Trent University, Environmental Science
Zana Everett is an MSc student studying how external factors influence snowshoe hares’ foraging behaviour across an entire population cycle. To do so, she will analyze accelerometer data collected from collared snowshoe hares over the past nine years and examine different measurements of foraging. She hopes to examine and better understand how environmental and predator effects influence snowshoe hares’ behaviour.
Trent University, Environmental Science
Francis Quinby is a PhD student studying the vegetation in the Kluane Region to understand the food availability for snowshoe hares throughout the year. To do this, he has flown a drone to collect LiDar covering large study sites across the valley and taken vegetation samples from the study sites to quantify what browse (hare food) is available. Snowshoe hare densities are measured with fecal pellet plot counts and related to available browse.
Institut national de la recherche scientifique – Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre (INRS – ETE)
Fiona Chapman is a PhD student working on a project to evaluate the geothermal potential around Burwash Landing by completing a heat injection test in the deep-water well. The heat injection test was a success in the summer of 2023, allowing her to complete the thermal property profile of sediments up to 380 meters within the borehole. This will give the Burwash Landing community the necessary background information to move forward and make an informed decision regarding how to integrate geothermal resources into their energy budget.
University of Maine, Glaciology
Inga Kindstedt is a PhD student and her project’s primary objective is to investigate the spatial variability of surface melt percolation and constrain the ice’s horizontal and vertical motion at the Eclipse Icefield. Project results will help inform the recovery of a surface-to-bedrock ice core from Eclipse and develop a climate record from the core. Additionally, constraining ice deformation will help develop a numerical ice flow model that will constrain the age of ice layers near the bed. Quantifying the amount and spatial variability of melt percolation will provide confidence in the interpretation of ice core chemistry at the site.
École de technologie supérieure
Principal Investigator Michel Baraër and his team of graduate students studies glacial-hydrological processes in deglaciating systems (glaciers, ground ice, permafrost) and investigates flow connections between deglaciating alpine valleys and deep groundwater recharge. Their objective is to understand
better the implications of deglaciating mountain ranges on deep groundwater aquifers, focusing on proglacial systems made of degrading permafrost and ground ice. Groundwater supply from deglaciating valleys is important to study in the context of local water resources for communities in the face of climate change and glacial retreat.
University of Calgary, Department of Geoscience
Jeremy is a post-doctoral scholar, studying seismology across southern Yukon. His primary objective is to improve researchers’ understanding of the structure and dynamics of large transform faults that cut through the Yukon and relate them to regional tectonics, seismic activity, and conditions for geothermal resource development. Specifically, our understanding of local geological conditions and how they impact natural hazards like earthquakes. Jeremy deployed geophones and seismometers, earthquake-recording equipment for a passive seismological methods approach. The results of this work will help inform northern development, specifically energy research and site-specific seismic hazards.
University of Ottawa
Dr. Luke Copland’s research focuses on measuring the dynamics, surges, and long term changes of glaciers in Kluane National Park. The research is conducted at Fisher, Lowell, Dusty, Kaskawulsh, Little Kluane, and Donjek glaciers and the Discovery and Eclipse Icefields in the St Elias Mountains. GPS stations on Donjek, Kaskawulsh, and Lowell glaciers monitor ice flow, glacier dynamics, and mass balance to understand how they are changing with the changing climate. Weather (temperature, humidity) and glacier mass balance are monitored in the icefield. Although glaciers have always been changing, their melt rates have been accelerating. The research aims to learn more about what the dominant behaviour of the glaciers will be and how long until these behaviours take effect. The research addresses the vulnerability of glacier connected resources and impact on communities that depend on them.
Sea-to-Sky is a field school run by the University of Maine. This program aims to introduce students to interconnected topics within the Earth Sciences. This field school used ground-penetrating radar to investigate ice and land sub-surfaces, measured the temperature of Kluane Lake with a temperature probe, and sampled the snow surface at Icefield Divide for density, isotopes, and trace elements. To complement their data collection, students used photography, watercolours, and writing to document their experiences and explore methods of scientific communication. This program hopes to develop opportunities for local students to participate in their curriculum to engage students from different backgrounds to learn about Earth Systems together and from one another.
This year, Sea-to-Sky was led by science communication and art instructor Claire Giordano. Claire also created daily paintings of the landscapes studied by the team.
The Howl Experience was founded in 2021, and offers experiential programs to youth ages 18 to 30 from across Canada. The organization offers several programs, one being a ten-day-long experience in the Yukon, which includes a six-day visit to the Kluane Lake Research Station. Howl visited the KLRS three separate times this summer. Participants learned about the nature and landscape in the region from local educators and knowledge keepers, and volunteered their time to help with tasks around the KLRS.
The program aims to introduce high-school youth to science activities in the Yukon. While at KLRS, this group helped collect baseline data on the region's ecology. Being the first fieldwork experience for most participants, they followed protocols to obtain information about berries, mushrooms, snowshoe hare presence, and spruce cone abundance. This knowledge will help researchers understand the long-term ecological trends in the Yukon, which is open to the public through the Yukon Government website.
Y2C2 is a conservation program for youth in Yukon Territory. This Yukon Government program provides hands-on experience and opportunities to work with researchers. Y2C2 visited KLRS last summer (2022) and updated one of the cabins at KLRS, spoke with researchers, and helped with water sampling for a hydrology project. This summer (2023), they helped the Community Ecological Monitoring Program (CEMP) alongside Yukon University. For CEMP, they travelled to several different study sites to count hare pellets, mushrooms, berries, and spruce cones.
Warren Lake brought a group of grade eleven and grade twelve students from Robert Thirsk High School in Calgary to KLRS for an outdoor education field trip. While at the KLRS, the students spent time hiking, partaking in activities with researchers and local knowledge keepers, and learning about research in the area to complement their school curriculum.
This program gives undergraduate students in the Earth Science Department at Vancouver Island University a better understanding of the Geology of the Yukon and how it compares and contrasts to that of Vancouver Island. Students participated in a 10-day field school touring the geology of various regions of the Yukon, with field traversing of rock outcropping and mapping geological data on aerial photographs.
This drone training program at KRLS was facilitated through Ɂehdzo Got'ı̨nę Gots'ę́ Nákedı – the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board (SRRB) based in Tulı́t'a, NWT. Their objective was to provide advanced drone training to Sahtú and Ross River youths. In collaboration with Eco Canada and with funding support from the Canadian Mountain Network, an on-site instructor delivered classroom instruction, administered examinations, and provided hands-on guidance to students in the art of drone flying. All nine guardians successfully obtained their certification in the drone training course, giving employment opportunities to youth from Indigenous communities to support researchers in utilizing non-invasive methods for land and wildlife monitoring.