Last week Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the tiny town of Cambridge Bay along the Northwest Passage will be home to Canada’s new High Arctic Research Station. Prime Minister Harper said it will be, “a world-class station that can be the hub for research in the high Arctic,” and will draw the best scientists from across Canada and the rest of the world.
Cambridge Bay is situated on the southeast coast of Victoria Island, where Atlantic and Pacific waters meet. Its location puts scientists close to the Beaufort Sea and Bathurst Inlet.
The station will operate year-round and will afford scientists from around the world the opportunity and resources to study Arctic issues, including climate change and natural resources. In addition, conference facilities and laboratories for research on marine biology and geophysics will be built into the station.
“It’s a very exciting and long-awaited announcement,” says Warwick Vincent in an article in Nature News, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in Quebec City, who was part of the committee consulted by the government during the selection process.
The government will invest Can$18 million over five years in the pre-construction design phase of the station, which will include studies of green building options and of how the station will coexist with the community. Reports estimate the station will be completed around 2017 at a cost of about Can$200 million.