CERC - Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada’s New Arctic Frontier

About this CERC

Introduction Abstract Objectives Tools References

Abstract

Rapid climate change and industrialization are unlocking the natural resources of the vast Canadian Arctic and increasingly impacting its ecosystems. The stewardship of these ecosystems, the environmentally sustainable development of arctic resources, and the adaptation of northern communities to their rapidly changing world require a massive intensification of scientific observations. Furthermore, these observations must be organized into geo-referenced data banks and models that will provide stakeholders in government, industry and communities with the knowledge needed to inform their decisions. The proposed CERC on the Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier will address several aspects of this formidable challenge, focusing on the marine ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic. The CERC will 1) apply the most recent advances in remote sensing, completed by process studies at sea, to track the response of arctic marine ecosystems to climate variability and change; 2) develop diagnostic and predictive models of arctic marine ecosystems; 3) perfect the deployment in ice-covered seas of new technologies such as Profiling Floats and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles; and 4) build a fully geo-referenced archiving system to help synthesize and broadcast to stakeholders our growing scientific understanding of the transformation of arctic marine ecosystems and its socio-economic consequences.

The CERC will integrate the rich environment of polar research at Université Laval which hosts four research centres with an arctic mandate (Québec-Océan, arctic oceanography; Centre d'études nordiques, northern geosystems and ecosystems; Nassivik, Inuit health; and Ciéra, Inuit culture and socio-economics), as well as the Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence ArcticNet and major arctic research infrastructure such as the Canadian Research Icebreaker Amundsen and the CEN Network of land-based arctic research stations. By interfacing ArcticNet and GEOIDE, two Networks of Centres of Excellence based at Laval, the CERC will bring the powerful tools of geomatics to Arctic research, thus adding tremendous value to current observation programs. In addition to a diversified scientific expertise in the Arctic, the unique polar research capacity concentrated at U.Laval will provide the CERC with unmatched administrative, technical and logistical support, therefore guaranteeing the swift implementation of the ambitious research program of the Chair.

The French CNRS will create a Unité Mixte Internationale with up to 6 research scientists paid by France residing at Université Laval in support of the CERC. Hence, the Chair is already guaranteeing solid leverage for Canada through these exceptional opportunities for technological transfer. Overall, the proposed CERC will immensely contribute to consolidate the developing leadership of Canada in Arctic research and to fulfill the needs of Canadian arctic stakeholders.