Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Biochar mine remediation (final report)
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Biochar mine remediation (final report)

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Ziad Sahid

The use of biochar as a soil amendment for mine affected soil revegetation was established as a field experiment in 2012. While the objective of the present report is to synthesize data collected over the past two years of the program, some general conclusions and recommendations for further research are also supplied.

The field plots were established on three different mine tailings sites within a 100 km radius of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory; the Whitehorse Copper Mine Tailings, Mount Skukum Gold Mine (MSGM) tailings and the Arctic Gold and Silver (AG&S) tailings cover. The tailings and tailings cover present different characteristics but share the same challenge for successful revegetation; mineral soils which do not support plant growth without soil amendments.

The overall findings of the research are perhaps best illustrated by the image below, from the MSGM site. With some minor variability among sites, the plots that achieved the highest cover class of native grass species were those that were treated with compost and biochar. The second ranked cover class was with compost only and the third ranked cover class was biochar alone. Biochar when combined with a secondary soil amendment (compost) achieved excellent plant growth compared with the Null (seed only) plots. As expected from previous research, use of biochar alone as the only soil amendment was not as effective as combining it with compost.

Further research should consider varying the application rates of the soil amendments to achieve the most economical blend possible for the given mine-affected soil problem.  The research has the potential to enhance the mine closure and reclamation process using local materials and expertise.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Biogas Characterization Study (Final Report)
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Biogas Characterization Study (Final Report)

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Ziad Sahid

Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) is studying the viability of developing a biogas plant to treat Whitehorse residential and commercial source separated organic (SSO) waste and utilize the biogas to produce power and/or heat. Biogas production is placed in the context of a large effort to expand electrical generation capacity in Yukon. Anaerobic digestion is a process to convert organic waste into a gas for the production of clean energy.

YEC hired Electrigaz/WSP to prepare a preliminary design of a biogas plant for Whitehorse organic waste and to assess its economic viability. The design is based on Whitehorse data and previous reports but also on analysis results that Electrigaz/WSP obtained from a sampling campaign conducted in May,
September and October 2015.
Whitehorse residential organic waste has been collected and composted for several years. The following curve shows the seasonality of organic waste and municipal solid waste (MSW) being collected from
2000 to 2013.

Commercial organic waste collection has been initiated recently in Whitehorse and is being expanded to include additional local businesses. The municipality is also expecting an increase in the quantity of material collected by residential and commercial clients over the next few years. The following curve shows the expected organic waste amounts collected for the next 20 years.
Because of waste volumes and the existing composting platform/equipment, a dry (high solids) garage style anaerobic digester is recommended because it is simple to operate, affordable, uses or discharges virtually no water and requires no front-end contaminant removal (performed by compost sieving) at the
Whitehorse compost facility. To reduce unnecessary investment, operational cost and to avoid noise and odor nuisance to neighbouring properties, the proposed plant would be located at the landfill next to the existing composting site.

The proposed biogas plant rated at approximately 150 kW(e) would be composed mainly of a building that includes four anaerobic digestion tunnels and a reception/mixing hall. The combined heat and power
(CHP) unit, flare, biofilter and percolate tank are to be placed adjacent to the building. The operation of the plant would be based on a 28-day schedule and the material will be received and stored inside a receiving hall 7 days before entering a garage. In a garage-style digester the material is moved with a front-end loader and each week the operator empties part of the garage before filling with fresh material.
The digestate is then sent to the compost facility. The biogas is temporally stored in a 599 m3 biogas holder that is placed on top of the percolate tank. The biogas is then sent to two (2) 100 kW(e) CHP units for production of renewable power and hot water. Two smaller generators are necessary to match significant seasonal biogas production variations, a larger unit could not accommodate these significant "turndowns".

The scenario for production and sale of heat, in the form of hot water, generated by a 500 HP biogas boiler is not recommended because of the cost of deploying a district heating network over to the nearest client for minimum of three (3) kilometers and the heat production being "out of phase" with heating needs (peaking in winter) and biogas production (peaking in summer).
For a "heat only" project to be viable it would have to significantly raise the organic treatment gate fee, gather important capital subsidies and sell 100% of the heat produced during winter and summer months.
The following table shows the levelized cost of energy (heat) for different organic treatment gates fees and capital subsidy support.

This scenario, estimated at approximately $6.1M, is unlikely to attract industrial clients (green houses, industrial thermal processes, etc.) because energy prices are not discounted significantly. The utilization of biogas in CHP units is better adapted to this location since it allows selling of energy in the summer and during power demand peaks. The deployment of CHP units would be phased in with one 100 kW unit installed initially and a second 100 kW unit (or more if landfill gas is exploited) 5 years later. It is assumed that the heat generated by the CHP would be used entirely at the composting building to heat the facility and potentially dry further the compost before bagging it.

The CHP project is estimated to require a total capital investment of approximately C$7.1M and to cost over $255,000 per year to operate.

The revenue from the biogas plant will come from gate fees, electricity and heat sales. With a current market pricing of $0.21/kWh for the electricity sold to the grid, a $38/t gate fee, and savings of $12/GJ for heat, the project is not economically viable. With these market conditions the project would require significant capital subsidies. Biogas captured from the landfill could potentially help boost electrical production and provide better project economics. Further study of this scenario would be needed.
Nevertheless, it is clear that this project will require organic treatment gate fee adjustment and capital investment in form of subsidies because the revenues generated by the project are insufficient to warrant the high capital investment.

Based on the current market conditions it is unlikely that the project would attract independent project developers. The project would probably have to be developed by Yukon Energy Corporation and/or the
City of Whitehorse with the support of capital grants.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' A Portrait of the Social Economy in Northern Canada
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A Portrait of the Social Economy in Northern Canada

A Portrait of the Social Economy in Northern Canada

Valoree Walker

Northern communities are currently facing many social and economic challenges. The non-profit, voluntary, and co-operative organizations involved in the social economy sector assist communities with these challenges by empowering them through the development of social and human capital. This article is part of an initial evaluation of the potential of the social economy to assist northern communities to deal with these challenges and develop this capacity. It offers an initial description of the state of the social economy in Canada's North through an examination of the results of a census of these organizations and a subsequent survey. The analysis shows that social economy organizations are particularly important to northern communities: they are more numerous and have more of an economic importance than in other regions of Canada. At the same time, these organizations are facing several important challenges that affect their ability to assist these communities such as a lack of funding, finding volunteers, retaining paid staff, and training.

Southcott, C. & Walker, V. Spring 2009. A Portrait of the Social Economy in Northern Canada. The Northern Review - Special Collection: The Social Economy of Northern Canada. Number 30. pages 13-36

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Soil Erosion Control - Interpretive Sign'; ?>

Soil Erosion Control - Interpretive Sign

Soil Erosion Control - Interpretive Sign

Tanis Davey

interpretive sign

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Revegetation Experiment - Interpretive Sign'; ?>

Revegetation Experiment - Interpretive Sign

Revegetation Experiment - Interpretive Sign

Tanis Davey

interpretive sign

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Survey of Yukon’s Knowledge Sector - Results and Recommendations'; ?>

Survey of Yukon’s Knowledge Sector - Results and Recommendations

Survey of Yukon’s Knowledge Sector - Results and Recommendations

Yukon's economy is dominated by mining, tourism and government.

Knowledge-based industries may be the answer to create meaningful growth in another sector that is neither cyclical like mining nor seasonal like tourism. This would increase diversification of the Yukon economy and grow small and medium size enterprises (SME). Growing the Yukon Knowledge Sector would increase Yukon’s tax base and thereby
reduce dependency on federal transfer payments.

This survey will also support Yukon’s initiatives towards Research, Innovation and Commercialization (RIC), as well as the Federal Government’s efforts to grow the Digital Economy (for example fostering the knowledge-based economy, identifying areas of collaboration).

In order to devise the future strategies of where we want to go, it is essential to determine where we are now. This Survey will be instrumental to achieve that.

