Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) is conducting a range of field research activities year-round, and a number of visiting research scientists, their graduate students, and northern high school and college students will come to Cambridge Bay to conduct this research. Many of these research activities, and most of the scientific instrumentation planned for deployment are on the northern shore of Greiner Lake, so it is necessary for researchers to be stationed near these research and monitoring sites, and outside the regular field season, to have access to an emergency shelter. Therefore, the POLAR Science & Technology Team have set up a field camp near Cambridge Bay, on the northern shore of Greiner Lake (69.217607°, -104.926355°). A range of research projects will be carried out, including work on tundra ecosystem description and mapping, insect monitoring, freshwater lake surveys, small mammal trapping, and installation of research instruments such as a weather station, frost tubes and thermistor arrays, river gauging stations, and eddy covariance towers. Researchers will come and go over during the summer field seasson; there will be no more than 10 people in camp at any one time. Normal occupancy will be 4-5 people in the summer. There will be no people staying in the camp outside the summer field season, except for emergency situations.
The proposed camp is within Cambridge Bay administrative area, approximately 14 km NE from the hamlet of Cambridge Bay, on the northern shore of Greiner Lake, 5 km south of Baby Pelly and 5 km NW of Mount Pelly. Researchers staying in the camp will work in the Greiner Lake watershed. The campsite can be accessed in the summer by boat on Greiner Lake, or by ATV, over the tundra, either from the end of the Mount Pelly road, or over a route on the western shore of Greiner Lake. In the winter, the camp site is accessible by snowmobile over the ice of Greiner Lake. Field sites around the camp can be accessed by foot, while the more remote ones in Greiner Lake Watershed will be accessed by float plane, ATV and boat.
The camp will have a minimal impact on the environment. Access to the camp will be made mostly by water, or occasionally by road and then tundra, by ATV, or snow and ice by snowmobile. The camp structures will have minimal disturbance effects on tundra ecosystems, since they are raised from the ground on wooden platforms. The most likely threat to the environment is a fuel spill while refuelling the generator, the boat or the stove. We have a spill contingency plan in the event that a fuel spill does occur.
A crew of 2-4 Inuit will be employed to set up the frame tents and other camp components. One (or possibly two shifting) Inuit person(s) will be employed as camp cooks throughout the duration of the camp. We will also hire and train 3-4 summer students, Inuit youth from Nunavut Arctic College for the duration of the camp, as field assistants. We will contribute to the local economy by the food, fuel and equipment we will purchase from the local grocery and hardware stores in Cambridge Bay. We also plan to utilize local guides to assist some parties with sampling – guides will be arranged through the EHTO.
Summary of Modifications:
- Due to location access issues, POLAR camp has been erected on the northern shore of Greiner Lake at a slightly different location, at 69.217607°, -104.926355°, instead of the previously submitted coordinates
- One 14 ft. Weatherhaven tent installed instead of the two metal frame 3m X 4m tents installed
- Arctic Research Foundation Mobile Marine-Archaeological-Geological Network mobile laboratory will not be deployed in the foreseeable future
- Due to the rocky nature of the camp site, we would like to erect plywood platforms for the individual all-season tents
- While we will dismantle most of the camp by September 30, 2018, we would like to keep in place the Intershelter 14 ft Polar Dome, as well as the 14 ft Weatherhave tent beyond this date, and around the year, in order for them to serve as emergency shelters, for both POLAR staff, and Cambridge Bay community members. Therefore, we would like to request the extension of the operating date of the camp until December 31, 2018