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Yukon Research Centre



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  • The Yukon Research Centre or the YRC is all about developing collaborative research, innovation and outreach that meets the needs of northerners. We’ve been doing this since 2009, when the centre officially opened – the main focus then was to develop climate change and cold climate technologies, but what we do now encompasses so much more than that.
  • This is the range of programming we currently offer. These programs are products of our organization’s strategic plan, which outlines 6 important areas for us to focus on: Building a community of researchers Supporting research with Yukon First Nations Conducting quality research and commercialization Communicating research projects and findings Building and operating a research and service hub Operating an effective and sustainable organization
  • Providing research services is another important aspect of what we do. Here’s what we offer: - New laboratory (the YRC lab is a multi-purpose facility with both wet and dry capabilities and includes standard lab equipment such as fridges, freezers, fume hood, drying oven, microscopes, etc.; collections room is under development). -Residence for visiting researchers (fully furnished; can accommodate both small and large research groups). -Research Funding (YRC provides funding support through the Northern Research Endowment Fund, the Mining and Petroleum Environment Research Group, and the Cold Climate Innovation Fund; the YRC is also NSERC and SSHRC eligible). -Ethics and animal care committees (these committees are under development – the intent is that they provide guidance to research projects) -Administration and coordination of research
  • In terms of our operations, we receive core funding from the Yukon Government Departments of Economic Development and Education, but most of our success depends on partnerships with First Nations, local governments, agencies, business, academia, and funding agencies. Two projects we carried out with the Kluane First Nation this year, which you see depicted here, are some of our most successful partnerships. Why? In part, because both parties dedicated staff and resources to the projects, and both parties ensured projects were relevant and that members of the community were involved. By partnering with community groups, governments, businesses and the like, we’re able to work on projects that matter to people – and that’s important to us. Now that you have a general sense of who we are and how we operate, lets revisit our programming so you can get a better sense of what we do.
  • ReSDA, or Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic is a major social science research initiative that is being funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada and coordinated by the YRC office. The research is both collaborative and circumpolar. The goal of this project is to find ways to maximize benefits to northern communities while minimizing environmental, social, economic, and cultural impacts. A ReSDA workshop that will help determine directions for project research is coming up this November – the workshop is open to anyone interested in attending, though registration is a must. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, or the workshop please contact Val Walker.
  • Past Nce work that is in itself trying to help integrate climate change considerations into decision making
  • 3 communities in Yukon and Atlin Atlin – all community emergency preparedness to major climatic hazards Others – Adaptation Plan prepared for community according to vulnerability assessment results All Yukon funded by Northern Strategy Atlin – AANDC Pilot – every plan evolved the process based on the lessons learned from the previous community All have learning and applications for Yukon
  • Funded by AANDC Mayo and Pelly completed in 2010-2011 Funding for 3 years – 5 more Yukon communities Burwash and Destruction Bay in 2012-13 Output stoplight map that shows areas of high medium and low landscape stability for current and future built infrastructure Report with greater detail about climate change in the region Large research team – YGS, UoM, Ulaval, UofO, led by NCE
  • Funded by YEC Glacial headwater contributions to Yukon River and implications for hydroelectric security under a changing climate Completed phase 1 – glacial assessment 2 met stations in Fantail Basin Proposals to NSERC to develop a forecasting tools for YEC to predict flow and output of headwaters and implications for Whitehorse Dam.
  • Mapping 200 of Alaska Highway from Burwash to Alaska Funded by AADC for 3 years In partnership with HPW
  • Have developed tools and knowledge to help others mainstream… this was recognised by CCS in partnering with us to provide such services to YG through this program
  • This year worked with YESAB to provide information to assessors about climate change trends and projections, including the addition of projections into their map viewer, and work that is ongoing toward the creation of a white paper We also produced a report for NRCan looking at the climate change considerations for Yukon Mine Wastes, including tailings and waste rock
  • The Science Adventures program has been serving the Yukon since 1992. Science Adventures is part of the Actua national network for colleges and universities across Canada doing youth science outreach. Some of the activities coordinated by Science Adventures are: -the Yukon/Stikine Regional Science Fair (December 1 st at Yukon College) -Bridge building competition (April 6 2013 at Porter Creek Secondary) -Stay-a-day at Yukon College (Spring 2013) -All girls science club (2012/2013) Something to note about these activities, is that communities can increase student achievement by getting involved! Last year Ghuch Tla students from Carcross walked away with top scores in 3 of the 4 Bridge Building categories. Success happens when the school, teacher and community members come together to support their students. Science Adventures also provides training, resources, and support for teachers.
  • The biodiversity monitoring program mostly focuses on tracking ‘focal’ and ‘keystone’ bird species across the Yukon, but expands to all species in wetland systems. Changes over long periods of time are the most pressing interest; several declining species are being tracked with the objective of understanding their problems and hopefully, devising solutions. Yukon College student involvement is key, often involving research for academic credit.
