In order to benefit future science activities in the North, we have established a partnership with the Canadian Polar Commission (CPC) to maintain the NCOs beyond 2012, as a legacy of IPY. International Polar Year Northern Coordination Offices are integral components of the overall coordination effort of IPY in Canada.
Northern Canadians have been actively involved in all aspects of International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY), from the planning stage for the overall IPY program in Canada, to the design, evaluation and implementation of IPY science, training and outreach projects. At least 1,000 Northerners to date have actively participated in IPY projects, and many more are reached through a variety of IPY communications and outreach initiatives. Canada’s IPY Northern Coordination Offices have played a vital role in engaging the interest and involvement of Northerners in IPY and establishing dialogue and strengthening links between northern communities and the broader Arctic research community.
The four IPY Northern Coordination Offices, hosted within established research-oriented organizations in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik, have been in place since early 2006. With their existing contacts and networks and their experience working with both the communities in their region and the research community beyond their region’s borders, the individual coordinators who make up these offices are trusted local sources of information about IPY, and northern science matters in general. As such, they are integral components of the overall organization of IPY in Canada, coordinating IPY activities on a regional and community level, providing guidance and support to scientists carrying out IPY research, and facilitating the involvement of Northerners and northern communities in IPY activities. Since 2006, the IPY Northern Coordinators have been actively engaging young people, organizing IPY events and celebrations, informing and educating the public about IPY and creating energy and enthusiasm across the North about the overall IPY initiative.
In partnership with the Ottawa-based IPY Federal Program Office, the IPY Northern Coordinators have organized regional workshops and consultation meetings, facilitated regional “social and cultural” reviews of project funding proposals, and disseminated vital program information, such as related to emergency preparedness and funding opportunities, through the networks that they established. They are also involved in the Canadian Arctic Research Licencing Initiative, an IPY legacy project in its early stages; and will also be busy sharing the IPY Film Festival as its road show tour across the North gets under way.
The IPY Northern Coordination Offices have been a valued resource to researchers, many of whom are based out of institutions that are distant from their study destinations in the North. Nearly two-thirds of IPY research projects report that they have benefitted from the assistance of the Northern Coordinators in aspects of planning and logistics, introductions to potential community partners, and advice on matters of local protocols, licensing and permitting, and tracking down local students and workers, and countless other details associated with carrying out a successful research program.
Most importantly, the IPY Northern Coordinators are a link to the communities and people of the North. To assist Northerners to take advantage of opportunities offered through IPY, the Coordinators worked with communities and organizations, providing advice and instruction on writing proposals, and helping to develop partnerships between Northern and southern-based groups looking to establish working relationships with northern communities.
Beginning in 2010, the Northern Coordination Offices, in partnership with the IPY Federal Program Office and IPY researchers, will shift their focus to sharing the important results of IPY research with communities across the North.
Funding for the IPY Northern Coordination Offices from the Government of Canada Program for IPY continues until March 31st, 2011.
The Yukon IPY Coordination Office is hosted by the Council of Yukon First Nations, in Whitehorse. IPY activities in the Yukon included 14 science projects involving nearly 50 research activities and close to 100 people, as well as several training, communications and outreach projects. The Yukon’s IPY Coordinator has been instrumental in ensuring that Yukon students take advantage of valuable training opportunities made possible through IPY. Through savvy use of local media and tapping into events taking place in the Yukon, such as the annual Canadian Science Writers Association conference in Whitehorse in May 2008, the Yukon IPY Coordinator has ensured that messages about IPY activity in the Yukon and throughout Canada are disseminated broadly.
Contact: Bob Van Dijken, IPY Northern Coordinator; Tel: (867) 393-9237; Email: Bob.VanDijken@cyfn.net
The NWT IPY Coordination Office is hosted by Aurora Research Institute in Inuvik, which has enabled direct support to the 25 teams and hundreds of researchers engaged in IPY research in the NWT, as well as several training, communication and outreach projects. Research projects are spread across the NWT with the majority occurring in the Beaufort Delta and Sahtu areas. Interest in IPY in the NWT has been evident in the enthusiastic response to community visits conducted by researchers, the volume of media coverage, special IPY events held by land claims groups, and the involvement of students in video conferencing on climate change issues and other opportunities offered through IPY. The NWT IPY Coordination Office has worked in partnership with the RCMP and territorial personnel involved in search and rescue to develop resources and materials related to emergency preparedness and infrastructure to better ensure the safety of researchers in the field.
Contact: Alana Mero, IPY Northern Coordinator; Tel: 867-777-3298 Ext 30; Email:AMero@auroracollege.nt.ca
The The Nunavut IPY Coordination Office is hosted by the Nunavut Research Institute, an Iqaluit-based facility that is the central body mandated to license and promote research in the territory. This IPY Coordination Office has worked to support local residents in the development of their own IPY proposals, and engage them in IPY research. It has also helped visiting scientists to navigate the licensing process, plan community consultations and reporting activities, and provided them with logistical advice. Nunavut saw an immense increase in research activity with the start of IPY. The 2008 field season was its busiest year, bringing nearly 500 scientists engaged in over 150 research activities. Much of this work continued into the 2009 field season.
Contact: Andrew Morrison, IPY Northern Coordinator, Nunavut Research Institute; Tel: 867 979 7297; Email:Andrew.Morrison@arcticcollege.ca
The Nunavik IPY Coordination Office is based out of the Nunavik Research Centre in Kuujjuaq, Quebec. In addition to its support to IPY researchers working in the region and engaging local community members in IPY activities, Nunavik’s IPY Coordination Office has assisted in communicating IPY science to Nunavik residents through local media. Researchers have been invited to submit short articles highlighting their research and results to the Makivik Magazine, which is distributed four times per year free of charge to all households in Nunavik. Nunavik’s IPY Coordinator has been actively raising public awareness of the International Polar Year, for example, through displaying Arctic-focused museum exhibits, such as the interactive Arctic Adventure exhibit by Science North (Sudbury, Ontario) in Nunavik communities. The Coordination Office also hosted a contest, which involved Elders submitting cultural handiworks, to acknowledge the support and cooperation provide by Nunavik residents to IPY researchers. All items will be donated to the interpretation centre at Parc National Kuururjuaq. This contest is one example of how the Nunavik IPY Coordination Office is creating an IPY legacy, engaging community members and increasing awareness of IPY.
Contact: Barrie Ford, IPY Northern Coordinator;Tel: (819) 964-2925 Ext. 254; Email: B_Ford@makivik.org