Voswinkel, S. 2012. Survey of Yukon's Knowledge Sector: Results and Recommendations. Ylynx Management Consulting, Inc. and Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, Whitehorse, YT.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Background and FAQ on the Blest 240'; ?>

Background and FAQ on the Blest 240

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Stephen Mooney

This document attempts to answer the frequently asked questions we receive about the Blest 240.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Whitehorse District Heating Study'; ?>

Whitehorse District Heating Study

Whitehorse District Heating Study

Stephen Mooney

Yukon Energy, the City of Whitehorse, Cold Climate Innovation, Energy Solutions Centre, and the Yukon government hired a consulting firm to look into the idea of a community energy system for Whitehorse. The purpose of the study was to examine whether such a system is economically and technically feasible in the city.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' A Bear Risk Assessment for Yukon Place'; ?>

A Bear Risk Assessment for Yukon Place

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Scott Gilbert

A variety of government institutions share the campus of Yukon Place with Yukon College. The large campus lies within the City of Whitehorse adjacent to a greenspace that acts as a wildlife corridor following McIntyre Creek. The setting is unique and to our knowledge represents the only Canadian post‐secondary institution that shares an adjacent green space with grizzly bears and spawning Chinook salmon. Our report set out to document the extent of wildlife activity in the area and identify options to reduce human‐bear conflicts around Yukon Place.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' History of Human‐Bear Interactions at Congdon Creek Campground'; ?>

History of Human‐Bear Interactions at Congdon Creek Campground

History of Human‐Bear Interactions at Congdon Creek Campground

Scott Gilbert

The purpose of this report is to summarize the history of human‐bear interactions in the vicinity of the Congdon Creek campground between 1976 and 2013. The goal is to trace the development of the campground as well as an adjacent solid waste landfill and document, to the extent possible, the number and variety of human‐bear interactions that have occurred in the area over the last 37 years. This will serve as useful background information as we proceed with our experimental removal of soapberry bushes in the immediate campground area and will help determine if the number of human‐bear conflicts in the area is affected by removing natural attractants within the campground.


 

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Selective Removal of a Natural Bear Attractant (Soapberry) from the Kathleen Lake Campground'; ?>

Selective Removal of a Natural Bear Attractant (Soapberry) from the Kathleen Lake Campground

Selective Removal of a Natural Bear Attractant (Soapberry) from the Kathleen Lake Campground

One of the main visitor facilities in Kluane National Park (KNP) is the Kathleen Lake campground and day use area located about 30 k south of Haines Junction. Parks Canada staff manage a variety of visitor experiences at this site while trying to maintain conservation values. One of the ongoing public safety concerns has been human-bear interactions and a number of successful approaches have been employed to reduce conflicts between visitors and bears (Resource Conservation 2011). The Kathleen Lake area provides good habitat for grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) and Park managers consider the species an indicator of ecosystem health (Henry et al. 2008). Soapberry or buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis) fruit, are an important diet item for bears during July and August and the Kathleen Lake campground has a moderately dense cover of this plant.

Soapberry is a medium sized (under 1 m tall) shrub that can appear early in succession after fire or disturbance and remain as an understory component of open forests. It occurs across North America and is found in a variety of habitat types in the Yukon. It is dioecious, that is, male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. The bright red berries form on the female plants and the soapberry crops in the Klunae area are known to vary between years (Krebs et al. 2009).

In 2010 a small group of students from the Renewable Resources Management Program at Yukon College worked with KNP staff on a bear habitat management project at the Kathleen Lake campground. At the suggestion of Lloyd Freese and Kevin McLaughlin, students and I initiated a pilot study to assess the efficacy of removing female soapberry bushes (S. canadensis) to reduce natural bear attractants in the overnight campground area. This report provides an update on the work that was carried out between 2010 and 2012 and outlines some suggestions for further work.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Dawson Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Revised Edition'; ?>

Dawson Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Revised Edition

Dawson Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Revised Edition

The Dawson Adaptation Plan is based on a collaborative process that draws on the experience and knowledge of residents and integrates it with scientific expertise. The plan is primarily intended as a resource for community use and to support other planning and decision-making processes in the study area, which is defined by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territory. The Dawson Adaptation project team itself is made up of members of the International Polar Year Dawson Community Adaptation and Vulnerability in Arctic Regions (CAVIAR) team, and the Northern Climate ExChange (NCE).

Hennessey, R., Jones, S., Swales, S. and Duerden, F., 2011. Dawson Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Revised Edition. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, Whitehorse, YT, 64 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Atlin Climate Change Adaptation Plan'; ?>

Atlin Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Atlin Climate Change Adaptation Plan

The Atlin Adaptation Plan documents the community-led process of evaluating and addressing disaster mitigation and climate change in Atlin, British Columbia. The plan is the final report of the Atlin Adaptation Project, a three-year study of the projected impacts of climate change on
the community of Atlin. Earlier work in the project indicated the following: i) the community was vulnerable to climate change; and ii) the primary limiting factor inhibiting adaptation in the community was the capacity of residents to take action.

Hennessey, R., Love, N., Kinnear, L. and Duerden, F., 2011. Atlin Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, Whitehorse, YT, 55 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Future Histories of Whitehorse: Scenarios of Change'; ?>

Future Histories of Whitehorse: Scenarios of Change

Future Histories of Whitehorse: Scenarios of Change

Climate change is an increasing concern for Yukon and its communities. Many observable changes have occurred across the Territory over the past fifty years, especially an increase in the annual temperature and precipitation of the Western Arctic. The potential outcomes of changing climate have raised subsequent concerns for Yukon residents including a shifting distribution of country foods, the thaw of permafrost, changing landscape conditions, drought, and a host of other regional vulnerabilities. In response to this growing concern about climate change, the Northern Climate ExChange submitted a proposal to the Northern Strategy Trust in 2007 to develop and implement adaptation plans in three Yukon communities: Dawson, Whitehorse and Mayo. The Whitehorse Adaptation Project (WhiteCAP) began in June 2009 and brings together aspects of scenario planning and risk management to establish a process for adapting to climate change in the community.

Hennessey, R. and Streicker, J., 2010. Future Histories of Whitehorse: Scenarios of Change. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, Whitehorse, YT, 39 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Whitehorse Climate Change Adaptation Plan'; ?>

Whitehorse Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Whitehorse Climate Change Adaptation Plan

Our goal has been to develop a community plan as a foundation in preparing Whitehorse for climate change. Our intention was that overall this work should contribute to the sustainable well-being of the community. The plan provides a broad analysis of the risks and opportunities of climate change, and makes a series of recommendations. It is now up to the decision-makers within the community - the City of  Whitehorse, Government of Yukon, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and other community groups to decide upon the next steps and carry the work forward.
 

Hennessey, R. and Streicker, J., 2011. Whitehorse Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, Whitehorse, YT, 84 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Grinding for Gold'; ?>

Grinding for Gold

Grinding for Gold

The final report detailing the work and findings of the KPMA led project to determine optimal methods for removing fine gold from concentrates.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Native seed bank in Yukon: State of the Art (Reprot)'; ?>

Native seed bank in Yukon: State of the Art (Reprot)

Native seed bank in Yukon: State of the Art (Reprot)

The revegetation needs in the Yukon are projected to grow in the next few years as new mining projects go through the environmental assessment process, and plans for the revegetation of large-scale abandoned mines begin to take shape. Revegetation strategies and needs vary within the Yukon, but when dispersing seed or using seedlings, the use of native species that are locally produced is considered best practice. The lack of a clear source for this type of material was indicated as a barrier to the implementation of these best practices in the Yukon. To explore this topic further, industry, consultants, and experts involved in seed collection, storing, sourcing, and propagation initiatives were interviewed. This report is based on those interviews and examines the state of revegetation in the Yukon, current options for native seed sourcing, and potential future options that would increase access to native seeds in the territory. These options include the development of seed collection, banking, and propagation initiatives, as well as educational programming to support these initiatives. Several case studies are included, both covering local initiatives and initiatives in other jurisdictions that are relevant to the Yukon and could be used as a model for local seed and plant sourcing initiatives.

Vogt and Janin, 2017. Native seed bank in Yukon: State of the art. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. September 2017.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Archaeological Excavations at the Little John Site, Southwest Yukon Territory, Canada - 2011'; ?>

Archaeological Excavations at the Little John Site, Southwest Yukon Territory, Canada - 2011

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The 2011 field excavations at the Little John site provided us with the opportunity to begin wide area excavations of the strata comprised of the Paleosol Complex and those below in a more rigorous fashion, allowing us to perceive more clearly additional preserved paleosols within the Loess below Paleosol horizon. Significantly, these lower levels also contain a relative abundance of decayed but still recognizable wood remains, some of which is definitively identified as belonging to Betula spp. and likely represents early colonization of the region by this species during the Birch Rise. The cultural affiliation of these organic remains is buttressed by their association with hearth features and culturally modified bones, although at the current extent of area exposure no clear patterning of their distribution is apparent to us. Work in 2012, which will continue to expose contiguous units to these levels, should assist us in this regard.

