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Gita J. Ljubicic Ph.D.


Associate Professor, SUN Team Leader

Research Interests

  1. Inuit knowledge of arctic environments

  2. relationships between language, knowledge, and use of northern environments

  3. geomatics and multi-media tools to represent dynamic knowledge and environmental systems

  4. sea ice and marine environments

  5. caribou, vegetation, and terrestrial environments

  6. human dimensions of environmental change

  7. Indigenous research methodologies and ethics

  8. linking Inuit and scientific knowledge to support decision-making

  9. northern content and contributions in education materials and programs

I have been working in northern Canada since 1998 after first being introduced to northern research through Labrador field work as an undergraduate research assistant in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.  Fascinated by the remote sensing perspective, I pursued my M.Sc. in Geography at Queen’s University focused on tundra vegetation studies using multiple sensor types and resolutions.  My 2001 field research was based out of Taloyoak, Nunavut, with two months of camping on Boothia Peninsula to conduct ground truthing.  After this summer on the tundra I was hooked on the Arctic! However, in continuing to a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Toronto, my research focus shifted to cultural and environmental geography with emphasis on collaborative research with Inuit communities.  My doctoral research sought to characterize the local importance of sea ice processes, use, and change based on Inuit expertise, and in so doing to provide points of intersection with scientific sea ice monitoring and investigations. 

This work then became the foundation of my postdoctoral research, and I continue to build on - and expand - these efforts through the currently funded International Polar Year Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project.  Therefore, I have been working with the Nunavut communities of Pangnirtung, Cape Dorset, and Igloolik since 2003, and am part of ongoing, long-term projects in each to continue exploring human-environment interactions and understandings at local and regional scales. 

More recently, I have expanded my research interests and collaborations towards incorporating northern content and Inuit knowledge generated through research into educational materials or programming in Nunavut high schools.  Specifically, the IPY project on Learning in Nunavut Through Our Earth approaches these efforts in collaboration with Attagoyuk High School in Pangnirtung and Nunavut Arctic College in Arctic Bay.  Through this project we are exploring how class-room and experience-based educational programming and activities can be linked through student engagement in multi-media documentation of their learning, and contributions to an online multi-media educational atlas using a cybercartographic framework.  Furthermore, I am currently working on a SSHRC-funded community-based project focused on learning about relationships between caribou, community, and well-being in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut.  This project focuses on facilitating research and learning through Elder-youth land camps, and is guided by a local planning committee as well as a partnership with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

Newly developing projects include:

  1. -People-plant relationships in Makkovik, Nunatsiavut (Labrador), led by PhD Candidate Erica Oberndorfer

  2. -Denesoline relationships with Thelon River headwaters (NWT), led by Assistant Professor Bryan Grimwood

Contact Me:

Department of Geography & Environmental Studies

Carleton University

1125 Colonel By Drive

B349 Loeb Building

Ottawa, Ontario,  K1S 5B6

Phone: (613) 520-2600 x2566

Fax: (613) 520-4301


Office: A325 Loeb Building

SUN Lab: 206 Social Science

                Research Building