It may be one of the North’s lesser-known research camps, but the Trail Valley Creek Research Station north of Inuvik, N.W.T., has been active for more than three decades now — collecting valuable data on climate change, wildfires, and the northern environment.
The camp is about 50 kilometres north of Inuvik, nestled in the bush. It was established in 1991 as a place for researchers to gather information in the field.
Station founder Philip Marsh, a professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., says he didn’t expect the station to stay open past its original three-year contract.
“At the time, I didn’t think of it as being long-term like it turned out to be,” said Marsh. “But now we definitely have long term plans for the site.”
Through the years, thousands of people collecting data on northern climate change have used the station as a base on the tundra.
Kathryn Bennett is a student from the University of Montreal studying permafrost thaw and beaver populations in the area.
“It’s a really special opportunity to be able to work in these places and learn more about them, how it’s impacting the local community here and the rest of the world. I think about the things that go up into the atmosphere and are important for our whole planet,” she said.
More than 50 researchers from all across the world use the camp during the year.
Marsh says different funding sources from various research projects have kept the station in operation.
The area has traditional significance as well. Marsh says it was previously used for reindeer herding before the animals were moved to a different location.
All the data collected at the station is shared with the Aurora Research Institute and other local organizations.
A story written by Dez Loreen
Related stories from around the North:
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Arctic: Latest projections show “enormous challenge” ahead in meeting climate targets says WMO, Eye on the Arctic
Canada: Indigenous leaders in northwestern Canada declare climate emergency, CBC News
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Greenland: COVID-19 delay, early ice melt challenge international Arctic science mission, The Associated Press
Iceland: Ice-free Arctic summers likely by 2050, even with climate action: study, Radio Canada International
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