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Postdoctoral Research [SSHRC]


Postdoc Overview* (2007/2008)

Linking Inuit and scientific knowledge on marine environments for parks management and education in Nunavut

My postdoctoral research contributed directly to the “Inuit Sea Ice Use and Occupancy Project” (ISIUOP), based at the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre (GCRC) at Carleton University.  This is part of a broader International Polar Year (IPY, 2007-2008) project called SIKU (Sea Ice Knowledge and Use).  In conjunction, my research was also contributing to an ongoing Parks Canada Inuit Knowledge Project to understand sea ice use and its relation to northern National Parks and hazards management.  I work with a collaborative approach to sea ice, knowledge representation, and interactive mapping research, aiming to provide a linkages between ISIUOP and decision-making processes for National Parks in Nunavut.  I had both a coordinating and research role within the ISIUOP, including:

  1. I)communicating with project partners;

  2. II)undertaking northern networking and field work; and,

  3. III)expanding map and terminology analyses based on my doctoral research and additional field work. 

My past experiences and sea ice research in Pangnirtung meant that I could contribute to Parks Canada efforts to compile community “land” (including terrestrial, sea ice, and marine) use patterns (past and current).  This included documenting Inuit knowledge of environmental change, and linking Inuit knowledge to Parks Canada risk assessments and public safety programs.  Therefore, this research aimed to link interests and knowledge systems for a collective purpose (i.e. hazards mapping and parks management), while broadening our collective understanding of marine environments.  To provide a local and applied focus to the investigation I worked in the two neighbouring communities of Auyuittuq National Park (i.e. expand work in Pangnirtung and begin collaborations in Qikiqtarjuaq). 

*N.B. I had to decline the second year of the postdoctoral fellowship in order to accept the tenure-track position at Carleton, so only one year of this fellowship was completed.  However, as part of ongoing projects I continue to work towards many of my postdoctoral research objectives.

My SSHRC Postdoctoral fellowship enabled me to work on, and to link, the IPY and Parks Canada projects.  This research was based at Carleton University in the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre, and was supervised by Dr. Fraser Taylor.