Renewable Energy Feasibility Research Program

Aurora Research Institute (ARI) has worked with several partners, including the Government of the Northwest Territories, Energy Division, to perform wind and solar energy monitoring campaigns across the Northwest Territories. These campaigns produce data that is then used to make informed decisions about future monitoring campaigns and renewable energy investments.

WARC Renewable Energy Demonstration Projects

The Western Arctic Research Centre (WARC) hosts three renewable energy installations. These projects all look to harness the power of the sun to reduce the amount of energy the building needs to get from the grid while also providing data to others interested in seeking similar solutions.

International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT)

INTERACT is a circumarctic network of currently 89 terrestrial field bases in northern Europe, Russia, US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland as well as stations in northern alpine areas. INTERACT specifically seeks to build capacity for research and monitoring all over the Arctic, and is offering access to numerous research stations through the Transnational Access Program. INTERACT is multidisciplinary: together, the stations in INTERACT host thousands of scientists from around the world who work on projects within the fields of glaciology, permafrost, climate, ecology, biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling. The INTERACT stations also host and facilitate many international single-discipline networks and aid training by hosting summer schools.

Yellowknife Garden Metals Study

The Yellowknife Garden Metals Study (YKGMS) collects information on the amount of arsenic and other mining related contaminants (antimony, cadmium, lead, manganese, copper, zinc, and vanadium) in backyard garden soils and produce in Yellowknife (YK), Ndilo, Dettah and surrounding area.

Arts, Crafts, & Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre

The Arts, Crafts & Technology Micro-manufacturing Centre (ACTMC) is located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NWT), and serves communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) and the Gwich’in Settlement Area (GSA). The objective of the ACTMC is to provide a fully-equipped and resourced space where the region’s artists can merge traditional methods and materials with modern technologies and production techniques in order to grow their small businesses and pursue existing and emerging economic opportunities.

Program Evaluation

ARI provides evaluation services by contract for a number of programs and organizations. Our evaluations are tailored to the specific needs of the researchers and the objectives of the project and rely on comprehensive data collection. Program evaluations designed and/or carried out by the ARI team include: Paul W. Kaeser High School fitness program (2014), Fostering Open eXpression among Youth (FOXY) project evaluation (2011-2015), Aurora College Early Childhood Development program (2015-2020), and the DigitalNWT study (2019-2022).

Research Capacity and Support Here (CASH)

Research Capacity and Support Here (CASH) is a grant-writing workshop focused on improving Northern researchers’ access to and success competing for federal research funding. Federal research granting agencies are expanding eligibility to hold research funds to new organizations, including Indigenous organizations in the Northwest Territories. This is an opportunity for NWT researchers and community organizations to undertake and lead research independently; however, to be competitive against applicants from southern universities, NWT researchers need equivalent support services to their southern counterparts. Canadian academic institutions have staff research officers who work with research funders to understand their programs, provide grant-writing training and development workshops for staff, and review proposals in-house before submission to funders. In an effort to address this gap, the Aurora Research Institute has partnered with Hotii ts’eeda to provide a three-day workshop that features presentations and proposal workshopping sessions led by successful researchers and research officers who will share their expertise with participants. The participants will be made up of potential NWT researchers (including college staff), community researchers, Indigenous and local knowledge holders, and community partners who are often asked to partner on research.

Building Instructional Capacity for Digital Literacy Teaching in the NWT (DigitalNWT)

Digital literacy, or an individual’s ability to find and interact with information on digital platforms, is an important skill in modern society. This project seeks to strengthen digital literacy across remote communities in the Northwest Territories, by training specialists to deliver tailor-made courses in their home communities. Each year, a new course of increasing complexity will be offered to communities, covering topics like online security, social media, and connections between technology and traditional ways. Researchers are conducting research throughout the territory to see what topics are the most important to include and will publish their findings about their experience building digital literacy in remote locations. Hopefully, the successes of this project can help inspire other remote regions to implement similar programs.

Permafrost Information Hub

Permafrost provides a foundation for northern ecosystems, infrastructure and communities. Permafrost conditions are inextricably linked to climate, so information on permafrost is now increasingly critical for environmental monitoring and research, assessing the effects of climate change and for planning and managing resilient infrastructure and communities. The overall goal of the Permafrost Information Hub is to improve collaboration and information sharing between permafrost researchers and northern stakeholders, conduct northern relevant research projects, and increase capacity for permafrost research.

A GIS to Support Community Monitoring of the Effects of Climate Change in Tuktoyaktuk

The effects of climate-driven changes on the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk are evident in all aspects of the community’s life. To better understand these effects and to communicate it to the residents, the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation (TCC) decided to undertake the “Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resilience Project.” The project aims to increase the awareness and knowledge of Tuktoyaktuk residents on the effects of climate-driven changes on their community. This will be achieved through the use of scientific methodologies, as well as the knowledge and wisdom of community Elders. A unique feature of this project is the measuring and monitoring of the effects of climate change will be community-based. The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) will support the Tuktoyaktuk Community Climate Resilience Project through capacity building and GIS services. ARI will assist the TCC in growing the community’s capacity to measure and monitor the effects of climate-driven changes, as well as develop GIS tools and services to efficiently collect, manage and disseminate the information.


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