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Members research spotlight: Environmental sustainability of the Inuit community of Pond Inlet at the Northwest Passage

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have completed their fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic. Professor Frithjof Kuepper and his PhD student Kleopatra Grammatiki have recently (18 March – 17 April 2023) conducted an expedition to Pond Inlet (Nunavut, Canadian Arctic), together with their collaborator from the USA, Stanley Kowalski III, where they conducted fieldwork for the project supported by the Arctic Connections Fund of the Scottish Government.

The project is titled “Environmental sustainability of the Inuit community of Pond Inlet at the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic)” and it  aims to survey waste produced by remote Inuit communities in the High Arctic, using Pond Inlet as an example, and to identify ways for its (more) sustainable management – so far, almost all waste is dumped in uncontrolled, mixed landfills. Furthermore, the project included outreach work for disseminating the outcomes of Frithjof Kuepper’s marine biodiversity research in the same area among the Inuit population, and scoping field trips for exploring the possibility of under-ice research of seaweed biology.

Kleopatra reflected on the fieldwork: “I had the opportunity to join a lifetime trip to the Canadian arctic – we investigated which procedures and infrastructures are put in place by this remote municipality for a more sustainable waste disposal and treatment, as well as energy supply. Our field work took place under extremely cold conditions and I was fascinated by how the Inuit are adapted to their harsh environment – travelling on the frozen sea on a snowmobile with a wind-chill of -50 C my ski goggles collected ice from my breath – out Inuit driver used the snowmobile engine exhaust to quickly clear them off the ice, whilst he himself didnot use any face coverings!”

Co-Investigators of the project are  a postgraduate researcher Eleni Avramidi  and senior lecturer Gisele Arruda (both University of Aberdeen).

A reminder that this year’s Scottish Government’s Arctic Connections funding round applications are due by 13th of May. Make sure you apply on time!


In the ‘Members research spotlight’ series, we are bringing you updates from research projects of ScAN members. If you have a publication/expedition report/exhibition/podcast/workshop or any other relevant news to share, please send it to with ‘ScAN Members research spotlight for website’ in the title.

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