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    CAT-TRAIN: Canadian Arctic Tidal Transect Research and Infrastructure Network (2018-2020)

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The Arctic Research Foundation (ARF) recently developed self-sustaining portable research laboratories, called Mobile Marine-Archeology-Geology Network (M-MAG-N) labs. These labs were designed to run specifically on green energy, which includes wind and solar panel power. The approvals for the project obtained in 2017 were not in place in time to allow us to deploy the mobile laboratories in the spring of 2017. Since that time we have further developed our plans for the mobile labs. As such we have three modifications to make to our previous application:1)As the labs were not deployed in 2017 we are requesting to shift our timeline from Spring 2017- Spring 2019 to Spring 2018- Spring 20202)To improve the utility of the lab intended to support fisheries research we are requesting to change the site from Halokvik ~60km west to Lauchlan River, another commercial fishery site commonly accessed by community members from Cambridge Bay. 3)To support ongoing research in the Bathurst Inlet area we request to add a third lab near the town site at Umingmaktok.Our goal for this project is to deploy and maintain this key research infrastructure in areas where it will be useful to research projects in the Kitikmeot Region. As such we are applying to relocate three M-Mag-N labs over sea ice (March-April 2018) and set them up at three strategic locations, the Finlayson Islands and Lauchlan River in Dease Strait, and near the town site at Umingmaktok, where they will be left for two years. The research labs will be moved on skids as part of a train that will also include an accommodation trailer and cooking trailer. A tracked vehicle will lead the train to clear a path and a second will pull the train. Up to five snowmobiles will escort the train to provide transportation to crew and to allow crew members to travel ahead to pre-scout the route. The preferred route for the deployment of the labs will be from Cambridge Bay where the labs are currently located to the Finlayson Islands, on to Lauchlan River site, and then south to Umingmaktok, following direct routes when permitted by ice conditions and weather. If weather or ice conditions do not permit direct access the train will follow a less direct route along the coast, or be split into two trips with the Finlayson Island and Lauchlan River Labs being deployed on one trip and the Umingmaktok on another. After setting up the labs, the tracked vehicles, accommodation trailer and cooking trailer along with all remaining fuel and waste will follow the same route back to Cambridge Bay or return using a more direct route from Umingmaktok over sea ice immediately south of Kent peninsula and crossing the peninsula at the narrow point near Minto Islands. Lab Use: Once the labs are deployed we have two main research objectives and anticipate that other research programs will utilize the facilities. Our current plans for the labs in 2018-2020 are to:1)Take measurements of sea ice growth and decay processes and monitor air-sea CO2 exchange.2)Study Arctic char physiology and migration in relation to their rapidly changing environments. Note that after consultations with NIRB in Spring, 2017, we have agreed that each research program will independently secure it’s own approval for activities utilizing the labs and as such the current amendment/application only pertains to the deployment and removal of the three mobile laboratories.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Application screening started 2018-02-06
  • Date NIRB Decision Due set 2018-02-06
  • Commenting period 2018-02-19
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2018-02-20
  • Board voting 2018-03-02
  • SDR Issued 2018-03-06
  • NOI Issued 2018-03-06
  • Application screening completed 2018-03-06
  • Received Project Licences, Permits and Authorizations from AA 2018-03-09
  • Kitikmeot
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