Hello! Drin Gwiinzii! Uvlumi! Salut!
My name is Erika Hille. I am a PhD student at Queens University and the Special Projects’ Coordinator for the Western Arctic Research Center (WARC; one of the regional research centers of Aurora College) located in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada. I have been with WARC for 9 years. My research looks at how permafrost thaw impacts the hydrology and geochemistry of Arctic freshwater systems. The goal of my PhD is to improve our understanding of what drives the water quality of freshwater systems in permafrost landscapes and how these drivers vary across the Canadian Arctic. I am currently leading a stream water quality monitoring program along the Dempster and Inuvik-to-Tuktoyaktuk Highway corridor. I also have additional sites in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, one near Iqaluit, Nunavut and one near Resolute, Nunavut. This research will contribute to my PhD Thesis project. My research at WARC looks at the effects of wild fire on the aquatic health of tundra upland lakes near Inuvik. I am also studying the effects of landscape runoff from retrogressive thaw slumping on the aquatic health of Kugmallit Bay, located near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada.
WARC, in operation since 1964, is located at the boundary between the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and Gwich’in Settlement Region, just south of the tree line on the eastern edge of the Mackenzie Delta. WARC, located in the town of Inuvik, sits within the continuous permafrost zone on the boundary between the boreal forest and arctic tundra biome. The permafrost conditions in the western Arctic region are highly variable, largely depending on the glacial history of the terrain. This makes WARC an excellent platform from which to study permafrost change.
WARC has a strong history of supporting research and monitoring work in the western Canadian Arctic. To date, more than 3,000 research projects involving more than 1,500 researchers have been conducted using the Inuvik facility. The Research Centre operate year-round and can provide researchers with office space, access to a research library, high-speed and wireless internet, laboratory space and equipment, accommodations, and highly skilled research technician support. In addition, the facility is equipped with storage and freezer facilities and can provide field equipment to researchers. Research and monitoring services can also be provided on a contractual basis, and hiring of local research assistants can be facilitated. Our technicians regularly travel to field sites to take samples, and to monitoring sites to download data, maintain equipment, and perform site inspections.