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2014 ArcticNet Conference

December 12, 2014


A quick update from Canadian's

Due to the snow storm that passed through Toronto Ontario yesterday. Causing our flight to be one of the 29 cancelled yesterday. We were able to catch a direct flight today back to Winnipeg, with only minor delays from de-icing. We made it home safely arriving in Winnipeg  just after 4:00 pm.  

It was a great trip

Waiting for take off


December 11, 2014


Waking up today we knew that our 2014 ArcticNet experience was coming to an end. We packed our bags and headed down for a hot breakfast of bacon, sausages, yogurt and fruit.

Before we left the hotel, as a group we planned which topical sessions we wanted to see.  We took a moment at the conference to sit down and talk about what we have gained over the past three action packed days also we discussed what possibilities there are for having all of the ISAMR partners involved through out the year where it be collaborative efforts doing data analysis or having the Junior Rangers in Churchill scout new sites for transects. Also we took time to debrief about the topical sessions that we had seen and the relevance of them to our studies. We also did some more networking, exchanging business cards with other researchers. The first topical sessions began and I chose "Contaminants in a Changing Arctic ". The session talked mainly about how the Mercury levels in the arctic are changing. Everyone converged for our final lunch together our final discussion about what we have learned and how many connections we have made and ways to further the scope of our research. 

It was now time for us to split our separate ways we said our good byes saying "see you on Skype" us Canadian's heading to the airport to catch a flight to Toronto and then later to Winnipeg. 

So we thought....!

When we arrived at the airport to check ourselves in entering our reservation code into the self checkin machine we gain the knowledge that our flight out of Ottawa was cancelled! So over into the long line at guest services we went. When it is our turn in line Jill starts negotiating with the lovely Westjet employee to try to get on flight in the Winnipeg direction tonight. The only fight headed that direction not canceled or without a connection through Toronto was to Calgary which was full due to the influx other traveler's flights being canceled as well. The other option was to take a direct flight tomorrow which we chose gladly. 

At the end of the day I am truly proud to be apart of ISAMR and extremely thankful for the opportunities I have had and the people that I have connected with thought our travels 

Once again adventure never fails to find ISAMR





December 10th: Science (all day, everyday)


Today began with an unnecessarily early start, and a delicious breakfast in the lobby.  We left the hotel well-rested, well-fed, and ready to go for an incredibly full day of sciencey goodness.  

The day at the conference kicked off with the morning's plenary session, where we were welcomed by Dr. Martin Fortier, Executive Director of ArcticNet and chair of the conference's organizing committee.  After hearing about a couple of interesting projects in depth, we split off to go to the first of three of the days topical sessions.  We planned ahead, and scheduled all of the talks we wanted to see in advance so we didn't have to worry once we got there.  Jessie and I went to a session on "Monitoring Arctic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity," where we learned all about the many monitoring projects throughout the Canadian north.  Particularly interesting was Gilles Gauthier, whose nearly 25-year comprehensive study of the biodiversity of Bylot Island has encompassed a wide variety of variables and many collaborators.  

The first topical session was followed by a surprisingly tasty lunch filled with lots a great conversation, and some regrouping before the afternoon sessions.  We all saw tons more interesting talks and have a lot of great contacts to catch up with in the coming weeks.  There are a lot of things we'll want to try in coming years, and we look forward to seeing where these projects can go. 

Our day at the conference ended with the second poster session.  We were able to talk in depth about our studies with a wide range of interesting people, and, though we didn't pick up any more hats, we were able to get some pretty neat sporks from the Yukon Research Centre.  


We ended the day with a fun-filled dinner at a local diner and some Millionaire Matchmaker and are all ready to go for our third and final conference day tomorrow!


Decmber 9th: Day one!


Morning for Adam, Webs, and Alexis:

Today began far earlier than a day should start for us Baltimorons (or whatever you'd like to call us). We met at BWI at 5 and, though a bit sleepy, managed to go through the motions without a hitch. Upon landing in Philly, we ate breakfast at a highly technology based establishment. For each seat at the table there was an ipad which served as a menu, the way you ordered, and the way you paid- it even had a newspaper feature to use while you were eating. Pretty crazy stuff. From Philly we flew to Ottawa. Once in the Ottawa airport we zipped through customs, grabbed some maps from the information area, took some pictures of the airport (particularly the holiday setup that included a giant dreidel), and got on a bus that transported us to downtown Ottawa. After some map-reading snafus (oops), we got to the hotel and put our stuff down. Then we headed on over to the convention center. One thing we didn't quite realize was that you walked through a mall to get there, so it took some meandering around, but it is actually very easy once you know where it is and it's about a minute and a half walk from the hotel. We spent some time setting up our posters and looking around at those already set up. Then Webs went to go meet Jill, Bob, and Jessica at the hotel and Adam and I grabbed some Poutine for a late lunch in the mall before attending a presentation called "Cold War or Cold Peace?" that focused on how issues surrounding the Arctic can bring otherwise not so friendly countries together in cooperation. Afterwards we met up with the rest of the gang to make a plan.



Morning for Bob, Jessica, and Jill:

We got to the airport at about 8:30 am to meet and we headed on our way. Our flight was good, and we got into Ottawa on time. We hopped on a bus to the hotel, we may have gone a few stops to many and we didn't get a map so it was a little hard to navigate the streets of Ottawa but we managed and got to the hotel safe and sound. We found Julie having a cup of coffee waiting for us. We went up to the rooms to drop off our bags and to change. We then went to the convention centre and ate some lunch before heading to the sessions. 


From 3:30 on for all:

We started out by sitting around a table in the convention center trying to piece together the massive amount of options and how to maximize what we get out of the conference. The first way we went about that came into action at 4 when there were 3 different workshops being led so we split up so that there were 2 people at each one: Jill and I went to one led by 'Inuit Research Advisors' and their advice for research in Canada, Adam and Jessica went to one about a system used to share data between researchers called the 'Polar Data Catalogue,' and Webs and Bob went to one about the most effective ways to communicate science. After these workshops were our first poster session (5:15-7). We didn't get a ton of people today due to the fact that the actual conference doesn't start until tomorrow and so most people there today were people who were standing at posters and, therefore, couldn't really walk around and ask questions. However, the people we did talk to were great. Afterwards, we stopped at the hotel and went to dinner at an Irish place. On the way back we had quite the adventure. We were approached by a man wearing a Santa hat with a microphone and a camera guy. Adam and Bob both readily volunteered to be interviewed and proceeded to give thoughtful answers about Christmas. Once the interview has been completed it was requested of the group to perform a rousing rendition of We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It enhanced the situation that we were all wearing the same Arctic Science hats that we had gotten at the conference earlier, it was a magical moment. Tomorrow will be a whole new adventure, but that's all for now.



A nice little welcome to Ottawa