Easton, N. A. 2012 Archaeological Excavations at the Little John Site (KdVo6), Southwest Yukon Territory, Canada - 2011. Scottie Creek Culture History Project Research Manuscript 2012-02. Whitehorse: Yukon Research Centre.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Pelly Crossing Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Pelly Crossing Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Pelly Crossing Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Lacia Kinnear

The objective of this project was to identify landscape hazards in Pelly Crossing and nearby surroundings by compiling geoscience data from various field studies and scientific reviews (i.e., surficial geology and hydrology). This data was used to create a map of landscape hazards that delineate low, moderate and high-risk areas in the Pelly Crossing region. Potential impacts of a changing climate were incorporated in the identification of these three hazard zones.

This report is prepared as a guide, and not as a document upon which to base planning decisions. It is not intended for use as a basis for site selection for development, but rather as a guide in identifying areas that would require additional engineering studies, should  development be desired.

PDF versions of the hazards classification and surficial geology maps are avialable for download from the Yukon Research Centre website. Shapefiles of the hazards classification map are available for download from Geomatics Yukon.

Northern Climate Exchange, 2011. Pelly Crossing Landscape Hazards: Geological Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 48 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Mayo Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Mayo Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Mayo Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Lacia Kinnear

The objective of this project was to identify landscape hazards in the Village of Mayo and nearby surroundings by compiling geoscience data from various field studies and scientific reviews (surficial geology, permafrost and hydrology). This data was used to create a map of landscape hazards that delineate low, moderate and high-risk areas in the Mayo region. Potential impacts of a changing climate were incorporated in the identification of these three hazard zones.

Concurrent to the Hazards Mapping Project, the Northern Climate ExChange has begun developing an adaptation plan for the community of Mayo. The hazards project has contributed significantly to the assessment of vulnerability for the community of Mayo. In particular, the Hazards Mapping Project has increased the understanding of how landscape characteristics may change in Mayo as regional climate conditions change. This information will be utilized in the adaptation plan to provide the basis for evaluating how community infrastructure, security and well-being may be influenced and how the community might take action to respond.

PDF versions of the hazards classification and surficial geology maps are avialable for download from the Yukon Research Centre website. Shapefiles of the hazards classification map are available for download from Geomatics Yukon.

Northern Climate Exchange, 2011. Mayo Landscape Hazards: Geological Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 64 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Assessing eDNA as a tool to evaluate Chinook Salmon distribution in Yukon Territory (report)'; ?>

Assessing eDNA as a tool to evaluate Chinook Salmon distribution in Yukon Territory (report)

Assessing eDNA as a tool to evaluate Chinook Salmon distribution in Yukon Territory (report)

 As aquatic or semi-aquatic species move through the water DNA is shed exogenously and suspended in the aquatic habitat. The suspended DNA can be collected and detected using environmental DNA (eDNA) methods. eDNA methods use quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) genetic analysis techniques to extract and detect DNA of selected target taxa from environmental samples. In this study, surface water was sampled to collect and detect Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) DNA deposited in the water column.

This method relies on aquatic organisms shedding exogenous genetic material (i.e., DNA) into their environment through feces, exfoliation, mucus and urine. A positive result from qPCR analysis suggests use, by the target taxa, of aquatic features at the sample site at, or shortly preceding, the time of sample collection. The positive detection of target taxa DNA in the aquatic features used as habitat by the species can be used to establish species presence.
In Yukon, Chinook have great subsistence, recreation, and economic value. The use of eDNA detection methods provides a non-invasive, efficient and accurate method to examine the presence of Chinook salmon DNA in aquatic environments. These methods were applied in southern Yukon in August, 2015. In total, 30 sites were sampled within four river drainages (Nisutlin, Yukon, Teslin and Kusawa) to assess use by, and evaluate distribution of, Chinook salmon as indicated by the presence of Chinook DNA in the lotic system.
Chinook salmon DNA was confirmed at 12 of 13 known extant (currently occupied) Chinook sample locations (sites) within southern Yukon aquatic environments using qPCR lab methods . Chinook salmon DNA was not detected, using qPCR lab methods, at any sites where salmon are excluded and cannot occur (n=3) due to existing natural barriers (e.g., waterfalls) or artificial barriers (e.g. hanging culverts). Fourteen sites with no previous data on salmon use (classified as ‘unknown’ in this report) were also tested using eDNA methods. Within these 14 sites with unknown occupancy status, one site (Upper Sidney Creek) tested positive for Chinook salmon eDNA. This site was beyond the previously understood distributional limit of Chinook in the Sidney Creek drainage and provides a further example of the utility of eDNA methods for Chinook in Yukon rivers.

Study results provide insight regarding effects of dilution in high volume lotic systems. A single known extant high-volume (lake) site (Kusawa outflow) tested negative, however, five sites, collected in high-volume lotic systems, tested positive in addition to positive results from an additional eight sites collected in low volume systems.

Results from the qPCR analysis, when tested at known extant sites, demonstrate that eDNA is a highly effective way to test for the presence of Chinook salmon as results confirmed a 94.6% detection rate when testing for the presence of Chinook eDNA within known occupied streams. This research provides further demonstration for the applicability of eDNA methods as applied to Chinook salmon in Yukon.

Hobbs J, Kanary L. 2016. Assessing eDNA as a Tool to Evaluate Chinook Salmon Distribution in Yukon Territory. Technology Innovation, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 16pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science'; ?>

Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science

Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science

The Compendium is intended to provide an overview of recent climate change work involving Yukon. It is comprised of various types of documents including scientific journal articles, government publications, workshop reports, and conference proceedings. The Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science 2003-2013 contains work completed in that time. A 2014 Supplement has been produced as an update to the Compendium and contains work completed since the original compendium.

Information for the Compendium was gathered through:
 ASTIS Database
 Polar Data Catalogue
 Yukon Biodiversity Database
 Hydrocarbon Impacts (HI) database
 Wolf Creek Research Basin database
 Kluane Lake Research Station Bibliography
 NCE Infosources Database and NCE Library
 Northern Research Institute Fellowship Grants list
 Forest Management in a Changing Climate: Compendium of   Information Sources
 Government of Canada and Government of Yukon websites
 INAC Present and Past Climate Change Adaptation Projects list
 Internet searches
 Internal knowledge

The Compendium is not an exhaustive list of climate change-related work in Yukon over the period 2003-2013. A greater emphasis was placed on studies dated between 2007 and 2013 and information that is available online. We would appreciate being informed of any relevant information that should be included or if there are any errors in the Compendium. Supplements will be produced yearly and added to this webpage.

Northern Climate ExChange, 2013. Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science 2003-2013. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 237 p.

Northern Climate ExChange, 2014. Compendium of Yukon Climate Change Science: 2014 Supplement. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 26 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The accessibility, quality, and safety of the Liard First Nation’s Drinking Water Supply'; ?>

The accessibility, quality, and safety of the Liard First Nation’s Drinking Water Supply

The accessibility, quality, and safety of the Liard First Nation’s Drinking Water Supply

Lisa Christensen

The provision of safe drinking water is a key driver of public health and a pressing health issue facing First Nations communities in Canada. Despite numerous government assessments, training initiatives and billions of dollars in targeted funding, accessibility of safe drinking water has been and continues to be, a perennial problem in First Nations communities nationwide. The number of water-borne infections in First Nations communities is an alarming 26 times the national average and approximately 30% of community water systems are classified as posing a high risk to water quality. A recent report on water quality on reserves across Canada showed that 30% of First Nations residents viewed their tap water supply as either somewhat or very unsafe compared to 11% of residents in other small communities. Baseline information on the risks to community water supply and the potential for contaminant exposures through drinking water are not clearly understood. Such was the case in Watson Lake, Yukon, where a project was developed in partnership with the Liard First Nation (LFN) to:

1) Test up to 60 LFN private drinking water wells not subject to regular monitoring;
2) Identify the ways in which surface and groundwater are connected;
3) Identify important values, concerns, and practices related to drinking water.

Although the Liard First Nation has a well-established, large public drinking water system with regulatory oversight, routine water sampling, and certified operators for the operation of their drinking water treatment plant and water truck delivery, this project was seen as important in terms of its contributions to the baseline of information available on the community water supply.
 

Christensen, L. 2015. The Accessibility, Quality, and Safety of the Liard First Nation’s Drinking Water Supply. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 80p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Literature Review for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Teaching and Working Farm (Report)'; ?>

Literature Review for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Teaching and Working Farm (Report)

Literature Review for the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Teaching and Working Farm (Report)

Lisa Christensen

This report provides a historical reference point on growing conditions and crops grown in the Dawson region of the Yukon, as well as current food production practices--including ideal growing locations in Dawson, crops grown, native plants of ethnobotanical interest to the Tr'ondek Hwech'in (TH), and an overview of approaches to organic growing. This report was produced for the TH First Nation, to inform the development and planning of the TH Teaching and Working Farm.   

