Data & Information Services


The Arctic Science and Technology Information System (ASTIS) database contains 81,000 records describing publications and research projects about northern Canada and the circumpolar Arctic. ASTIS covers all subjects including the earth sciences, the biological and health sciences, engineering and technology, the social sciences, traditional knowledge, history, and literature. The database includes both peer-reviewed and grey literature and covers the three territories, the northern parts of seven provinces and the adjacent marine areas. ASTIS records contain abstracts, detailed subject and geographic indexing terms, and links to 23,000 online publications.

ASTIS also maintains subset databases that provide selected records and background information for specific regions, subjects, or projects.

ASTIS is working to improve its coverage of publications from the following sources. (See the Project menu of the KLRS Bibliography for projects based at Kluane.) We may be able to create searchable publication databases for these projects in the future, but for now we are making available these incomplete lists of citations: Devon Island Research Station (DIRS), Mackenzie GEWEX Study (MAGS), Polar Continental Shelf Program Contributions, Antarctic Publications by Canadian Authors. All of the 4,500 publications on the AINA Publications Server are available through ASTIS. 


In 2014, the Arctic Institute of North America and the University of Calgary’s Department of Geomatics Engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering received funding from CANARIE to launch ArcticConnect, a network-enabled platform for realizing geospatial referencing of information about the arctic system derived from research, education, and private sector activities in the arctic and subarctic (

Launching to the public in mid-2015, ArcticConnect is an innovative platform for Arctic research and information sharing. ArcticConnect captures biological, ecological, technological, and social data at multiple scales generated from a host of sensors, from human observers, from field experiments and research stations, from satellites and from publications, reports, photographs and even artwork. It enables networking and interoperability of disparate datasets, and makes information available across multiple applications and devices. Arctic Connect also enables display of heterogeneous data and information within a coherent geospatial platform consisting of four major components:

  • Arctic Web Map (AWM) is a web-based mapping tool based on accurate polar projections. This Arctic-specific web mapping tool will offer researchers scientifically accurate map projections for visualization and analysis, a function that is critical for Arctic system research but missing in existing web mapping platforms; it also provides a visually appealing tool for education and outreach to a wider audience.
  • Arctic Sensor Web (ASW) enables research stations around the pan-Arctic to connect their sensors, including those that provide near real-time data, to a cloud service for visualization, information sharing, and collaborative analysis.
  • Arctic Scholar (AS) enables researchers, educators, interested private sector entities, government agencies, and the general public to access and share Arctic data and information contained in assorted formats including publications, grey literature, research licenses, photo archives, field notes, and project metadata from arctic field stations.
  • Arctic BioMap (ABM) enables members of the scientific community and northern residents to contribute observations on arctic wildlife for the purpose of biodiversity & wildlife health monitoring, assessment, research, management and education. For information, contact the Arctic Institute:

This state-of-the-art approach to data display, management, and sharing will link efforts among northern communities, researchers, the private sector, and government agencies to advance the science and education needed for decision making in the rapidly changing Arctic.

The Arctic Institute of North America Collection

The Arctic Institute of North America is home to a large and unique collection that includes:

  • Books, publications, maps, and audio files: Primarily held at and under the stewardship of the University of Calgary Libraries, the AINA collection contained 60,000 items when it moved to the University of Calgary from the Institute’s original home at McGill in 1976 and it continues to grow. A number of the collection items, including a letter from Lady Franklin, are rare or unique, and housed in the university’s special collections.
  • Oil, gas, and engineering reports: The Institute holds one of the largest collections available of petroleum industry documents from the Arctic. A large proportion of this collection is currently in storage and unavailable until funding allows for it to be catalogued.  
  • Art and artefacts:  The Institute holds an extensive art and artefact collection that ranges from paintings and sculptures to furs and indigenous clothing.   

Many of these items are rare, uncatalogued, and provide invaluable information about the Canadian and circumpolar Arctic.  The Arctic Institute currently seeking funding to make these items more accessible by developing a complete catalogue of all materials and getting the rarest items digitized for preservation and public use.