Profiles from the Arctic - A new web series about research in the Canadian high Arctic

April 01, 2014

Recently our good friends at Science Borealis hosted a 6-part series of posts on the Borealis Blog in recognition of Polar Week. The posts were contributed by members of the
Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and I highly recommend you check it out, beginning with Polar week 1:  "Why do Science at the Poles?".

In the final installment of the Polar Week series we read about an exciting new web-documentary series titled Profiles from the Arctic. from Katriina O’Kane, APECS member and independent documentary-maker.

To be distributed over the next several months as a set of 25 profiles, Profiles from the Arctic showcases the science and field stories from, of course, the Arctic. The series aims to highlight and discuss the challenges and importance of conducting research this environment.

Officially launched Monday, March 31, at, Profiles from the Arctic is a highly engaging and dynamic web site that is both unique and informative. It truly is a beautiful, as well as, interactive visual and audio experience.

The series feature interviews with prominent scientists, students, and staff who work around Resolute Bay’s Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP), an important research facility and logistics’ centre in the Canadian high Arctic. New profiles will be released regularly, in which the audience can engage with audio clips, short videos, and photographs.

A key message of the series is the urgent need for more research in the Canadian Arctic.

As the Arctic warms, there is growing interest in developing resources and introducing other forms of economic activity such as shipping. Yet questions remain unanswered about how landscapes and animals across the North will respond.

Researchers are helping to answer those questions, studying subjects like contaminants, bacteria, permafrost, glaciers, sharks, lakes, a meteor impact, narwhals, and more. Their field work exposes them to encounters with polar bears and wolves, and offers them a chance to visit some of the most spectacular landscapes in Canada. This web-documentary series is a rare chance to get an intimate view of what researchers do, and the challenges they face.

Profiles from the Arctic
is created by Katriina O’Kane, and supported by the Canadian Polar Commission.

About Katriina O’Kane (
Katriina is a young independent documentary maker. While studying Environmental Science and Geography at Queen’s University, she became involved in research in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. Following graduation, she turned to documentary making to bring attention to the importance of doing research, particularly in the North. Profiles from the Arctic is her first major work.

About the Canadian Polar Commission
Established in 1991, the Commission is is tasked with: monitoring polar knowledge in Canada and around the world; working with Canadian and international institutions to determine scientific and other priorities; encouraging support for Canadian polar research; communicating research information to Canadians; and fostering international co-operation in the advancement of polar knowledge.

About the Polar Continental Shelf Program

Established in 1958, the Polar Continental Shelf Program (PCSP) assists scientists from around the world to better understand the Canadian arctic. Managed and co-directed by Natural Resources Canada, the PCSP provides Canadian and international scientists and research teams with cost-effective logistics, consulting, and support services.

Photo Captions/Credits:
Image 1 - Catherine Girard is a master’s student at the University of Montreal, studying contaminants in food and their digestion by the body. She will be one of the researchers profiled for the web-documentary series. Credit: Katriina O’Kane / Canadian Polar Commission.
Image 2 - Marie-Claude Williamson (right) prepares to have her photograph taken, while Katriina (left) holds up a reflector to balance out the strong Arctic sun. Credit: Evan Hall / Canadian Polar Commission.
Image 3 - George Benoit (left) is the warehouse manager at the PCSP, and has been working up in Resolute Bay for 40 years. Christopher Omelon (right) is a scientist studying bacteria-mineral interactions. Both will be profiled in the web-documentary series. Credit: Evan Hall / Canadian Polar Commission.

This post was compiled with information provided by Katriina O'Kane.

Filed Under: Science News Science Communication

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