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Arctic Diary

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a scientist in the Arctic?

Here's your chance to find out! In this Arctic diary you can read about a Canadian research group working on the Arctic sea ice at the northern most tip of our country.

During the spring of 2002, a group of almost 40 researchers and support staff from Canada and the U.S. travelled to Canadian Forces Station Alert to set up experiments at an ice camp on the Arctic Ocean. Most of our work is for Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), an agency of National Defence. At 82 degrees north (about 800 km from the North Pole), CFS Alert is the most northerly permanently inhabited settlement in the world.

Most of the experiments deal with technology for surveillance in the Arctic, so that the Canadian Forces can keep an eye on our "back yard". The global warming trend most clearly seen in the Arctic region could open up the Northwest Passage in the near future. If this happens, then foreign ships could save time and money by travelling through Canadian Arctic waters, instead of through the Panama Canal. This could cause problems for Canada in terms of security, pollution (oil spills), exploitation of natural resources, and disturbance of the fragile ecology.

  • Week One – March 28 – April 4, 2002
  • Week Two – April 5 – April 12, 2002
  • Week Three – April 13 – April 19, 2002
  • Week Four – April 20 – April 26, 2002
  • Week Five – April 27 – May 5, 2002
  • UPDATE:

    Some researchers returned to CFS Alert to continue work on their projects. You can discover how different CFS Alert looks in the summer, and learn how people navigate in the Arctic.

  • Summer at CFS Alert - July 2002
  • Navigation Experiments - April 2003