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SCIENCE

Pole to pole

Positive steps towards a Canadian Antarctic research program Canada is the second largest polar nation, and among the wealthiest, giving it a responsibility to lead in scientific research and knowledge dissemination of the circumpolar regions. In keeping with this, Canada has invested a significant amount of resources in Arctic science, culminating with the establishment of a worldclass Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS) in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. In contrast, Canada’s activities in the Antarctic up to now have been sporadic and lacking in government support, oversight, and organization. Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR), the federal government organization that oversees Canada’s involvement in the polar regions, convened a

workshop in October in Ottawa, Ontario, which brought together prominent Canadians working in the Antarctic. The aim of this workshop was to garner ideas from the scientific community on the formation of a Canadian Antarctic Research Program. The Canadian Antarctic Research Workshop was the first time scientific researchers, educators, investors, and policy makers, had come together to discuss the future of Canadian science in the southern polar regions. More than 80 participants from academia, government, and industry sat down in the beautiful Rotunda Room at the Canadian Museum of Nature and shared their visions of how Canada could

establish itself as a leader in all things polar. Canadians are strong players in the field of international Antarctic research, having published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers on the topic in leading scientific journals, but further advancements in this field need to be backed by a government-supported Antarctic Research Program.

Challenges and opportunities: two sides of the same coin

Biologists studying unusual organisms thriving in frozen environments, geophysicists working on Antarctic ice sheets, and astrophysicists interested in the South Magnetic Pole all agreed

Lake Bonney is a permanently ice-covered lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. It is home to a diversity of cold-adapted microbes, including several species of green algae. It is one of many sites that Canadian researchers are using to carry out Antarctic research. © Kat Cuthriell

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A B OV E & B E YO N D — C A N A DA’ S A RC T I C J O U R N A L

2017 | 03

Above & Beyond | Canada's Arctic Journal 2017 | 03  
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