Elchuk, S. 2015. Literature Review for the Tr'ondek Hwech'in Teaching and Working Farm. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 18p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The Forestry Chronicle - 2011'; ?>

The Forestry Chronicle - 2011

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Lisa Christensen

This article reports on an experimental civic engagement approach to link community observed cumulative effects ofnumerous local events and periods of resource development to indicators for sustainable forest and land management forthe future. We describe a process where the interview findings with 28 key aboriginal and non-aboriginal informants inthe Champagne Aishihik First Nations’ (CAFN) Traditional Territory were summarized into key themes by researchersin a community workshop to elicit a selection of social indicators for future cumulative effects assessments. Theseresponses were visions for the future based on a great deal of experiential learning that interviewees identified—part andparcel of any betterment to the community as new developments unfold. Themes such as “social healing” were furtherbroken into indicators such as “community support systems” and then further broken into local measures, such as “thepresence of, and access to, a youth centre, youth programs, and youth centres”. The local historical approach to cumulativeeffects assessment helps us not only understand more about forestry, but more about the broader connectionsbetween community members and leaders, forestry and other resource developments, and lessons people have learnedfrom the past and visions for the future.

L. Christensen, N. Krogman, and B. Parlee. 2011. A culturally appropriate approach to civic engagement: Addressing forestry and cumulative social impacts in southwest Yukon​

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Community Energy and Emissions Inventory: A Kluane First Nation-YRC Project (Poster)'; ?>

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory: A Kluane First Nation-YRC Project (Poster)

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory: A Kluane First Nation-YRC Project (Poster)

Lisa Christensen

The Kluane First Nation and the YRC have partnered to develop and pilot an energy use and greenhouse gas emissions inventory. This project analyzes the total energy used/emissions generated by local governments and communities in the Kluane Lake Region, considering the stationary energy, transport, land use, and waste sectors. Views on local energy success stories and energy concerns have been collected.

Christensen, L. 2012. Community Energy and Emissions Inventory: A Kluane First Nation-Yukon Research Centre Project. Poster presented at Arctic Frontiers 2012, Energies of the High North Conference, January 22-27, 2012, Tromsø, Norway.


Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Social thresholds and their translation into social-ecological management practices (poster)'; ?>

Social thresholds and their translation into social-ecological management practices (poster)

Social thresholds and their translation into social-ecological management practices (poster)

Lisa Christensen

Social thresholds and their translation into social-ecological management practices.

Abstract:

The objective of this paper is to provide a preliminary discussion of how to improve our conceptualization of social thresholds using (1) a more sociological analysis of social resilience, and (2) results from research carried out in collaboration with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations of the Yukon Territory, Canada. Our sociological analysis of the concept of resilience begins with a review of the literature followed by placement of the concept in the domain of sociological theory to gain insight into its strengths and limitations. A new notion of social thresholds is proposed and case study research discussed to support the proposition. Our findings suggest that rather than view social thresholds as breakpoints between two regimes, as thresholds are typically conceived in the resilience literature, that they be viewed in terms of collectively recognized points that signify new experiences. Some examples of thresholds identified in our case study include power in decision making, level of healing from historical events, and a preference for small-scale development over large capital intensive projects.

Christensen, L. and N. Krogman. 2012. Social thresholds and their translation into social-ecological management practices. Ecology and Society 17 (1): 5.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands (final report)'; ?>

Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands (final report)

Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands (final report)

Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been employed as passive treatment systems for metal contaminated mine drainage in Canada. However, relatively few CWs have been documented in northern environments and further studies are needed to understand the metal removal mechanisms in wetlands operating under cold climates, with short growing seasons. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of laboratory-scale CWs for the removal of Cd, Cu, Se and Zn, as well as, to evaluate Cu and Se uptake in two northern plant species (Carex aquatilis and Juncus balticus). Eight laboratory-scale wetlands were constructed using local materials, including locally harvested plant species and microorganisms and operated under northern summer conditions for 10 weeks. The CWs were fed continuously with synthetic influent containing Cd, Cu, Fe, Se and Zn at concentrations predicted at mine closure. Average removal efficiencies of 96%, 99%, 79% and 97% were observed for Cd, Cu, Se and Zn respectively. There were no significant differences in plant establishment or growth between our CW treatments, or any evidence of increasing Cu uptake with increasing contaminant availability in either northern plant species. Increased belowground uptake of Se was observed at the higher influent concentration in the Pit treatment. However, overall our study suggests that uptake of contaminants by these two northern species is very minor (<0.06% Cu and <0.11% Se, except for C. aquatilis in one treatment <0.2% Cu and <0.4 % Se) and likely does not pose a risk to the surrounding environment. We conclude that CWs could operate as successful passive treatment solutions in a northern environment, at least during the summer months, pending further studies on winter treatment. Further studies are required to examine seasonal metal removal rates in relation to rates of sulfate reduction, carbon consumption, metal precipitation and sorption. In addition, potential contaminant uptake and the influence of functional plant characteristics on metal removal in a suite of northern plant species would further assist in the development of large-scale long-term northern CWs.
 

Stewart K. and Janin A. 2015. Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands, March 2015, 32 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Passive Treatment of Mine Impacted Water in Cold Climates: A Review'; ?>

Passive Treatment of Mine Impacted Water in Cold Climates: A Review

Passive Treatment of Mine Impacted Water in Cold Climates: A Review

In this review, we evaluate the challenges encountered and the adaptations required for the successful treatment of mine-impacted waters in cold climates with Passive Treatment Systems (PTSs). Engineered PTSs are modeled on natural wetlands, which have been shown to effectively treat water with high metal concentrations through natural attenuation. PTSs include constructed wetlands, bioreactors, and hybrid systems. Some of the challenges associated with implementing cold climate PTSs include cold temperatures, remote locations and limited access in winter, which can lead to freezing pipes and surface water, variable seasonal flow, and low productivity of microbial and macrophytic communities. Many adaptations have been implemented to address these cold climate challenges including burial of pipes to avoid hydraulic failure, insulation to avoid freezing surface waters, bypasses and overflows to maintain constant flow, summer establishment of microbial and macrophytic communities and the addition of liquid carbon sources to offset reduced organic matter decomposition in cold temperatures. While further investigation and development is necessary to fully understand the factors affecting cold climate PTSs, with sufficient research and planning PTSs can be successfully implemented in cold climates.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Leonardite and Biochar for Mine Impacted Water and Soils'; ?>

Leonardite and Biochar for Mine Impacted Water and Soils

Leonardite and Biochar for Mine Impacted Water and Soils

Immobilization of metals using soil amendment processes is increasingly being considered as an effective and low cost remediation alternative in the mining industry.  Both leonardite, a carbon-rich material rich in humic acids and biochar, an organic material that has undergone pyrolysis, have shown to adsorb heavy metals, such as Cd, Zn and Pb and promote plant growth.  We examined the potential to use leonardite and biochar for metal sequestration in mining impacted water and soils, by determining their capacity to adsorb metals in water, sequester metals in tailings, promote plant growth and prevent metal uptake in plants.  Biochar removed up to 95% Cd, 90% Zn and 88% Pb from synthetic water and resulted in a 74% reduction of Cd and 18% of Zn leached from columns containing tailings. Whereas, leonardite adsorbed 93% Pb, but only 38% Cd and 29% Zn from synthetic water and resulted in column leachate with higher concentrations of Cd and Pb.  Leonardite amendments caused decreases in pH and mobilization of Cd and Zn from tailings may be due to acidification.  Above and belowground growth of two different northern native herb species (Lupinus arcticus and Hedysarum alpinum) in amended tailings were examined.  Amendments had little influence on growth with only the leonardite and lime treatment showing increased belowground biomass.  High levels of Cd, Zn and Pb were found in both plant species, however, it appears that biochar may help to reduce Cd and Zn bioavailability and leonardite may help to reduce Pb bioavailability.  This initial trial demonstrates that both amendments show potential for on-going management of contaminated waters and tailings, however, additional liming agents are likely necessary with leonardite.

