Kata Kuhnert

Position: 
GIS Technician Intern
Location: 
Western Arctic Research Centre (Inuvik)
Phone: 
867-777-3298 ext.238

Education: Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (BASc)

Biography:

I was born in Inuvik NWT, although I was mostly raised in Waterloo Ontario where I was a settler on Haudenosaunee, Anishinabek, and Neutral Peoples territories. I am very grateful to be back in the community on beautiful Inuvialuit and Gwich’in lands. I graduated from Sustainability Science and Biology at McGill University, on Kanien’kehá:ka territory in Montreal Quebec. I studied the intersections of climate change, food sovereignty, wildlife ecology, and Indigenous-led conservation. I have also been fortunate to learn through experiences living, working, or visiting different regions of the circumpolar arctic including Cree territory in the James Bay, Sahtú Dene territory in the Northwest Territories, Inuit territory in Nunavik and Nunavut, Kalaallit territory in Greenland, and Sami territory in Sweden.

I am interested in community-driven research, resilience, rematriation, and relationality. My work has been primarily focussed on climate change outreach with a foundation in land based and traditional knowledge. I believe it is important to create a strong foundation of youth involvement and leadership in environmental issues, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities, and cultural revitalization with guidance from strong connections between youth and Elders. I like crafting, picking berries, eating country food and city food, listening to storytellers, working on language skills, and spending time on the land and water. I look forward to carrying the experiences I’ve shared with many incredible people into my life and work in the Beaufort Delta region as I learn more about supporting communities with GIS resources.

Skills and Expertise:

  • Programming and research software: MATLAB, R, ArcMap, Python, Rayyan QCRI
  • Research: Data collection, entry, and analysis
  • GIS: Mapping and analysis
  • Report and grant writing: Scientific and technical
  • Cross-cultural and intersectional research collaboration
  • Northern youth program development
  • Arctic climate change and environmental outreach development and facilitation
  • Participatory history and public education including Blanket Exercise Facilitation

Current Projects

  • COVID19 Beaufort Delta Regional Emergency Operations Centre: Redeployed to this team and contributed to the regional pandemic response through staff management, budget management, multi-site logistics coordination, protocol creation and implementation, facilitating interdepartmental collaboration, managing workplace logistics, public outreach, and internal communications coordination to name a few. Held the following positions:
    • Planning Section Lead of the Incident Command Team
    • Documentation Unit Leader of the Incident Command Team
    • Isolation Centre Supervisor and Coordinator
    • Airport Screening Support
  • Co-lead of ARI’s COVID19 Workplace Strategy: Created management plans for the workplace within the context of the pandemic and installed workplace infrastructure. Scheduled and co-facilitated staff orientation sessions.
  • RPAS mapping: Currently building capacity in flying Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) including flight regulations and best practices, pre-flight planning, data collection, and data processing.
  • Vegetation surveys on snow manipulation sites along the Inuvik – Tuktoyaktuk Highway: Assisted with identifying vegetation types and measuring plant growth in disturbed and undisturbed sites.
  • GIS and STEM Outreach in the Western Arctic: Visit schools and communities in the Western Arctic to grow the awareness of STEM with a focus on geomatics. Organize, host, deliver, and participate in STEM activities that are aimed at informing Western Arctic communities of the role STEM applications play in supporting day-to-day activities in their communities. 
  • Mapping and Monitoring of Earth Movement Due to the effects of Climate Driven Changes: Map and monitor earth movements (e.g., landslides and slumps) due to the thawing of permafrost. Mapping is mainly done using RPAS techniques.

Scientific Contributions

Youth of the Beaufort Delta. 2020. “Our Climate Our Arctic Beaufort Delta Declaration”. Co-writer and signatory. Presented by MLA L. Semmler to NWT Legislative Assembly 12 March 2020. 

Kuhnert, K. 2019. Cultural, Ecological, and Geographical Determinants of Dietary Variation between Communities in Eeyou/Eenou Istchee (James Bay Cree Territory, Subarctic Quebec). BASc Honours thesis, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC.

Bissonnette, JF et al. 2019. Envisioning Responses to Climate Change in Eeyou Istchee. Cree Nation Government Regional Forum on Climate Change. Workshop Facilitator. Eastmain, Eeyou Istchee.  

Youth and Young Adults Committee ELCIC. 2019. "2019 – 2023 Indigenous Reconciliation Action Fund”. Funding Program Co-Creator.

SOI Media Team 2018. “They Say…”. Poem by Katarina Kuhnert. Featuring the students and staff of the 2018 Students on Ice Arctic Expedition.

Kuhnert, K, Gomez, N, and Tsuji, L. 2017. Arctic and Subarctic Sea-Level Change and Policy in Northern Canada. Poster presentation at the Ouranos Climate Symposium, Montreal, QC.