Past Projects (Archive)

Mallik Gas Hydrate Production Research Program

Gas hydrates are crystalline substances composed of water and gas, in which a solid water-lattice accommodates gas molecules in a cage-like, clathrate structure. Past research by the Geological Survey of Canada, under NRCan, has documented the widespread occurrence of gas hydrates in a variety of Arctic settings including the collection of the first gas hydrate samples form within ice-bonded permafrost from a site in the Mackenzie Delta. This research has raised a number of concerns for resource and hazard assessment and for global change studies in Arctic areas.

CSI Husky Lakes (Contaminants and Stable Isotopes in Husky Lakes)

The Husky Lakes area is of great cultural and traditional value to the Inuvialuit. Situated between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk (Tuk), the Husky Lakes Watershed is a ‘true’ Arctic watershed, in that all waters originate north of the Arctic Circle. Fishing and hunting in the Husky Lakes by local people occurs throughout the year. Lake Trout and other fishes, as well as other wildlife, are harvested for subsistence consumption, to provide food for dog teams, or as recreational activity.

Bird Breeding Surveys

In June 2012, ARI staff and 6 local field assistants, conducted breeding bird surveys in the Inuvik, Fort McPherson and Tsiigehtchic regions of the Northwest Territories. A total of 182 individual surveys were completed on four routes along the Dempster Highway. These surveys were part of North American-wide breeding bird surveys which were started in the 1960s to monitor long-term trends in bird populations.

Hydroecology of Noell Lake

In 2010, the Aurora Research Institute (ARI) partnered with Environment Canada on the long-term Water Quality and Aquatic Ecosystems Health project. This collaboration, in effect until 2014, will result in new knowledge and data that will contribute to the conservation and restoration of water resources and aquatic ecosystems in the western Canadian arctic. The overall goal of this project is to better understand the effects of climate change on arctic freshwater systems. This will be achieved through the following three primary objectives: To investigate the effects of permafrost degradation on the supply of nutrients to tundra lakes, and in turn, its effect on lake geochemistry. To evaluate the potential effects of permafrost degradation on aquatic biology. To improve knowledge on lake ice and its effect on the food webs/productivity of small arctic lake systems.

NWT Seed Project

Native plant species have the potential to be successful in the reclamation of northern habitats, because they are well adapted to local climatic conditions. This allows for better long-term survival, and fewer maintenance and fertilizer requirements. In the NWT, there has been a long recognized need for a source of native plant materials for reclamation purposes. Using native plant species for revegetation of disturbed habitats will help to maintain ecological integrity, natural successional processes, wildlife habitat, and environmental aesthetics.


The vision of AgNorth is to develop scalable modular farm stations that will be able to grow a full complement of nutritional foods and provide economic development opportunities and food security in remote and isolated communities of the NWT.


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