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Contribution to the Marian Watershed Stewardship Program

Establishing baseline conditions and trends for contaminants and climate for a community-based aquatic ecosystem monitoring program.

  • Research location: Marian Watershed
  • Contact: Brent Wolfe


Sub-Arctic Metal Mobility Study (SAMMS)

Field, laboratory, and modelling studies to identify, quantify, and predict mobility of natural source and legacy mine-source metals in headwater catchment-lake systems.


Hydrological Drivers Producing Surface Runoff in Unregulated Catchments

Understanding flow levels in response to 2013–16 drought period, which increased expenditures on use of diesel fuel to generate electricity in Yellowknife and area.

  • Research location: Yellowknife
  • Contacts: Michael English, Jennifer Hickman

Yellowknife Local Food Strategy, Northern Water Futures (NWF)

Supporting local food strategy development through Yellowknife Food Charter Coalition based on food systems approach.


The Effect of Dissolved Organic Carbon from Permafrost Thaw on Drinking Water

Understanding how permafrost thaw alters dissolved organic matter and solubility/mobility of metals, which effects drinking water and ecosystem health.

  • Research location: Wekweètì
  • Contacts: Sherry Schiff, Michael English, Pieter Aukes, Paul Dainard

Shifts in Winter Foraging Grounds of the Bathurst Caribou Heard (NWF)

Examining the impact of changing snow conditions and Arctic Oscillation on winter foraging behaviour of Bathurst caribou and how that relates to the winter shift in foraging grounds from boreal forest to tree line-tundra area.

  • Research location: Wekweètì; NW of Winter Lake in the Snare-Coppermine basin tree line – tundra area
  • Contacts: Michael English, Colin Robertson


Understanding Impacts from Combustion Byproducts and Dust on Barren Ground Caribou

Exploring impact of mine source dust and diesel combustion on vegetation and barren ground caribou to improve management of mining dust.

  • Research location: Literature review
  • Contacts: Jennifer Hickman, Michael English

Improving Road Sub-Grades to Reduce Damage Due to Permafrost Thaw

Examining subsurface temperatures and ground surface displacement for a range of sub-grade materials used below roads in the Northwest Territories. This will provide guidance for optimal road materials to given environmental conditions and road use.

  • Research location: Yellowknife area
  • Contacts: Bill Quinton and Susan Tighe

Assessment of Stress Effects Related to Arsenic Contamination and Remediation at Giant Mine

Assessing sources, levels, and ways of coping with psychological stress related to historical and current activities at the Giant Mine site. This will inform ongoing remediation and empower communities to address sources and consequences of stress.

Contact Us:

Laurier Yellowknife Research Office

T: 867.688.2605
Office Location: 5007 – 50th Avenue, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2P8

For more information, or to participate in our projects, visit our Yellowknife offices and speak with our researchers.

Collaborating for Food Security

fall harvest fair

Laurier's involvement in the Yellowknife Fall Harvest Fair evolved out of a long-term partnership and collaboration with Ecology North to work on food security research in the NWT. The Fall Harvest Fair is an annual event to bring the Dettah, Ndilǫ and Yellowknife communities together in celebration of local food and harvests. The event is held in collaboration with Ecology North, Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) and Yellowknife Community Garden Collective.

Since 2014, multiple graduate students associated with the Laurier’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems and Food: Locally Embedded, Globally Engaged (FLEdGE) SSHRC Partnership Grant have engaged in food security research through the Laurier – Ecology North partnership to support local food initiatives in Yellowknife.

In 2015 Laurier doctoral student Andrew Spring initiated the ground work to support the Fall Harvest Fair and in 2016 and 2017 Masters student, Carla Johnston, played a leading role in coordinating the event as part of her food systems research in Yellowknife.

In 2018 Molly Stollmeyer continued this work and will return to support the event in 2019. For the past four years, FLEdGE and Laurier have supported the Fall Harvest Fair financially as it is an important event for our partners and communities.

Collaborating for Community-Led Aquatic Ecosystem Monitoring

James Telford

Initiated by Tłıįchǫ Government’s Marian Watershed Stewardship Program (MWSP), Laurier professor Brent Wolfe was contacted in 2014 to contribute to their aquatic ecosystem monitoring efforts. They were concerned about pollution from proposed mining in their Traditional Territory. Soon after, James Telford, an MSc student supervised by Wolfe and co-supervised by Professor Roland Hall of the University of Waterloo, began working closely with the Tłıįchǫ. James participated in MWSP field sampling trips in 2015-17, where he trained MWSP members in sampling techniques.

Sampling sites were selected through consultation with the Tłıįchǫ and focused on areas culturally and scientifically important. This collaborative effort created excellent opportunities for knowledge sharing. Results have established long-term baseline conditions of sediment metals concentrations in lakes. These sites can be monitored now and in the future to assess for pollution.

The success of this project demonstrates the strengths and benefits of combining Tłıįchǫ traditional knowledge and northern scientific research to augment a community-led monitoring initiative.