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Evolution of the earliest jawed fishes (149293)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Martin Brazeau
Company: Imperial College London
Start Date: 2020-07-06
End Date: 2020-08-19
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
The purpose of this project is recover fossils that document the evolution of the earliest jaw-bearing fishes. The scientific objectives of this work are to understand the anatomycand diversity of the earliest jaw-bearing fishes which lived about 420 million years ago. To accomplish this, we need to obtain fossils which are buried in the rocks of the Canadian Arctic. In 2018, we discovered a locality in the marine limestones and mudrocks of easter Cornwallis Island, hosting well preserved fossils of such fishes. The exposed bedrock allows us to look for fossils directly at the surface, and therefore requires only a minor excavation (particularly as the target fossils are quite small---typically only a few centimeters in size). Our project will focus on an area of outcrop on an unnamed stream flowing into the southwest corner of Read Bay on eastern Cornwallis Island. Our two main activities will be: 1) prospecting the talus slope where we have found fish fossils weathering out naturally in the slabs of talus; 2) creating a small excavation into the bed where the fish-bearing talus is originating to find 'fresh' unweathered material. These fossils will be stabilised in the field and collected for study in the laboratory. The processing of these rocks will be used to extract microfossils: fossils of small objects like teeth and scales, which can be used to tell us about the different members of the ancient fossil fish community that lived in this area. Activities: Our objectives are to sample the bedrock in these exposures in order to extract fossils and micro-fossils from the rocks. This will involve travelling on foot to exposed bedrock areas, and then walking around on these exposures to examine the rocks carefully for fossils in the talus lying at the surface. The fossils we are targeting are relatively small fish bones (a few millimeters or centimeters in size). A small excavation is proposed, using only hand tools and no machinery or industrial equipment. The maximum extent of this excavation is estimated to be around 3 to 4 cubic meters. We will back-fill the resulting cavity with rock and restore the area to a natural contour. As the slope is already talus-covered, this will not leave a readily visible scar. We estimate the removal of a maximum of 200 kg of fossil-bearing samples from the work. Our team will consist of a group of 5 people: 4 research scientists and 1 local guide from Resolute. We will have only a single camp, located close to our working area (see interactive map). We will access this camp by helicopter charter from Resolute. Camp will consist of 5 individual tents, plus a main basecamp tent. We will use propane stoves for cooking, plus two naphthalene-fuelled camp stoves for backups. We will pack in all of our food. We will pack out all food waste and packaging, or dispose of biodegradable food waste by burying. Human waste will be buried and toilet paper will be burned. These activities will be kept away from main water sources. If our camp is placed near a water source, we will ensure disposal of human and food waste well away from these sources. For washing up in camp, we will use biodegradable soaps. Our schedule is approximate and subject to aircraft availability and weather. Our current scheduled date into the field assigned by the Polar Continental Shelf Program is 30 July 2020 and we will be taken out of the field on 9 August. We will be transported by helicopter to our camp near Read Bay and will spend the 10 days in this area. We will then be transported back to Resolute by helicopter. We will exercise no-trace camping practices. At the conclusion of activities at the camp, we will remove all structures (tents) and restore the ground to a natural likeness. Permits and engagement with local communities: We have contacted the Resolute Bay HTA, but are currently awaiting a reply. We will be applying for a Water Board license exemption certificate and a a CLEY Archaeology and Palaeontology Permit. Because this work is strictly palaeontological, a Nunavut Research Institute license is not required. Therefore, our application Archaeology and Palaeontology Permit are not yet submitted at the time of submitting the LUPIT application. However, all necessary permits will be obtained before commencing any work.
Persons: 5
Days: 10
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
6126 polygon Study area
6127 point Proposed camp location
6128 point Approximate location of excavation site
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Settlement Area
North Baffin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
NWB: Approval to Use Water/Deposit Water Without a Licence
CH: Archaeology and Paleontology Research Permit, Class II
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Helicopter 1 12m (10m rotor diameter) Bringing in camp and personnel; one camp move; retrieval of camp and personnel at conclusion of work
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Propane 2 40 Liters Camp cooking
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Acetone 1 1 Liters Stabilizing fossil samples. Used in very small quantities (a few mL at a time).
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
1 Buckets or portable water bladders; retrieval from running creek or from snow Creek near camp (unnamed creek flowing into southwest corner of Read Bay)
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
Perceived impacts are extremely few and will resemble those of a party of 5 persons on a 10-day rough camping expedition. The primary environmental risks are: Vegetation cover : Effect: placement of camp and tents may damage underlying vegetation. Walking over vegetated areas may harm vegetation. Mitigation: We will have a very small camp consisting of 5 persons. The area we are caming in has extremely low vegetation cover. We will place our camp on an unvegetated area. Given the near absence of vegetation cover where we will be working, we will very easily avoid any damage to vegetation by walking around it and avoiding it during work. Human waste: Mitigation: We will place our latrine away from water sources, digging pit toilets and avoiding concentration of pit toilets. These will be buried after use (likely on a daily basis). Toilet paper will be burned and buried. Food waste: Scraps and perished remains of camp food. Mitigation: we will bury or pack out all biodegradable food waste (which will be kept to a minimum). All non-biodegradable food waste will be stored and packed out at the end of fieldwork. Food and packaging will be kept locked in animal-resistant Pelican containers to prevent wildlife from accessing it. All waste (whether biodegradable or not) will be kept away from water sources. Greywater will be disposed by dispersal over rocky, unvegetated areas; we will use biodegradable dish soap. Disturbed ground: Effect: We will make a small excavation (maximum 4 cu meters, but likely 2-3 at most) in a rock outcrop near the bank of the creek near our camp (see Map). Mitigation: The excavation will be limited and will use hand-tools only and no industrial equipment. The excavation will be into rocks currently covered by a talus slope, so we will easily restore the natural contours by back-filling the excavated site and covering with talus.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Greywater 40L Use biodegradable soaps. Dispersal over rocky till.
Sewage (human waste) 1 m cu Any toilet paper will be burned or disposed of in a waste collection and packed out. Pit toilets and burial.
Category: Application form attachment - Hazardous Material Use
Recieved: 2020-03-02
Originator: Martin Brazeau
Public Registry ID: 17497
Document Size: 531.81 Kb
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2020-03-06
Originator: Goump Djalogue
Public Registry ID: 17527
Document Size: 227.76 Kb


