Learn about our research projects and initiatives

Research Projects and Initiatives

AINA leads and collaborates on a wide range of Arctic focused projects and initiatives in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

King Eiders in the Arctic

Arctic Genomics

Wildlife genome information is extremely valuable for environmental decision making, yet much remains unused for this purpose. This project draws together partners with expertise across disciplines, cultures and organizations to co-develop a suite of genomics knowledge-mobilization tools that will support environmental decision making. 

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Sea ice floating off the coast of Ellesmere Island

Arctic Observing Summit

The Arctic Observing Summit (AOS) is a biennial summit that aims to provide community-driven, science-based guidance for the design, implementation, coordination and sustained long-term (decades) operation of an international network of Arctic observing systems.

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ArcticConnect web map


ArcticConnect is 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. 

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CCGS Amundsen

ArcticNet Marine Systems Project

Many of Canada’s Arctic research stations and research tools were not built with Inuit communities in mind. This ArcticNet funded Marine Systems project, A Co-operative Observation Network to Address Community Research Priorities While Studying Marine Biogeochemistry, is about finding ways to make research projects work for Inuit, as well as scientists. 

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Photograph of a polar bear swimming in the Arctic

Canadian Biogenome Project

This project will provide the first genomic assessment of biodiversity of Canadian species while being entrenched within the Earth Biogenome project, an international initiative to collate and understand eukaryotic diversity globally.

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Data on a computer screen

Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability

The Canadian Consortium for Arctic Data Interoperability (CCADI) is an initiative to develop an integrated Canadian arctic data management system that will facilitate information discovery, establish sharing standards, enable interoperability among existing data infrastructures, and that will be co-designed with, and accessible to, a broad user base.

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Kluane National Park mountain view

Canadian Mountain Network

With the support of the Canadian Mountain Network (Réseau Canadien des Montagnes) and Yukon Government, AINA is conducting research intended to inform the development of a new strategy for mountain environment observation and monitoring. This work will involve and serve all levels of government, scientific interests, stakeholders, rights-holders, communities, business, and the interested public.

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Weather station at the Kluane Lake Research Station

Canadian Polar Data Workshop

The Canadian Polar Data Workshop is a biennial forum for supporting and advancing polar data initiatives in Canada. Structured to reach specific outcomes, these workshops have helped to develop Canada’s national polar data strategies and to further national objectives in the areas of data discovery, federated search, data interoperability, knowledge transfer, and Indigenous data sovereignty.

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Sea ice off Finland


Climate relevant interactions and feedbacks: the key role of sea ice in the polar and global climate system (CRiceS) is a Horizon 2020, NFRF consortium that brings together a world-leading European and international team employing interdisciplinary research approaches with experience in Arctic, Antarctic, and Earth system science.

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Aerial photograph of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill


GENICE: Microbial Genomics for Oil Spill Preparedness in Canada’s Arctic Marine Environment addresses Canada’s pressing need to develop preparedness and response strategies for fuel spills in arctic waters. GENICE scientists will study the DNA and other biomolecules of naturally occurring microorganisms present in Arctic environments (microbial genomics).

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Aerial view of the Kluane Lake Research Station

Kluane Lake Research Station

AINA is home to the Kluane Lake Research Station (KLRS) which is located 220 km northwest of Whitehorse, Yukon, on the south shore of Kluane Lake, on the traditional lands of the Kluane, Champagne and Aishihik, and White River First Nations. KLRS provides support to researchers from across the globe, and also leads its own research initiatives.

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Aerial view of ice breakup


As Canada’s Arctic is changing, different people see different risks and opportunities. This MEOPAR funded project, Observing and responding to pressures on Arctic marine ecosystem services, aims to reconcile those viewpoints, by bringing together diverse partners and an academic team with expertise in oceanography, meteorology, anthropology, microbiology, and legal studies, who can work collaboratively to develop observation and response strategies for the changing Arctic.

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Mackenzie River flowing into the Beaufort Sea


T-MOSAiC (Terrestrial Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories ​for the Study of Arctic Connections) is a pan-Arctic land-based program using distributed observatories to study Arctic connections in terrestrial regions surrounding the Arctic Ocean. It is an IASC initiative that extends the activities of MOSAiC (The Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate).

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Past Projects and Initiatives

Below are research projects that have recently concluded.

Aurora Borealis painting by Frederic Edwin Church (1865)

Northern Seas

The Northern Seas: An Interdisciplinary Study of Human/Marine and Climate System Interactions in Arctic North America over the Last Millenium project assembles past climatic and ecological information from historic documents to produce a high resolution understanding of the Arctic System over more than 400 years.

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Wrecked piece of hull buried in sand

Nova Zembla Shipwreck

In partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) and One Ocean Expeditions, AINA researchers Drs Matthew Ayre and Mike Moloney co-led a search for the 1902 wreck of Dundee whaler ‘Nova Zembla’ in Baffin Bay. 'Search for the Nova Zembla' was an official RCGS flag expedition in 2018, which successfully identified the wreck site—the first whaling wreck to be discovered in the Canadian High Arctic. 

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Polar Voices logo

Polar Voices

Polar Voices is an educational podcast that explores climate change in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The program uses current research to explain observations made by people living and working near the poles, focusing particularly on Arctic Indigenous peoples.

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Sketch of Fort Conger from 1883 (Source: NOAA)

Science and Survival at Fort Conger

Built in 1881, Fort Conger (Quttinirpaaq National Park, Nunavut) played a key role in international exploration during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This project explores not only the history of the abandoned outpost but also the expertise of the Inuit, whose knowledge proved essential to many expeditions. Through more than 400 images, videos and virtual worlds, plus a gallery of 3-D images, Science and Survival at Fort Conger brings a part of High Arctic history to life.

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Painting by J. Dewey Soper, titled "A Huge Iceberg Lying at the Entrance of Cumberland Sound, 1923"

Soper’s World

AINA houses the largest collection of watercolour paintings by Arctic artist and explorer J. Dewey Soper (1893–1982), a naturalist for the National Museum of Canada. Soper’s World: A Journey into the Canadian Arctic through Art, is a virtual exhibit tracking Soper’s travels and showcasing portions of this collection.

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Fieldwork on Ellesmere Island


Support for students and early investigators carrying out Arctic research.

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