In light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ArcticNet continues to work for and support its researchers, stakeholders, and end-users. We will update this page regularly with information for our researchers and HQP, communities and partners. Please contact us with any questions or concerns about COVID-19 and its impacts on your work.
Overview on COVID-19 effects on ArcticNet research and fieldwork
Organized by Samantha Burke, Arctic Change 2020
COVID-19 took the world by force in early 2020, just as plans for Arctic field activities were solidifying. It quickly became clear that research in the North would not be business as usual in 2020. With territorial and provincial travel restrictions, university moratoriums on fieldwork, and physical distancing requirements, the prospect of conventional data collection quickly diminished. Although disappointing for many, limitations and prohibitions on field research were necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to remote northern communities. COVID-19 has posed major obstacles to the continuity of long-term programs, time-sensitive data collection, funding deliverables, and maintaining relationships. However, Arctic research is unpredictable by nature, and despite the unforeseen constraints imposed by a global pandemic, many northern research groups were able to adapt and thrive. To get a better understanding of the pervasive effects of COVID-19 on northern research, we reached out to stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to participate in a video interview compilation. Here, you will hear from students, professors, government scientists, northern residents as well as Indigenous research partners about the challenges, successes, and lessons that can be learned from this unprecedented event.
Recherche nordique en temps de pandémie: défis et opportunités [in French]
Organized by Sentinel North and ArcticNet, in collaboration with Institut Nordique du Québec, Québec Océan, Centre for Northern Studies, Amundsen Science, Centre interuniversitaire d’études, Kativik Regional Government, and Makivik Corporation
Organized as part of the Institut Nordique du Québec’s Journées nordiques, this panel brings together researchers and northern representatives from all disciplines to discuss the challenges and opportunities triggered by the unprecedented health crisis caused by COVID-19. The objective was to learn collectively from this crisis in order to better adapt research in the North for years to come. This activity was made possible thanks to the close collaboration of several northern research entities from the academic sector and regional organizations.
The health and safety of communities is our top priorities. As we become aware of changes, we will continue to post updates about the four land claims regions of Inuit Nunangat, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon here.
Access to regions for research has been severely impacted in many areas, please check with the respective region you wish to visit before proceeding with fieldwork plans.
Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)
The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) has formally requested that only those required for essential services travel into the ISR. The IRC COVID-19 Resource Page will be updated throughout the pandemic.
As noted in the Department of Health Services Travel and Isolation Guidelines, travellers who wish to enter Nunavut must complete the Isolation Reservation Request Form and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Nunavut Research Institute has released more detailed guidelines for research activities in Nunavut during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As noted by the Government of the Northwest Territories, travel is not currently allowed to the Northwest Territories except for in compassionate, family reunification, or other exceptional circumstances. Visitors are not permitted to enter at this time. Aurora Research Institute is providing regularly updated information for researchers.
Beginning June 14, certain measures for people with full immunity will be lifted.
Travellers from outside the region, with full immunity (those who received two doses or a single dose for those who have had COVID-19) will have their quarantine time reduced to at least 7 Days. The measures do not change for people who do not have full immunity, it remains at 14 Days.
After June 14, if the fully immune have completed 7 Days of quarantine AND received a negative result from their test taken after 7 Days of quarantine, they are free to resume their regular ways. The test on Day 7 of arrival in the North remains a requirement.
Travellers who have not received the vaccine or who have received only a single dose will have to complete 14 Days of quarantine, even if their result is negative.
Obtaining a travel authorization before taking the plane is still mandatory for everyone. As per guidelines from the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services (NRBHSS), travellers who wish to enter Nunavik must complete an admissibility questionnaire, self-isolate for 14 days, and obtain a negative COVID-19 test before departure to be granted access to the territory. Guidelines for mineral exploration and field studies in Nunavik are available here.
The Nunatsiavut Government will no longer be asking individuals from within the province to refrain from travelling to, from or between any of the five Labrador Inuit communities. Those travelling from outside Newfoundland and Labrador must self-isolate for 14 days, as per provincial public-health travel restrictions, before entering the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area.
The Nunatsiavut Government Research Advisory Committee (NGRAC) is available to support researchers who wish to travel to Nunatsiavut and offer guidance. They are contactable at email@example.com with any questions.
The Government of Yukon recommends not undertaking non-essential travel at this time. Every person entering Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days in Whitehorse and complete a declaration upon entry to the territory.
Current Research Projects:
The ever-evolving nature of the pandemic will impact most, if not all funded projects. As noted above, health and safety is our top priorities. Researchers should not attempt any northern travel or fieldwork until the regional governments have announced that it is safe to do so. This protects you, your students, and the communities in which you work.
The suspension of fieldwork will, in many cases, affect your planned project timelines, deliverables and budgets. To adjust your project timeline and budget, please contact Claude Lévesque. All adjustment requests will be evaluated by our governance committees on a case-by-case basis in light of these exceptional global circumstances.
If your project employs HQP, we strongly encourage you to consider other research support work they can provide to continue their employment during the suspended field season.
Arctic Change 2020
In December 2020, Arctic Change made history by going virtual for the first time ever. ArcticNet’s international Arctic science conference takes place every 3 years, bringing together researchers and partners from around the world. This year we pulled out all the stops to reach an audience of over 1600 registrants. The ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence and our partners thank the global Arctic community for joining us from around the world. We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting 2021!
The conference is available on-demand on the Arctic Change 2020 website.
The ArcticNet administration team has been working remotely since March 13, 2020, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Please reach out to us via email with any questions, concerns, or suggestions on ways to support the Network through this exceptional global crisis. See Administration for our contact information.
Other Assistance and Information:
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