Stewart K. and A. Janin. 2014. Leonardite and Biochar for Mine Impacted Water and Soils. Technical report, November 2014.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Vegetation Community Change on Powerline Right-of-Ways'; ?>

Vegetation Community Change on Powerline Right-of-Ways

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Katherine Stewart

This is a literature review on vegetation community change on powerline right-of-ways.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Northern Biochar for Northern Remediation and Restoration (conf. proceedings)'; ?>

Northern Biochar for Northern Remediation and Restoration (conf. proceedings)

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Katherine Stewart

Biochar is a soil amendment that results from heating various biological ingredients, such as wood, fish or animal bone under oxygen limited conditions and has proven to promote plant growth, as well as, hydrocarbon degradation at contaminated sites in southern climates. We are working to identify different types of biochar that promote hydrocarbon degradation, as well as, re-vegetation success in mining contaminated northern soils. Preliminary results from hydrocarbon contaminated soils indicate that under frozen conditions, 3% biochar was significantly effective, reducing the F2 and F3 fraction by up to 22%. In northern sandy soils biochar may improve the texture of the soil, enhancing water holding capacity, porosity, surface area and the availability of water under frozen conditions, which in turn may stimulate microbial activity that appears to be a driving factor in petroleum hydrocarbons degradation. The application of a biochar and lime treatment to mine tailings led to significantly higher germination rates and aboveground biomass compared with fertilizer only. There are a number of potential mechanisms by which biochar may have influenced germination and growth, including retention of soil moisture, increased temperature at the surface due to low albedo, increased nutrient retention and reduction in bioavailability of heavy metals.

 

Conference Proceeding of the 2013 Northern Latitudes Mining Reclamation Workshop and 38th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association. Whitehorse, Yukon, September 9 – 12, 2013.

Stewart, K., Karppinen, E., and Siciliano, S.  Northern biochar for northern remediation and restoration.  Oral presentation to Northern Latitudes Mining Reclamation Workshop and Canadian Land Reclamation Association Conference.  September 9-12th, 2013. Whitehorse, Yukon.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' eDNA technology for aquatic ecological studies (presentation)'; ?>

eDNA technology for aquatic ecological studies (presentation)

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Kirstin Damude

This presentation took place at a public information session on Wednesday, November 18th at Yukon College.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Assessment of risk to infrastructure from permafrost degradation and a changing climate, Ross River'; ?>

Assessment of risk to infrastructure from permafrost degradation and a changing climate, Ross River

Assessment of risk to infrastructure from permafrost degradation and a changing climate, Ross River

This report describes risks to public infrastructure managed by PMD, including:

Although this report applies directly to Ross River infrastructure, it may also serve as a guide for other northern communities affected by permafrost. The best practices that this project outlines are important in maintaining the functionality and vitality of northern communities, and ensuring their continued contribution to Canada’s northern economy.

Calmels, F., Horton, B., Roy, L.P., Lipovski, P., and Benkert, B. 2016. Assessment of Risk to Infrastructure from Permafrost Degradation and a Changing Climate, Ross River. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Vulnerability of the North Alaska Highway to Permafrost Thaw (report)'; ?>

Vulnerability of the North Alaska Highway to Permafrost Thaw (report)

Vulnerability of the North Alaska Highway to Permafrost Thaw (report)

Fabrice Calmels

The Alaska Highway between Burwash Landing and the Yukon/Alaska border is underlain by extensive discontinuous, warm and frequently ice-rich permafrost. The disturbance caused by construction of the road and climate warming has already led to the thawing of permafrost, which has had an impact on the road. Some sections of the highway have experienced longitudinal cracking, embankment failure, differential settlement and even complete collapse.

Because of this complex environment, the report uses multiple sources of data and a combination of methods to interpret permafrost vulnerability and anticipate future conditions. Geophysical data, previous geotechnical reports, HPW maintenance records, surficial geology maps, satellite photos and other available information were combined with field investigation and laboratory soil testing to investigate the thaw sensitivity of the permafrost that underlies the highway.

The report provides descriptions of permafrost characteristics underneath the highway on a section-by-section basis. It has been created for a broad range of users, including community members, decision-makers, civil engineers and road maintenance workers.

Calmels, F., L.-P. Roy, C. Laurent, M. Pelletier, L. Kinnear, B. Benkert, B. Horton and J. Pumple. 2015. Vulnerability of the
North Alaska Highway to Permafrost Thaw: A Field Guide and Data Synthesis. Whitehorse, Yukon: Northern Climate
ExChange, Yukon Research Centre.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The changing ecology of the Old Crow Flats wetland (report)'; ?>

The changing ecology of the Old Crow Flats wetland (report)

The changing ecology of the Old Crow Flats wetland (report)

Dave Mossop

This work grew from concern expressed principally by elders of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, that the wetlands of the Crow Flats upon which generations have depended, are showing distressing changes. The thought was that, remembering several citizens were involved in wetland research about 40 years ago, a new but similar effort could document and perhaps explain those changes. In 2012 the Vuntut Gwitchin government submitted funding proposals for a return to those earlier data sets to discover whether those changes could be substantiated analytically. Three field seasons of that work are now complete.

The Crow Flats Wetland is by far the largest wetland complex in the Yukon. Two major sources for understanding the ecology of natural areas like the flats suitable for producing long term management goals are: technical wetland analysis, and local traditional knowledge of people who grew up on the land.

This report is focussed on trying to combine those two ways of knowing. Principally the idea was to use wetland birds, as ‘indicator’ species, -- a process that fits well with both traditional knowing and analytical processes of modern Conservation Biology. The Flats was the subject of initial reconnaissance research in the mid 1970’s by the author (then in the employ of the Yukon Government) and members of the VGFN. At that time a series of data bases, mostly describing use of the area by wetland and riparian birds, were established. These turn out to be very usable as key ecological indicators of the functioning of the flats. (See Appendix 1 and Yukon Waterfowl Management Plan, 1985, 1990.)

Mossop, D.H. 2015. The Changing Ecology of the Old Crow Flats. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, ms. 25pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' 2015 Population Status of the Peregrine Falcon in the Yukon Territory'; ?>

2015 Population Status of the Peregrine Falcon in the Yukon Territory

2015 Population Status of the Peregrine Falcon in the Yukon Territory

Dave Mossop

This survey is the Yukon portion of the Canada-wide periodic monitoring of the status of the Peregrine Falcon. Historically, in the Yukon this effort began in the 1960’s when a population of the interior race of peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) was first described breeding on the riparian cliffs of the rivers draining the central Yukon (Cade and Fyfe 1970). The birds’ numbers subsequently crashed and more recently have been recovering.

The 2015 survey was an attempt to visit a representative sample from all sub-populations of peregrine falcon known in the territory. The peregrine in the Yukon is thought of as a classic ‘metapopulation’(McCullough, 1996). The groups, in part based on geographic separation (Figure 1), are mostly identified by demographic performance differences. (The subgroup nesting on the ‘North Slope’ is considered to be of the tundrius race.) Past findings have been detailed in a series of reports and published papers dating from the early 1970’s (Cade & Fyfe 1970, Hayes & Mossop 1982, Mossop & Baird, 1985, Mossop 1986, Mossop & Hayes 1980, Mossop & Mowat 1990, Mossop, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2014).

MOSSOP. D.H., 2015. 2015 Population Status of the Peregrine Falcon in the Yukon Territory. D. Mossop. Yukon Research Centre. 11pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2015 Summary'; ?>

Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2015 Summary

Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2015 Summary

Dave Mossop

These projects mostly use bird species diversity and population performance as indicators of ecosystem health. In part using student energies, data bases are maintained tracking key demographic parameters of important focal species. Some of these now have well over 40 years of data. 2015 was the eighteenth year that this initiative has been based at Yukon College; in part the vision has been to contribute toward Yukon’s commitment under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (1993).

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2014 Summary'; ?>

Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2014 Summary

Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Research - 2014 Summary

Dave Mossop

These projects mostly use bird species diversity and population performance as indicators of ecosystem health. In part using student energies, data bases are maintained tracking key demographic parameters of important focal species. Some of these now have well over 40 years of data. 2014 was the seventeenth year that this initiative has been based at Yukon College; in part the vision has been to contribute toward Yukon’s commitment under the Canadian Biodiversity Strategy (1993)

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Herschel Island Qikiqtaryuk - a natural and cultural history of Yukon’s Arctic island - 2013'; ?>

Herschel Island Qikiqtaryuk - a natural and cultural history of Yukon’s Arctic island - 2013

Herschel Island Qikiqtaryuk - a natural and cultural history of Yukon’s Arctic island - 2013

Dave Mossop

Hawks and owls are at the top of the food chain on Herschel Island, and these raptors, or birds of prey, are powerful indicators of the health and productivity of natural communites. Four species nest annually at Qikiqtaryuk, while another eight have been seen there from time to time. Herschel Island's raptors provide some of the best, most reliable wildlife viewing for visitors because the open tundra puts their lives on such clear display. Their nests are on the ground at the edges and on the ledges of creek-side and ocean bluffs and on other prominent landmarks. Some of the nests are perched precariously on eroding ocean cliffs. Their courting displays, hunting startegies, peredator-defence behaviour, and regal presence are almost impossible to miss. The breeding status and success of these birds is recorded annually by park rangers and visiting biologists as part of the island's ecological monitoring program.