Environmental Protection:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurrences of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s3.13.8: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.1 and Appendix H, s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.

Low-Level Air Flights:
Appendix H, s3: Will the applicant avoid all low-level flights?
i. If not, explain why such flights are or may be absolutely necessary.
We will only require helicopter flights at the very beginning, the very end of the project, and once to move camp. This is essential for getting camp personnel and gear to and from the field site, as there is no access from Resolute by road or waterways.
ii. If such flights are or may be absolutely necessary, will they avoid disturbance to people and wildlife?
iii. If not, explain why it is not possible to avoid such disturbance.

Caribou Protection Measures:
s3.3.7 and Appendix D: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix D?

Caribou Water Crossings:
s3.3.7 and map: Will the applicant avoid, between may 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified

Polar Bear Denning Areas and Walrus Haul-outs:
s3.3.8: Will the applicant keep its activities away from any polar bear denning area or walrus haul-out?

Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s3.11.3 and Appendix H, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Department of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth (GN)?

Scientific Research:
s3.9.3: Does the project proposal involve scientific research?
If yes, will the applicant integrate all available and relevant local and traditional knowledge when conducting its research?

Consultation with Nunavut Research Institute:
s3.9.5: Has the applicant consulted with the Nunavut Research Institute about research topics that would benefit or interest local residents?
ii. If no, explain why.
Because the palaeontological, an NRI application was not necessary and falls under CLEY permitting. I have contacted the NRI int he past about this work and was directed to the Archaeology and Palaeontology Permit process.
Local Services and Local Employment:
s3.9.4: Will the applicant rely on local services and employment where possible?
i. Describe the services retained and the people to be employed.
We will be hiring a local guide form Resolute to accompany us for the full duration of the fieldwork. They will act as a source of local knowledge, help oversee team safety in the field, and help ensure that we act in respect of local customs. We have provisionally agreed a compensation of $500 per day. In Resolute, we will make use of services and business based there in order to obtain supplies for camp prior to expedition.

Communication on Scientific Research:
s3.2.8: The applicant will, at minimum, translate a summary of its work into Inuktitut and communicate with communities using language that is clear and non-technical. The results of all scientific re