Cambridge Bay location offers a wealth of opportunities for studying the far north.

After months of deliberation, the Canadian government has chosen Cambridge Bay — a hamlet midway along the Northwest Passage in the country’s far north — as the site for a world-class Arctic research station.

Once built, the station will house scientists all year round, giving them a modern space to study Arctic issues, including climate change and natural resources. It will host conference facilities and laboratories for research on marine biology and geophysics, provide ecologists with the space to do long-term ecological monitoring in aquaria and greenhouses, and give researchers in the health and social sciences a base for their studies.

“It’s a very exciting and long-awaited announcement,” says Warwick Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec City, who was part of the committee consulted by the government during the selection process.

The proposal for the Canadian research station was first sketched out in 2007 and a shortlist of sites was released in 2009. A Can$2-million (US$1.9-million) feasibility study for the proposed station established its functions, preliminary costs and construction schedule and involved an analysis of three possible locations: Pond Inlet, Resolute Bay and Cambridge Bay, all in the northern territory of Nunavut.

Details about the new facility’s size or overall cost have yet to be released by the government, but sources suggest that it will be completed some time in 2017 at a cost of about Can$200 million.

→ Read more at the Nature website

→ Also found in WorldChanging’s Arctic Round-up (September 3)

Written by Hannah

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