MOSSOP, D.H. 2012. Birds of Prey. Herschel Island Qikiqtaryuk: a natural and cultural history of Yukon's Arctic Island. In C.R. Burn (Ed.). pages 103 - 106. University of Calgary Press.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The Kloo Wetland, A Reconnaissance of its Ecological Diversity 1988-93'; ?>

The Kloo Wetland, A Reconnaissance of its Ecological Diversity 1988-93

The Kloo Wetland, A Reconnaissance of its Ecological  Diversity 1988-93

Dave Mossop

The Kloo Wetland is an area of approximately 100 sq. km. of just over 340 small to medium sized ponds and lakes associated with the floodplain of the Jarvis River in the South Western Yukon. It includes two larger lakes, Kloo and Sulphur, and is about 30 km NW of the village of Haines  Junction, YT. In 1980, an area of 447 sq. km. including the wetland was identified as ‘critical’ wildlife habitat by map notation for Land Use decision purposes
(Yukon Waterfowl Management Plan, 1985, 1990). This designation was based simply on the obvious concentration of waterbodies and the area’s known value to wildlife species and to local people.

Wetlands are recognised in the Yukon as supporting a major portion of the territory’s biodiversity. Documenting wetland values at Kloo was a first step in developing conservation and management plans for the area. Two major sources for this data base are technical wetland analysis as reported here, and local traditional knowledge of the elders of the Champagne/Aishihik First Nation. This report is mostly the portion contributed by the former from a five-year period of field research (1988-93) although C.A. First Nation elder Frank Joe (deceased) gave valuable assistance with
the field logistics and offered good sound advice about the area generally.

The water birds of the area provided a powerful ‘focus’ of study. They are totally dependant on the functioning of the wetland ecosystem;  understanding their relative abundance, productivity and general use of the area gives a good ecosystem-level understanding of the critical features which will have to be protected if the wetland is to continue to function in the future.

2007. The Kloo wetland, a reconnaissance of its ecological diversity 1988-93. Northern Res. Inst. Ms 40 pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' A Survey of Bird Use of the Wetlands of the Tachun-to-Minto Yukon Valley'; ?>

A Survey of Bird Use of the Wetlands of the Tachun-to-Minto Yukon Valley

A Survey of Bird Use of the Wetlands of the Tachun-to-Minto Yukon Valley

Dave Mossop

The 48-km stretch of the Yukon Valley from the mouth of Tatchun Creek to Minto Crossing was surveyed. 110 islands, just over 50 back channels, plus 14 off-channel ponds constitute the wetland habitat most used by birds. Two key areas were groupings of islands and mid-channel bars, one near Yukon Crossing and one near the mouth of McCabe creek. We found 31 species of water birds using the area. Vegetation on river bars and islands was key. In constant successional stage, riparian willow bordered by a grass and sedge community with horsetail as the key emergent was used principally by migrating waterfowl. Breeding by waterfowl was a minor use, (5 species). A relatively dense assemblage of birds of prey indicate a highly productive area: 6 pairs of Bald eagles and 3 pairs of peregrine falcons were recorded. The inordinate mix of islands and cut off channels in the region with its obvious use by spawning salmon are key to the reason the area has such high local value. Moose, wolves, bears and a variety of small mammals along with 95 species of birds were found using the habitats of this river reach. Protecting the ecology of the area will involve maintaining the current hydrologic regime, protecting critical habitats from disturbance and avoiding contaminating the key back channels and inflow streams.

2009. A survey of bird use of the wetlands of the Tatchun-to-Minto Yukon valley. Northern Research Inst Ms. Yukon College: Partner: Little  Salmon/Carmacks First Nation - 22pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The Yukon Biodiversity Working Group -  Annual Forums’ Programs and Abstracts'; ?>

The Yukon Biodiversity Working Group -  Annual Forums’ Programs and Abstracts

The Yukon Biodiversity Working Group -  Annual Forums’ Programs and Abstracts

Dave Mossop

The Biodiversity Working Group is a non-government open-membership group of those involved in ongoing biodiversity assessment and monitoring projects throughout the Yukon. It is hosted through the Yukon Research Center at Yukon College and meets informally during winter months.

The vision is in four basic parts:

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The overwhelming influence of ptarmigan abundance on Gyrfalcon reproductive success in the Yukon'; ?>

The overwhelming influence of ptarmigan abundance on Gyrfalcon reproductive success in the Yukon

The overwhelming influence of ptarmigan abundance on Gyrfalcon reproductive success in the Yukon

Dave Mossop

"The overwhelming influence of ptarmigan abundance on Gyrfalcon reproductive success in the central Yukon, Canada."

Abstract:

Companion studies of Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) in the central Yukon from 1978 to 1983 allowed us to examine Gyrfalcon reproductive performance at 14 nest sites in relation to ptarmigan abundance and other potential effects, including
weather variables, the previous year’s success, nest site characteristics, and Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) nesting density. Ptarmigan abundance declined six-fold and was mirrored by a significant decline in Gyrfalcon breeding success (breeding failure 58%, clutch desertion 33%). Clutch size showed little variation, although deserted nests held fewer eggs than did successful nests, and there were more four-egg clutches when ptarmigan were most abundant. An average of 2.26 young fledged per nest during abundant ptarmigan years, and 0.l8 when ptarmigan were declining. No other factors were correlated with Gyrfalcon reproductive success. Juvenile ptarmigan density had a compensatory effect: even when ptarmigan breeding numbers dipped, Gyrfalcons bred successfully if the proportion of juvenile ptarmigan was high. Clutch initiation date was a good predictor of Gyrfalcon breeding performance. Early clutches had more eggs (67% with 4 eggs compared to 27% in late nests), were less likely to be deserted (5% vs. 59%), and fledged more young (93% vs. 38%). Two Gyrfalcon pairs, supplemented with food in a poor ptarmigan year, fledged young at a rate and schedule comparable to pairs during a peak ptarmigan year. We discuss interesting observations about Gyrfalcon brood success, as well as Golden Eagle nesting density as a potentially important aspect of the reproductive ecology of Gyrfalcons in this population. Received 12 January 2011, accepted 9 May 2011.

BARICHELLO, N., AND MOSSOP, D.H. 2011. The overwhelming influence of ptarmigan abundance on Gyrfalcon reproductive success in the central Yukon, Canada. In R. T. Watson, T. J. Cade, M. Fuller, G. Hunt, and E. Potapov (Eds.). Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.4080/gpcw.2011.0205

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Long-term studies of Willow Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon in the Yukon Territory'; ?>

Long-term studies of Willow Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon in the Yukon Territory

Long-term studies of Willow Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon in the Yukon Territory

Dave Mossop

"Long-term studies of Willow Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon in the Yukon Territory: A collapsing 10-year cycle and its apparent effect on the top predator."

Abstract:

From the late 1950s to the present, several study plots across the Yukon have been variously surveyed annually for territorial Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus). Beginning in the mid-1970s, Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) breeding numbers in the same tundra systems have been monitored annually. These data are held in a long-term data base. Monitoring has supported studies of winter survival strategies, tests of population change theory, and reproductive strategy. Willow Ptarmigan are seen as a ‘keystone’ in the tundra community. Understanding and tracking very basic trophic interrelationships with the Gyrfalcon, the top predator, has been a major effort at community study. Stable, regular, synchronous, 10-year cycles have been demonstrated in both species. However, beginning in 2000, monitoring surveys have been suggesting the regular cycling of ptarmigan abundance may be faltering—the population peaks seem to be disappearing, although there is no evidence of imminent local extinctions. The potential consequence to the tundra ecosystem is suggested in disruption at the top of the food chain—Gyrfalcons are breeding much later, may be producing fewer young, and seem to be declining in abundance. Simple modeling suggests Gyrfalcon productivity through the few years of peak ptarmigan productivity may be critical. It will be important to maintain longer monitoring to demonstrate conclusively this change as well as causes. Received 31 December 2010, accepted 20 June 2011.

MOSSOP, D. H. 2011. Long-term studies of Willow Ptarmigan and Gyrfalcon in the Yukon Territory: A collapsing 10-year cycle and its apparent effect on the top predator. In R. T. Watson, T. J. Cade, M. Fuller, G. Hunt, and E. Potapov (Eds.). Gyrfalcons and Ptarmigan in a Changing World. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.4080/gpcw.2011.0206

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America?'; ?>

Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America?

Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America?

