Joel McAlister, BEd, MScF

Director, Western Arctic Research Centre
Western Arctic Research Centre (Inuvik)
867-777-3298 ext. 232

Research Statement

For the past 35 years, I have lead and participated in research teams conducting environmental research regionally, nationally and internationally. Over the past twenty years, I have been fortunate to be directly and indirectly involved in research and educational initiatives in the North. As a Senior Instructor for the Environment and Natural Resources Technology Program (ENRTP) at Aurora College's Aurora Campus in Inuvik, I developed environmental education and training. I also had the honour of working with community Elders and local Knowledge Holders to bridge Traditional Environmental Knowledge and Western Science to an applied technical program.  Building student and community relationships in environmental education and training are integral in developing Northern research capacity. In 2016 I was recognized nationally by The Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and the ArcticNet Student Association (ASA) as Mentor of the Year. 

These experiences have refined my understanding of the logistics and challenges of conducting field research in the Arctic. I have a profound respect for Northern peoples and communities, and their deep connection to the land. My position at ARI/WARC enables me to lead and collaborate on a wide range of interdisciplinary and community-driven research projects, which have the potential to help Northerners develop climate change adaptation strategies in the western Arctic. 

The Beaufort-Delta is my home, and I am committed to the people and the environmental stewardship of this region.   

Current Projects

  • Permafrost Hub
  • Dempster-ITH Water Quality Monitoring
  • Permafrost Monitoring
  • WARC Air Quality Monitoring
  • WARC Carbon Monitoring

Significant Contributions

Michael Fritz, Sebastian Wetterich, Joel McAlister, and Hanno Meyer. 2022. A new local meteoric water line for Inuvik (NT, Canada). Earth System Science Data. 14: 57-63.

Lockhart, L., D.G. Barber, S. Blasco, M. Byers, E. Cameron, A. Gaden, L.N. Harris, A. Keeling, S. Kittmer, J.A.Knopp, F. Lasserre, J. McAlister, J.D. Reist, C. Southcott, R. Tallman and P-L. Tetu. 2015. Resource Development.  p.361-401.  In: Stern, G.A. and  A. Gaden. 2015.  From Science to Policy in the Western and Central Canadian Arctic: An Integrated Regional Impact Study (IRIS) of Climate Change and Modernization. ArcticNet, Quebec City, 432 pp.

OMNR Technical Manuals and Extension Notes. 1999.  Restoring Old Growth; Features to Managed Forests in Southern Ontario. ISSN: 1198-3744.

OMNR Technical Manuals and Extension Notes. 1999.  Choosing a Silvicultural System. ISSN: 1198-3745.

McAlister, J.A. and V.R. Timmer. 1998.  Nutrient enrichment of white spruce seedlings during nursery culture and initial plantation establishment. Tree Physiology. 18: 195-202.

McAlister, J.A. 1996. Growth and nutritional dynamics of bare-root Picea glauca seedlings: response to nursery fertilization and outplanting. Dissertation Abst. Int.; Master’s Abst. Int. U.N.I., Ann Arbour, Michigan.