  • Technology Innovation (TI) encourages the development of innovative technologies and technology-based capacity in the Yukon. Its goals are to assist innovators in the development of commercial products and services that will contribute to the social and economic prosperity of the Yukon. TI provides financial assistance to a wide range of innovative Yukon projects, ranging from software development to mechanical engineering. Insulation Testing on Huts – The objective of this project is to monitor the efficiency of a number of small huts in an open-air, real-world environment to determine which methods best measure up in terms of insulating efficiency and cost effectiveness. Data Server – aims to provide a central location for hosting and accessing Yukon environmental data generated by local researchers within the YRC, and by researchers from other government and private agencies working in the Yukon. Data from the insulation testing huts are actually stored on this data server, as well as building envelope data from Yukon Housing. This information could potentially be of value to Yukon First Nations Housing Departments looking to weigh insulation options for residential housing.
  • Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) is focused on the development, commercialization and export of sustainable cold climate technologies and related solutions for subarctic regions around the world. CCI supports the partnership between applied scientific researchers, industry and government dedicated to addressing cold climate issues affecting northerners. Greenhouse Project - the Northern Research Greenhouse was built to investigate the 12 month growing in the north. This greenhouse showcases cutting edge technologies and is currently being used for mine soil remediation research. Biochar Project – the CCI is exploring the potential of biochar to increase soil carbon and nutrient availability while producing energy on the farm (the creation of biochar produces syn-gas that can also be used for heating buildings and supplying energy to farms that are off the electrical grid). The main objective of this project is to research the possibility of using biochar to reduce or eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers. Plastics to Oil Machine – this machine, which gasifies plastic and converts it to synthetic diesel, will be tested by the CCI at P&M Recycling in Whitehorse over the next year. If it is cost-effective and robust enough, it may be taken on the road to Yukon communities.
  • The Yukon Research Centre is also interested in supporting and conducting social science research projects. Our most recent of these, the survey of Yukon’s Knowledge Sector, was conducted by management consultant Stefan Voswinkel to understand more about this sector, what role it plays in the Yukon’s economy, and whether or not efforts to expand it should be made. The other project you see here, the community energy and emissions inventory, was carried out in partnership with the Kluane First Nation to understand the types of energy people in the Kluane Lake Region use, how much they use, and how much it costs them; perspectives on the state of energy in the region were also gathered. Both of these project reports are available on our website if you’d like to learn more about them.
  • I hope you now have a better idea of what the Yukon Research Centre is, who we are, and what we do – and that you’ll contact us in the near future should our programs be of interest to you, or should you have some ideas you’d like to bring to us. For more information on us please visit the website at… Thank you.


  • 1. Yukon Research Centre Yukon Government Science Forum Whitehorse, YTFebruary 5, 2013
  • 2. archbould.comSarah Laxton What is the YRC?
  • 3. YRC Programs
  • 4. YRC Research ServicesLaboratory archbould.comResearcher residenceFundingEthics & animal carecommitteesAdministration andcoordinationof research
  • 5. How We WorkPartnerships!
  • 6. Resources and SustainableDevelopment in the Arctic Maximize benefits to northern communities while minimizing environmental, social, economic, cultural impacts. vwalker@yukoncollege.yk.caArn Keeling
  • 7. ReSDA?• Began in 2011 and is the largest social science research project ever proposed for the Circumpolar North• currently involves 51 researchers at 29 universities in 9 countries• Community partners in 5 northern regions
  • 8. Research focusfinding ways to ensure that a larger share of the benefits of resource developmentstay in the region with fewer costs to comunities
  • 9. The mission of the Northern ClimateExChange is to provide a credibleindependent source of information,develop shared understanding, promoteaction and coordinate research on climatechange in Yukon and Northern Canada.
  • 10. Community Climate Change Adaptation Program (2007-2012)To increase the ability of Yukon communities to respond to any adverse conditions or opportunities created by climate change
  • 11. LandscapeHazards:GeologicalMapping forClimateChangeAdaptationPlanning
  • 12. Hydro-electric Security Project
  • 13. Alaska Highway Permafrost Degradation Assessment
  • 14. Climate Change Information and Mainstreaming ProgramCCIMP offers support and expertise to decision and policy makers toensure the integration of climate change considerations in projects,planning and decision-making processes.Project recommendationsTechnical adviceTrend and projection analysisClimate change presentations and workshops*Climate Change for Decision Makers Course*
  • 15. Environmental Assessment & Mine Reclamation
  • 16. Science AdventuresHands-on science & technology activities for
  • 17. Biodiversity MonitoringTracks populations and key ecosystems across
  • 18. Technology InnovationDevelop innovative technologies, technology-based capacity in the
  • 19. Cold Climate InnovationDevelop, commercialize, & export sustainable cold climate sd
  • 20. Other ProjectsSocial Science
  • 21. Role of YRC ProgramsAccumulate knowledgeBuild local capacityDevelop tools
  • 22.