North Pole Web
cam started up in April 2002 – and it’s online again.
The North Pole Web Cam project is part of the North Pole
Environmental Observatory, a joint effort sponsored by
the National Science Foundation that involves an
international team of researchers. The images from the
cameras track the North Pole snow cover and weather
conditions. The North Pole web cameras are at:
and Hall Beach residents see new hope in a group of
companies hunting diamonds within a huge area of the
Melville Peninsula. Representatives of the group of
companies, who call themselves the “Aviat Joint Venture
Project,” held public meetings in Igloolik and Hall
Beach in June to explain themselves to Amittuq
For many Inuit in the two
communities, it was a long overdue consultation. People
in the community were beginning to wonder after seeing a
helicopter coming in and out wondering, who the people
onboard were. But now that they have more information,
Igloolik residents generally support the work of the
Almost overnight, the Aviat
project has become one of Canada’s largest diamond
exploration projects. In 2003, the partners will spend
between $4.5 million and $5 million on exploration
activities near Igloolik and Hall Beach. They’ll employ
16 people, eight from each village.
Meanwhile, the upstart
coalition of junior mining firms that beat out mining
giant BHP in a claim-staking battle over diamond
exploration rights in the Melville Peninsula is now
joining forces with its former rival.
the mining multinational that developed Ekati, Canada’s
first diamond mine, is paying $7.1 million to buy a 20
per cent interest in the Aviat Project, which takes in
2.8 million hectares of land adjacent to Igloolik and
The Aviat project was born
after prospectors from the Hunter group conducted a
fruitless search across the Melville Peninsula in 2001,
looking for signs of nickel, copper and gold, but
Using the last of their
limited budget, they tested some till samples – or piles
of dirt and rock – at a laboratory. The lab told them
their samples contained large amounts of what are called
“kimberlitic indicator minerals” – the kinds of rocks
that occur where diamonds are usually found.
Labrador is fueling up for a second weekly flight
between Iqaluit, Nunavut's capital city, and the
airline's home base of Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
Recently, the city of
Iqaluit voted unanimously to enter into an agreement to
twin with the community of Happy Valley-Goose Bay,
adding political strength to a blossoming
The addition of a weekly
flight is only the beginning, come September, the
airline plans to add a second aircraft.
The plane currently serving
Iqaluit is a 19-seater Beech 1900D, the second aircraft
will be the 37-seater Dash 8. The company also plans to
replace the existing Beech 1900D with a second Dash 8,
bringing the total number of available seats from its
current 19 to 74.
Not only will seat capacity
increase, but freight service will as well.
summer, Makivik, Nunavik's Inuit birthright
organization, began a search for an Inuit beneficiary to
join a University of Ottawa research team and make a
historic trek to Mt. Everest's base camp in 2005.
If the participant
successfully climbs to the mountain's base camp, he or
she will then have a chance to return to the Himalayas
and try for the summit. The feat would make the person
the first Inuk to do so.
Sammy Kudluk, the associate
editor of Makivik Magazine who is publicizing the
challenge, said Makivik's involvement is an opportunity
to inspire Nunavimmiut.
"Anything to do with Mount
Everest is always interesting. It will be a challenge
for an Inuk to do that. Also, it's a role model for
young people and Inuit. It would be something for Inuit
to gain recognition to say they've gone there. It does
motivate people even if they themselves are not going to
go there," he said.
So far, they have received
applications from 18 interested participants across
Canada. Makivik is the only Inuit group to agree to pay
the participant's $10,000 fee. But though Makivik may
give the participant a free ride, it's not going to be
an easy one.
Everest is 8,850 metres
high. By comparison, the highest mountain in Quebec,
Mount D'Iberville in the Torngat Mountain range, is only
1,646 metres high.
rats have invaded a huge seabird colony on an Aleutian
island, consuming countless auklets that nest at the
base of a volcano on Kiska Island, the Anchorage Daily
The rats will just go from
one nest to the next - thousands and thousands and
thousands of adults and chicks getting their brains and
eyeballs eaten from their heads. Since the rats could
cause ecological damage on the scale of a major oil
spill, biologists are now trying to figure out whether
the rats can be eliminated with poison.
Auklets spend most of their
lives on the ocean, subsisting on tiny crustaceans
called copepods. They only come ashore to nest, seeking
protection from predators during the four weeks before
hatchlings can fly.
Carried on ships and
aircraft, dumped by cargo and shipwrecks, rats have
reached more than 80 per cent of the world's islands and
driven hundreds of species to local extinction. They
arrived in Kiska during World War II.