Foundation creates scientific infrastructure
The Arctic Research Foundation is a Canadian non-profit organization creating new scientific infrastructure in the Canadian Arctic.
It works with governments, universities and research institutions to provide access to its Arctic program initiatives and is working to build relationships with Arctic Indigenous people to advance understanding of the region through traditional knowledge.
ARF has collected a huge volume of “big data” from cutting-edge research vessels and mobile labs including hydrographic and bathymetric assessments, soil and salinity samples, changing ice conditions, animal stock assessments and data collected through their Naurvik plant production pod. The latter is a solar and wind-powered greenhouse located in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, that provides fresh vegetables to the community.
“We knew we needed a single repository for the data. And we also need a place for the data being produced by the universities and other researchers in Canada,” Henheffer said, adding the Arctic Research Database timeline is at least 20 years.
“During the course of this, we will continue to ask the communities what they need. The Indigenous self-governments will be able to use the data in managing how they interact with the land,” he said, adding there is potential down the line to include data from other arctic researchers around the world, including the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden. “No one has attempted a project of this scope before.”