Dave Mossop

Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America? Evidence from nest-box programs.

Abstracts:

ABSTRACT.---Declines in American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations are widely reported, and Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data suggest that the North American population declined significantly from 1984 to 2007. Potential factors include the spread of West Nile Virus (WNV), increases in populations of Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii), and loss of suitable habitat. We examined trends in the numbers of both migratory and resident kestrel populations that use nest boxes in eight study areas in Florida, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory, 1984-2007. Except for the most recent nest box program, established in 1995 and declining since 2002, all nest box populations began to experience declines before WNV arrived in North America in 1999. To test whether changes in kestrel population densities generally are associated with the opposite trend in Cooper's Hawks, we examined the 42
BBS physiographic regions for which trends for both species were available. No significant correlations were detected for the period  1966—2007, or for 1980--2007, more closely concurrent with our nest box data. Christmas Bird Count data from 1959 through 1988 also failed to demonstrate a significant correlation. Finally, the habitat within our study areas still appears suitable, and the remaining kestrels appear healthy and have high reproductive success. Thus, the principle cause of the decline probably lies elsewhere, perhaps on the wintering grounds or along migration routes. Further, for both migratory and resident populations, the decline in nest box occupancy may reflect regional declines, which would reduce the availability of individuals available for replacing nest box-breeding birds that have died or dispersed.

MOSSOP. D.H., 2009. Why are American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) populations declining in North America? Evidence from nest-box programs. J. Raptor Res 43(4) 274-282. (J.A Smallwood sr. author)

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' The Shallow Bay wetland. An analysis of its natural history and a plan for protection.'; ?>

The Shallow Bay wetland. An analysis of its natural history and a plan for protection.

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Shallow Bay is a 230 hectare wetland at the south end of Lake Laberge in the southern Yukon. It has been central to the original use of the area by the Ta’an Kwachan first nation. It is an important waterfowl staging area; a key fish spawning and rearing area, and is used by moose, beaver, bear, mustelids, muskrats and a host of bird species. We found 36 species of water birds using the area; banded waterfowl showed birds from all North American flyways except the Atlantic were using the area. Most use by water birds was for staging although at least 4 species were breeding. Over 100 species of songbirds were observed and at least 17 species were breeding. Wood frogs, and 9 species of fish were identified. 6 species of birds of prey were found hunting in the wetland; only N.goshawk was found breeding. The vegetation community consists of three major zones: aquatic, emergent and riparian periodically flooded shrub. Water of the bay is mostly from the one small inflow creek, Horse Creek, although annually silts from the major Yukon drainage contribute to the benthics of the wetland. Critical to the area’s ecology is the hydrologic regime of annual flooding of the emergent and riparian shrub zones. The flooded riparian zones are heavily used by brood rearing water birds and by many thousands of young fish. Benthic and aquatic invertebrates represent much of the area’s biomass. Protection measures and planning for the areas future must include controlling recreational use (including hunting, and motorized access), managing its unique water level regime, protecting its water inflow, and supporting is obvious considerable educational values. A legally protected habitat area will probably be required to ensure the critical process of the area continue in perpetuity.

2007. The Shallow Bay wetland. An analysis of its natural history and a plan for protection. K.Robichaud and D. Mossop. N.R.I ms, Yukon College 45 pp
 

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Tracing the origin of mercury contamination in the lakes and fish of JMR First Nation Lands - poster'; ?>

Tracing the origin of mercury contamination in the lakes and fish of JMR First Nation Lands - poster

Tracing the origin of mercury contamination in the lakes and fish of JMR First Nation Lands - poster

Cyrielle Laurent

Jean Marie River First Nation (JMRFN) is located in the Northwest Territories, 127km east of Fort Simpson. Our community is very ac-tive and has led and participated in many scientific and traditional studies in the past few years.
Our two concerns are :

We participated to the mercury contamination projects led by George Low from AAROM (Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Ocean Management) and Heidi Swanson (University of Waterloo). We have also led two projects studying the vulnerability of the land to thawing permafrost and its relation to country food supplies.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Hydrosecurity of the Yukon River Watershed: A collaborative project with Yukon Energy Corp (poster)'; ?>

Hydrosecurity of the Yukon River Watershed: A collaborative project with Yukon Energy Corp (poster)

Hydrosecurity of the Yukon River Watershed: A collaborative project with Yukon Energy Corp (poster)

The Northern Climate ExChange partnered with Yukon Energy Corporation in order to improve hydrometeorologic monitoring and advance research in the headwaters of the Yukon River. The overarching goal is to learn more about glacier contributions to river flow, and potential climate change impacts on the timing and volume of flow in the upper Yukon River Basin.
Objectives have been achieved through a coordinated multidisciplinary field and modelling program that have included (1) installation of automated weather/snowpack monitoring stations at five locations in the upper Yukon River watershed; (2) field and modeling studies of the current form, flow dynamics, and mass balance characteristics of headwater glaciers and snowpack dynamics, and potential responses to future climate variability; and (3) the development of a regional hydrological model (the Cold Regions Hydrological Model, or CRHM) that will operate at various timescales.
Funding has been provided by NSERC and Yukon Energy Corporation as part of an Applied Research and Development project.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Permafrost, buildings and climate change: Managing Ross River infrastructure in a moving landscape'; ?>

Permafrost, buildings and climate change: Managing Ross River infrastructure in a moving landscape

Permafrost, buildings and climate change: Managing Ross River infrastructure in a moving landscape

A plain-language poster to review the relationship between permafrost, climate change, northern infrastructure, and building management and maintenance practices.  The target audience for this poster included community members and a general audience with an interest in understanding permafrost impacts on infrastructure.

Horton, B., Calmels, F., Roy, L.P., Perrin, A. 2016. Permafrost, buildings and climate change: Managing Ross River infrastructure in a moving landscape. Presented at Adaptation Canada, 2016. April 12-14, 2016, Ottawa, Ontario.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Old Crow Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Old Crow Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Old Crow Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Bronwyn Benkert

This report outlines the landscape hazards mapping project the Northern Climate ExChange and its partners conducted for Old Crow, Yukon. The report and accompanying maps can be used to support climate change adaptation planning.

Benkert, B.E., Kennedy, K., Fortier, D., Lewkowicz, A., Roy, L.-P., de Grandpré, I., Grandmont, K., Drukis, S., Colpron, M., Light, E., Williams, T. 2016. Old Crow Landscape Hazards: Geoscience Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 136 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Faro Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Faro Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Faro Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Bronwyn Benkert

This report outlines the landscape hazards mapping project the Northern Climate ExChange and its partners conducted for Faro, Yukon. The report and accompanying maps can be used to support climate change adaptation planning.

Benkert, B.E., Fortier, D., Lipovsky, P., Lewkowicz, A., Roy, L.-P., de Grandpré, I., Grandmont, K., Turner, D., Laxton, S., and Moote, K., 2015. Faro Landscape Hazards: Geoscience Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 130 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Ross River Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Ross River Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Ross River Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Bronwyn Benkert

This report outlines the landscape hazards mapping project the Northern Climate ExChange and its partners conducted for Ross River, Yukon. The report and accompanying maps can be used to support climate change adaptation planning.

Benkert, B.E., Fortier, D., Lipovsky, P., Lewkowicz, A., de Grandpré, I., Grandmont, K., Turner, D., Laxton, S., Moote, K., and Roy, L.-P., 2015. Ross River Landscape Hazards: Geoscience Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 116 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Enhancing knowledge transfer to decision-makers with respect to climate change impacts'; ?>

Enhancing knowledge transfer to decision-makers with respect to climate change impacts

Enhancing knowledge transfer to decision-makers with respect to climate change impacts

Alison Perrin

The goal of this proejct was to identify and understand the snow- and permafrost-related information needs of practitioners in the mining and transportation sectors in northern Canada, specifically in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories, and to produce knowledge products that respond to a subset of those needs to encourage adaptation to climate change.

Mining and transportation practitioners from various backgrounds identified the need for:

The project resulted in the develpment of a web-based tool that responds to the need for case studies of infrastructure failures and adaptations, with the ultimate goal of providing information that will help practitioners incorporate successful adaptations. The Climate and Infrastructure Forensic Analysis System (CIFAS) is both an online database of infrastructure and climate events, and a forensic analysis system. The system is populated with events affecting infrastructure in northern Canada and the climate, infrastructure and engineering data surrounding those events, as well as adaptations that were applied both successfully and unsuccessfully. The second product is a set of case studies and automated reports that are an extension of the first product, CIFAS. The case studies are guidance documents to show how CIFAS can be used to generate an in-depth case study of an infrastructure failure, with the goal of identifying adaptation options to prevent those failures in the future.

