Potential impacts of sea ice and ship traffic change to caribou sea ice crossing areas surrounding King William Island, Nunavut, Canada

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Creator: 

Paquette, Emmelie Sarah

Date: 

2020

Abstract: 

Caribou (Rangifer tarandus, tuktuit in Inuktitut) use sea ice to facilitate movements that fulfill their ecological needs. Ship traffic is growing in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, and ice-strengthened ships can disrupt sea ice by breaking it apart. This project explored priorities identified by community members in Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven, NU) concerning changes in sea ice and ship traffic in caribou crossing areas surrounding King William Island. Using Canadian Ice Service ice charts and Canadian Coast Guard ship traffic data, the timing of freeze-up, break-up and ship transit was assessed. Preliminary results were discussed in workshops in Uqsuqtuuq in September 2018, and Inuit knowledge guided methods and analyses in this thesis. Despite interannual variability in sea ice conditions, the timing of ship movement was independent of local conditions. In the future, shifting freeze-up and break-up timing may intensify interactions between sea ice and ship transit creating challenges for caribou movement.

Subject: 

Environmental Sciences
Ecology
Geography

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Science: 
M.Sc.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Geography

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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