fort McPherson and Inuvik (NWT) to share results from my PhD research investigating the effects of permafrost thaw slumps on stream ecosystems on the Peel Plateau (NWT). These meetings enabled me to reconnected with northern colleagues, share updates on my work, and maintain strong connections between northern communities and researchers affiliated with the University of Alberta and UAlberta North.

In the Hamlet of Fort McPherson, I coordinated with the Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) to give a talk to local community members. Additionally, I shared my research with the community of Inuvik via the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) Summer Speaker Series. My presentations provided me with an excellent opportunity to communicate the findings of my research to local community members and also to the broader public. It also enabled me to make new connections with other scientists, thereby extending my professional scientific network and potentially facilitating new collaborative research on pressing issues in northern science.

Lastly, I will create and share a photo storybook of my graduate research and experiences working with these northern communities, to leave them something more permanent. The storybook will include my photographs from field work and brief captions to weave the photos together into a short story of my experiences conducting science in the North and with these communities. I consulted with Gwich'in Tribal Council about translating the storybook into Gwich'in, to increase accessibility throughout the community. Copies of the storybook will be distributed to the GRRB in Fort McPherson and also to the ARI in Inuvik. I intend for the storybook to forge a stronger connection between these communities and students/researchers at the University of Alberta and UAlberta North