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Linking Science and Community Knowledge in the Arctic: Development of Tools and Capacity for Community-based Research and Monitoring for Marine Invasive Species and Coastal Biodiversity

Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided $79,914 via the Partnership Fund to the OceanWise Conservation Association for this project enabling Arctic youth in Pond Inlet and Salliut to be the bridge between their communities' traditional knowledge and research on aquatic invasive species. Ships providing transport for mines near the communities are possible sources of aquatic invasive species. Youth will be trained in collection of samples for eDNA analysis and in assisting with interpretation of results to understand changes in marine coastal communities over time. Pond Inlet youth will collect and filter water samples for eDNA for a year from a location to be determined in consultation with the community based on local concerns regarding aquatic invasive species.

The involvement of youth in research sample collection and follow-up interpretation of results will build confidence and a group that can carry out future monitoring as part of a northern network. In Salluit, youth will be trained in interviewing, mapping exercises, co-facilitating workshops, collecting field samples field notes to collect  data on ecologically and socio-economically sensitive marine areas and lay the foundations for an expanding network for ongoing marine biodiversity and invasive species monitoring. Youth will also participate in collection, processing and preservation of water samples for eDNA analysis to provide hands-on training in these field methods.

Project Number: NCR2017.6
Year: 2017
Partner: OceanWise Conservation Association
Principal Investigator: Dr. Eric Solomon
Eco-region: Arctic

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