Two separate camps were held. The 12 first-year students completed their Introductory Winter Field Camp. The camp includes practical components that teach survival skills such as building emergency shelters, dealing with emergency scenarios, selecting and packing survival equipment, and survival psychology.
The camp also taught students how to plan, prepare, and mitigate risks associated with winter field camps.
Highlights of the camp included snow shelter building, including a day building iglus with an Iqaluit hunter, and the final night of camp, which included emergency scenarios that the students had to work through by building an emergency snow shelter and sleeping in it.
The eight second-year students completed their Limnology Field Camp (limnology is the study of fresh water ecosystems). The camp required the students to drill a large number of holes through the ice along various transects criss-crossing the lake.
From these holes information was recorded (i.e. snow depth, ice depth, water depth, etc.).
Jamal Shirley, from the Nunavut Research Institute, brought a hydro lab out to camp on April 4 (photo at left).
The hydro lab has a probe that is lowered through the ice and slowly through the water column to the bottom of the lake. As the probe is lowered it records information regarding the lake’s water chemistry (i.e. temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, etc.). This information is then used to help researchers better understand the lake’s ecosystem.
The students also used an Ekman grab (photo on the right). The device is lowered to the bottom of the lake and triggered.
Once triggered two jaws clamp shut capturing a sample of the sediments found at the bottom of the lake. These sediments are then brought to the surface and sifted through for signs of life in the lake’s sediments.
Both camps were a great success. The weather cooperated as well as one can reasonably expect this time of year, the equipment functioned as needed, and the students performed exceptionally well.
I’d like to personally thank Patricia Lewis, and Aaron Spares for leading the Limnology Camp. They are both well learned and experienced professionals/educators, who effectively transferred their knowledge of limnology to our second year students. They were also great, hard working tent mates!