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Conference brings together doctors from Inuit regions

March 26th, 2015 by cgarrett

More than 80 doctors and other health officials from Nunavut, Nunavik and beyond met Iqaluit for the Challenges in Infectious Diseases conference the weekend of March 21st. Organizers hope to develop closer ties between the two regions.  Dr. Gabriel Fortin, president of the organizing committee, says resources are limited so collaboration is essential.   Workshops and discussions focused on illnesses such as tuberculosis, sexual transmitted infections and respiratory infections.

Report Warns More Arctic Shipping Will Increase Warming, Affect Health

February 10th, 2015 by cgarrett

A new report on air pollution from ships in the high Arctic warns of huge increases in air pollution from shipping. Although the report by the the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) is called “Air pollution from marine vessels in the U.S. High Arctic in 2025,” its findings are of concern to the entire Arctic region. The report estimates that because of Arctic ice melt, shipping could increase in the next 10 years anywhere from 150 percent to 600 percent. Alaska Dispatch News

Nunavik to Launch Second Edition of Major Health Survey

February 6th, 2015 by cgarrett

The second Qanuippitaa Inuit health survey is underway in Nunavik. Researchers and representatives from the region’s health and social services met in Kuujjuaq Jan. 27 and Jan. 28 to kick start the 2016 edition of the survey, which will provide updated baseline information on the health of Nunavimmiut. The survey is a follow up to the 2004 Qanuippitaa (How are we?) health survey, the most extensive health survey ever done in Nunavik. Nunatsiaq Online

Rural Alaska Climate Change & Health Impact Assessment Reports

January 22nd, 2015 by cgarrett

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, (ANTHC), recently published reports of assessments done in various rural Alaska villages.  These reports describe climate impacts, relying upon the observations, data and traditional ecological knowledge provided by local partners. Where available scientific data on environment, health and climate is included. The purpose is to describe changes that are occurring so as to help in the development of adaptive strategies that encourage community health and resilience.  Communities include:  Atqasuk, Nuiqsut, Wainwright, Levelock, Nondalton, Pilot Point, Selawick, Kiana, Noatak, Kivalina and Point Hope. To see the reports go to:


Iqaluit Org to Monitor Impact of Land-Based Programs on Mental Health

December 29th, 2014 by cgarrett

Land-based camp programs in Nunavut got a major boost last month with a multi-million dollar grant to look at how much the program improves mental health among Inuit boys and men. The Movember Foundation’s Canadian Mental Health Initiative awarded $3 million in November to deliver and evaluate land-based programs from Yukon to Labrador. Nunatsiaq Online

A group of Cambridge Bay youth took part in a Makimautiksat land-based camp in the summer of 2011. New funding will help researchers look specifically at how those types of programs impact on the mental health of Inuit men and boys. (QHRC PHOTO)

A group of Cambridge Bay youth took part in a Makimautiksat land-based camp in the summer of 2011. New funding will help researchers look specifically at how those types of programs impact on the mental health of Inuit men and boys. (QHRC PHOTO)

Wilkes University Scientists Head North of the Arctic Circle to Study How Climate Change Affects Plants

December 29th, 2014 by cgarrett

A Wilkes University scientist and several students will travel a long way this summer to find out if a changing climate is having an impact on plants. Thanks to a $1 million grant, a team from Wilkes will head 170 miles north of the Arctic Circle to spend June and July at the Toolik Lake Field Station. The $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation was awarded to a research team consisting of scientists from Wilkes, University of Texas at El Paso and the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biology Laboratory at Massachusetts. Wilkes’ share of the three-year grant is $285,737. Ned Fetcher, scientist and coordinator of the Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability at Wilkes University, is the principal investigator on a research team. The Times Leader

Finland Northern Berry May Find Use in Cancer Therapy

August 7th, 2014 by cgarrett

Research by a team at the University of Helsinki shows that an extract from wild cloudberries is effective in preventing the development of cancer cells in mice. It is possible that the cloudberries found growing wild in northern and eastern parts of Finland could be of use in the treatment of colon cancer. Research carried out on mice by a team at the University of Helsinki has found evidence that cloudberries can effectively prevent the formation of cancerous tumors and the growth of existing tumors. Alaska Dispatch News

Scientists Studying Tiny Cloud-Forming Particles in Nunavut Air

July 9th, 2014 by cgarrett

In order to see your breath in winter, there have to be tiny particles floating in the air so the moisture in your breath will have something to cling to and form molecules visible to the human eye. Those tiny airborne particles, known as aerosols, come from naturally existing things such as plant pollen, dust and sea spray, and also from human made pollution such as black carbon. Scientists are not just looking for air pollution that can create health problems, however.  They are also seeking to determine how the particles affect cloud formation and may lead to climate changes.  Nunatsiaq Online

Botanists Head to Nunavut to Help Fill Out Gaps in Knowledge of Arctic Plants

June 24th, 2014 by cgarrett

 A team of botanists is headed next week to a remote area in the Canadian territory of Nunavut to try to fill gaps in the knowledge about plant life in the far north. The month-long expedition to western Nunavut’s Coppermine River is part of a multiyear project to catalog the plants growing in the North American Arctic, from Alaska’s North Slope to the eastern stretches of Arctic Canada. Anchorage Daily News

Imaging the Future of Arctic Plant Life

June 5th, 2014 by cgarrett

 If you know where to look in the Arctic, you’ll find strange hexagons dotting the tundra beneath the enduring summer sun. Strange, scattered honeycomb chambers. The open-top hexagonal units shelter 1 or 2 square meters’ worth of tundra plants, passively raising the temperature within their fiberglass walls by 1-3° Celcius. Every spring at diverse circumpolar sites, researchers deploy the six sided open-top chambers (OTCs) which act like small greenhouses. Their efforts are part of the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), which catalogs data gathered by scientists from across the world in an effort to forecast how the Arctic tundra ecosystem will respond to global warming. Every country that lies within the Arctic Circle has participated in ITEX. Frontier Scientiitexsts