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2017 RCGS Independent Research Grant Recipient

Rebecca Segal
Combining remote sensing and community sea ice information to inform safe travel in Nunavut's Kitikmeot region

Rebecca Segal near Kugluktuk, Nunavut, November 2017. (Photo: Maia Hoeberechts)

Currently, shipping and other industries use Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images to map Arctic sea ice properties like ice age and extent, and governmental agencies use SAR to produce operational ice charts. To date, few studies have analyzed SAR datasets to meet the navigational needs of Arctic coastal communities. As climate change is modifying the landscape of the North, SAR imagery could support safe travel between Arctic communities and to traditional hunting sites.

This study will use C-band Sentinel-1 (European Space Agency) and RADARSAT 1/2 (Canadian Space Agency) SAR images to study sea ice conditions in the vicinities of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk, Nunavut. Since a project of this kind is new, the way that SAR can be used by residents will be determined through discussions, followed by analysis of the radar data. This ground-breaking study will also establish an effective method for sharing research and results between people at a community level and at an academic level. Ultimately, the project aims to use the SAR-based information to develop accessible maps and infographics for the empowerment of residents in northern communities.


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