Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy

About the Canada Research Chair

The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the global average and the risks and opportunities that the current and expected impacts of climate change will play a major role in redefining and shaping Canada for the next century.

Investment in the Arctic globally is expected to be over $225bn over the next decade as climate change improves international shipping routes and marine-based accessibility to natural resources and tourism opportunities. This is a situation that will test Canada’s safety and security, it could change maritime trade routes and related international geopolitics, and it will challenge northern communities.

It is vital that research be used to support policy for and management of this new Arctic frontier in ways that ensure the establishment of a sustainable and prosperous Arctic Canada while also safeguarding northern ecosystems and respecting the rights and traditions of Indigenous northerners.

The Chair

The Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy is Jackie Dawson, Core Member of the ISSP, Canada Research Chair in Environment, Society and Policy, Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and ArcticNet’s scientific co-director at the University of Ottawa. She and her research team are focusing on three key issues: Arctic shipping and oceans governance, Arctic economic development, and coastal communities and climate change.

The development of a geospatial ship tracking database in 1990 provided a way to understand the rapid change in shipping traffic in relation to climate and sea ice change. Looking at the trends by vessel type has given researchers insights into what ships are in the Canadian Arctic, what the risks are, and what management and policy options may be needed to ensure sustainable and self-determined development in Inuit Nunangat (Arctic Canada).

Understanding the implications of a rapidly changing Canadian Arctic means working in partnership with northern stakeholders, including communities, industry and government. Interdisciplinary research by Dawson and her team will generate knowledge that can position Canada as a leader in Arctic oceans governance in a changing climate.

Canada Research Chair News

April 2020

March 2020

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