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The Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature

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Saarela, JM.
-Botany Section and Centre for Arctic Knowledge & Exploration, Research and Collections, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6P4 The Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Poster presented at ArcticNet Annual Science Meeting 2015, Vancouver, December 2015. Poster abstract book: pg. 81. Available from: http://www.arcticnetmeetings.ca/asm2015/docs/posters-abstracts.pdf (accessed 4 May 2016).

For over 100 years, the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) has been a leader in exploring and documenting the natural history and natural science of Canada’s Arctic, beginning in earnest with the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918. Today, the museum’s Centre for Arctic Knowledge & Exploration aims to transform people’s understanding of Canada’s Arctic and its importance to Canada as a country in the 21st century, and to position the CMN as a global museum leader in Arctic knowledge and exploration. The Centre for Arctic Knowledge & Exploration is an interdisciplinary hub that is dedicated to innovative and collaborative research, collections care, data sharing, public programs, exhibits, galleries, and supervision and mentoring of students. Generating new knowledge through research is one of the core mandates of the CMN, and current Arctic research programs focus on Arctic biodiversity in botany, phycology, palaeontology, and invertebrate and vertebrate zoology. Another core function of the museum is the collection, long-term preservation, stewardship and curation of specimens, facilitating physical and digital access to these specimens for research purposes, and using the collection to engage and educate the public about the world around them. The Canadian Museum of Nature, founding member of the international Arctic Natural History Museums Alliance, houses the largest - and continually growing - collection of natural history specimens from the Canadian Arctic, with ca. 260K Arctic specimens, including >550 type specimens, as well as the Nunavut archaeology collection. These collections represent a substantial component of the global Arctic natural history record of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Some 154K of our specimens from north of 60 degrees are digitized and freely accessible online (http://collections.nature.ca/en/Search). A signature project of the Canadian Museum of Nature is the development of a permanent gallery on Canada’s Arctic, which will open in 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

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The Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature

  1. 1. The Centre for Arctic Knowledge & Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature Jeffery M. Saarela - jsaarela@mus-nature.ca Director, Centre for Arctic Knowledge& Exploration • The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa is Canada’s national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. • For over 100 years, the Canadian Museum of Nature has been a leader in exploring and documenting the natural history and natural science of Canada’s Arctic, beginning with the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913–1918. • The Centre for Arctic Knowledge & Exploration at the Canadian Museum of Nature is an interdisciplinary hub dedicated to innovative and collaborative research, collections care, data sharing, public programs, exhibits and galleries. It aims to transform people’s understanding of Canada’s Arctic and its importance to Canada as a country in the 21st century, and to position the museum as a global museum leader in Arctic knowledge and exploration. Arctic Collections Palaeobiology • CMN palaeobiologist Dr. Natalia Rybczynski (right) studies fossil vertebrates – the remains of animals that lived in the Canadian Arctic millions of years ago. She recently discovered the remains (tibia fragments, upper right) of a giant camel (lower right) that lived in the Arctic ca. 3.5 mya. Zoology • CMN zoologist Dr. Virginie Roy (upper left) studies the diversity and distribution of benthic marine invertebrate communities in the Arctic Ocean. • CMN marine biologist Dr. Kathy Conlan (lower left) studies marine life on the sea floor of the Arctic and Antarctic and how natural or human- induced changes affect them. • Arctic Marine Fishes of Canada, a forthcoming book by CMN ichthyologist Dr. Brian Coad and collaborators, will describe over 200 species of fishes (right). The Canadian Museum of Nature has one of the best collections of Arctic fishes in the world. Silver female Anadromous male spawner ArcticChar Botany • CMN botanists Drs. Lynn Gillespie and Jeff Saarela study the biodiversity of the Canadian Arctic vascular plant flora. Every Arctic expedition yields about 1000 new plant collections, deposited in the museum’s National Herbarium of Canada, which houses the world’s best collection of Canadian Arctic plants. • CMN phycologist Dr. Michel Poulin (lower left) studies the biodiversity of phytoplankton (marine algae) and sea-ice microalgae in the Canadian Arctic, and characterizes marine productivity of pelagic and sea-ice environments. • CMN phycologist Paul Hamilton (lower right) studies the diatoms and protists of freshwater Arctic ecosystems, including species discovery, diatom biogeography and Arctic limnology. Mineralogy • CMN mineralogists have described many new species of mineral from the Canadian Arctic, and have undertaken expeditions to collect and document the diversity and distributions of minerals in the Canadian Arctic. Sharing our Arctic Knowledge • We share Arctic knowledge with the public through scientific and popular presentations, digital access to collections, public programs, exhibits and galleries. A signature project of the Canadian Museum of Nature is the development of a permanent gallery on Canada’s Arctic, which will open in 2017 to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. All fossils collected in Nunavut are housed at the Canadian Museum of Nature, including specimens of Tiktaalik roseae (NUFV 108, above), a 375 million year old fossil “fishapod” that has a mix of fish and tetrapod traits found on Ellesmere Island in 2004. @museumofnature Eduard Solà CC BY-SA 3.0 J. Bastien © CMN © K. Chalut P. Sokoloff © CMNS. Basso © CMN © M. Lipman © M. Lipman © M. Lipman J. Finn © CMN Poster design and layout by Paul C. Sokoloff Thiswork islicensedundera CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial4.0 InternationalLicense.DECEMBER 5TH, 2015 • The Canadian Museum of Nature houses more than 10 million specimens, including ca. 260K (>550 type specimens) from the Canadian Arctic. Our Arctic collections represent a substantial component of the global Arctic natural history record. The museum temporarily houses the Nunavut Archaeology Collection. • Some 154K of the museum’s specimens from north of 60 degrees are digitized and freely accessible online (below) (http://collections.nature.ca/en/Search). • New collections from the Arctic are continually acquired and accessioned into the national collection, originating from the fieldwork of museum scientists, by donation from other researchers, and by donation and exchange with other institutions. Blog posts about our Arctic research and collections activities at canadianmuseumofnature. wordpress.com A giant Arctic floor map developed by the Canadian Museum of Nature and Canadian Geographic. Arctic Research If you are looking for a permanent repository for your Arctic collections, please contact us. CMN mineralogists Dr. Paula Piilonen and Glenn Poirier on Hall Peninsula, Baffin Island (left) and a Lapis Lazuli deposit (right) on southern Baffin Island, Nunavut, that was studied by museum mineralogists in the early 1980’s. © J. Csotonyi P. Sokoloff © CMN © M. Lipman © M. Lipman J. Finn © CMN

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