Nunavut Post

The Arctic research station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, reopens after pandemic shutdown

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • The shutdown gave researchers additional time to fine-tune the facility.
  • A red “polar iconic structure,” which stands in front of the two significant Canadian High Arctic Research Station facilities in Cambridge Bay, includes a maple leaf representing Canadian sovereignty in the North.

COVID-19 pandemic limitations kept the gates of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay essentially shut to the public and researchers for almost a year. Still, the station is throwing those doors open once more.

The recent break enabled researchers to reach out to the community of Cambridge Bay to help manage their data. It also let the team at the station fine-tune the new facility, said Martin Léger, the manager of the station’s laboratories.

Léger spent his time preparing health and safety protocols for the use of the laboratories.

“You can’t walk into a laboratory. You require protocols to make the moves safely and healthily for working people,” he said.

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COVID-19 pandemic limitations kept the gates of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay essentially shut to the public and researchers for almost a year

The research station had hardly been open for six months when the outbreak hit. It was a significant part of ex-prime minister Stephen Harper’s plan for the Arctic, which concentrated on understanding the effects of weather change.

The station’s massive facilities, which cost approximately $250 million, opened in August 2019. They shuttered along with other federal government buildings early in 2020.

This unexpected delay was a blessing in some ways, said Chris Arko, the lead of scientific data and computing at the station. That’s because he was able to spend the time getting prepared for an inflow of researchers wanting connectivity. 

At the same time, he set up a robust public Wi-Fi network at the station, which he called “unprecedented in the North” for its capacity.

Source – cbc.ca

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