2014 RCGS Studentship in Northern Geography
Jonathan Luedee, University of British Columbia
An environmental history of the Porcupine Caribou's transboundary migration since 1900
The interaction between human communities and migratory barren-ground caribou is central to the western Arctic’s environmental history. Like the dynamic ecosystems that support the herds that migrate through the regions, the environmental history of the western Arctic is characterized by dramatic shifts, transformations, and change. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, climate change and industrial development have increasingly altered environmental relations in the region. In 1900, Arctic caribou populations were unregulated by centralized management regimes. However, as Canada and the US began to focus on northern resource exploitation, local conceptions of wildlife came into conflict with the economic goals of the state. By the end of the century, migratory barren-ground caribou herds were the object of bureaucratic management, scientific research, and technocratic planning. Jonathan’s research traces the temporal and spatial implications of this development by focusing on the history of the Porcupine Caribou Herd.