Perrin, A., Eng, S., Sparling, E., Auld, H., Comer, N., Bevington, A., Kinnear, L., 2015. Enhancing knowledge transfer to decision-makers with respect to climate change impacts on the cryosphere. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 128 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Economic implications of climate change on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road (poster)'; ?>

Economic implications of climate change on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road (poster)

Economic implications of climate change on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road (poster)

Alison Perrin

This poster was presented at ArcticNet's Annual Scientific Meeting in Vancouver, BC in December 2015 as part of the project "

Climate change is one of the major threats to northern infrastructure in Canada, including winter roads upon which communities and the mining industry are reliant. This study included an evaluation of the climate-related vulnerabilities of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road and an evaluation of the related costs and benefits. An economic analysis compared the key costs arising from two future scenarios based on multiple climate variables and affected stakeholders. Based on this analysis, key cost drivers were identified that will continue to pose risks to TCWR operators and users as climate continues to change.

This project supports decision makers in integrating climate change considerations into mining and transportation projects and planning as part of the Climate Change Information and Maintreaming Program (CCIMP).

Perrin, A, Dion, J, Eng S, Sawyer D, Nodelman JR, Sparling E, 2015. The economic implications of climate change on the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road. Poster presented at the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting 2015, Vancouver, BC.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Mainstreaming: Incorporating Climate Change into Northern Decisions (poster)'; ?>

Mainstreaming: Incorporating Climate Change into Northern Decisions (poster)

Mainstreaming: Incorporating Climate Change into Northern Decisions (poster)

Alison Perrin

This poster was presented at the Arctic Change conference  in Ottawa, ON in December 2014.

The goal of the Climate Change Information and Mainstreaming Program is to integrate climate change considerations into institutional planning, projects, decision-making and operational processes. This program is a partnership between the Yukon Research Centre and Yukon government's Climate Change Secretariat. It has since built on relationships and partnerships with other organizations to build tools, identify adaptation costs and address education needs in other jurisdictions.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Mining and Transportation Sectors Adapting to Climate Change (poster)'; ?>

Mining and Transportation Sectors Adapting to Climate Change (poster)

Mining and Transportation Sectors Adapting to Climate Change (poster)

Alison Perrin

This poster was presented at the Yukon Geoscience Forum in November 2013 as part of the project "Enhancing knowledge transfer to decision-makers with respect to climate change impacts on the cryosphere".

The goal of this project was to enhance the resiliency of the mining and transportation sectors to climate change through the creation of knowledge products that transfer snow and permafrost information to industry decision-makers. Project deliverables will included targeted information products tailored to the mining and ground-based transportation sectors that address gaps identified by practitioners. 

This project supports decision makers in integrating climate change considerations into mining and transportation projects and planning as part of the Climate Change Information and Mainstreaming Program (CCIMP).

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Passive Treatment of Mine Drainage Waters: The Use of Biochar and Wood Products (conf. proceedings)'; ?>

Passive Treatment of Mine Drainage Waters: The Use of Biochar and Wood Products (conf. proceedings)

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Passive biological treatments have been proposed as a possible efficient and cost effective treatment method for metal bearing water discharged from mine sites after closure. Several biofilters are under study in Yukon and have produced variable, but promising results up to now. However, concerns are typically expressed around biological treatments and their suitability in northern, colder climates. Biofilters allow for metal removal using a variety of chemical, physical and biological mechanisms. If biological processes are affected by a cold climate to some extent, chemical processes are typically not affected by the temperature the same way and can be reliable in cold waters. This study focused on metal sorption and metal removal by chemical mechanisms and assessed the sorption capacity of biochar and wood products which could be later introduced in bioreactors to help with metal removal from mine-impacted cold waters.

Biochars allowed for more than 90% removal of Cd, Cu and Zn from a metal-bearing effluent along with 35 to 69% removal of arsenic. Wood products displayed good removal capacity as well, in the range of 51 to 94% for Cd, Cu and Zn. However, arsenic and selenium removal by wood products was limited; Se also showed minimal sorption on biochars and was in one case released during sorption testing. Metal leaching from the materials was observed to some extent, including Cu and Zn from poplar and spruce products. Amongst spruce products, the chips from the trunk proved to be slightly more efficient than the needles. Overall, biochars and wood products showed potential for use in water treatment for metal sequestration in combination with other mechanisms such as sulfide precipitation in sulfate-reducing bioreactors. Such materials could be collected or produced on remote mine sites and could help with mine remediation.

Janin, A. and J. Harrington. 2013. Passive treatment of mine drainage waters: the use of biochars and wood products to enhance metal removal efficiency. Proceedings of the 2013 Northern Latitudes Mining Reclamation Workshop and 38th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association.  Overcoming Northern Challenges.  Whitehorse, Yukon September 9 – 12, 2013, p. 90-99.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Northern passive treatment facility (report)'; ?>

Northern passive treatment facility (report)

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The northern passive treatment facility offers an opportunity to increase our understanding of the fundamental factors influencing passive treatment systems under cold climate conditions.

The facility design is intended to address research questions on the performance of passive treatment systems in northern climates.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Perspectives on environmental assessment in Yukon: A collection of essays'; ?>

Perspectives on environmental assessment in Yukon: A collection of essays

Perspectives on environmental assessment in Yukon: A collection of essays

Amelie Janin

Environmental assessment in the Yukon is multifaceted. The goal of RRMT 238 is to give students a well-rounded perspective on the many players and their roles in the assessment process. This includes the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board, the Yukon Water Board, The Yukon Government, First Nations governments, consulting companies, industry proponents, and non-governmental organizations. Students were asked to summarize the role of an organization and discuss the challenges and opportunities of environmental assessment based on information provided during class and by invited speakers. The results are compiled in the following document. In addition, they were challenged to suggest improvements to the environmental assessment process in the Yukon. Improvements suggested by the students include:
- A better integration between YESAB and the Yukon Water Board when it comes to the assessment of impact to water
- Set guidelines to assess the impact of cumulative impacts, including across boundaries
- Improved consultation practices with First Nations people
- Assigning a monetary value on ecosystem components
- Improved dissemination of lessons learned during socio-economic impact assessments
- Give more power to the recommendations that YESAB produces
- Having land plans across the entire Yukon

Perspectives on environmental assessment in Yukon: A collection of essays from Yukon College’s
RRMT 238/RENR307 winter 2017 course. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 2017.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Arsenic, Antimony and Selenium Removal from Mine Water (Report)'; ?>

Arsenic, Antimony and Selenium Removal from Mine Water (Report)

Arsenic, Antimony and Selenium Removal from Mine Water (Report)

Amelie Janin

Passive water treatment technologies are increasingly being considered for mine site closure in the Yukon and efforts are currently underway to test, compare and contrast passive treatment technologies with conventional technologies. This study aims to provide additional information about the effectiveness of passive treatment technologies for mine water treatment in cold climates. To test the hypothesis that bioreactors can effectively treat mine-impacted water at low temperatures, four bench-scale, continuous flow bioreactors were assessed for their potential to remove As, Se and Sb from mine effluent. The experiment was conducted as part of the work undertaken by the Yukon Mine Research Consortium; an industrial research body which conducts research on remediation and reclamation of Yukon mine sites to further enhance environmental stewardship in the territory.

More specifically, the objectives of this study were to 1) assess the efficiency of removal of As, Sb and Se, three metalloids, from a highly contaminated synthetic drainage in cold conditions as well as from actual leachate collected at the Eagle Gold site, 2) evaluate the impact of using wood chips as part of the composition of the bioreactor and 3) assess the impact of freeze/thaw on the bioreactors’ performance. Four bioreactors in columns were built in the Yukon Research Centre lab and operated for 5 months to treat both synthetic influent and leachate collected at Eagle Gold during summer 2014. Operation was phased as follows: Phase 1) the bioreactors were operated in an environment with uncontrolled temperature in the fall until the bioreactors froze solid; Phase 2) the bioreactors were thawed in a fridge at a stable temperature of 6°C; Phase 3) the bioreactors were operated and monitored at 6°C.

Results show that all bioreactors significantly decreased As, Sb and Se concentrations even when the influent concentration was high (mimicking the “worst case scenario”). However, even though As reduction was efficient, it was not quite enough to bring the concentrations below the discharge limit threshold of 0.15 ug/L. Using drainage produced on site, 38%, 90% and 95% of As, Se and Sb was removed. Using highly contaminated drainage with an average of 5 mg/L As, 0.5 mg/L Se and 0.03 mg/L Sb, the removal efficiencies were recorded at >85% for Sb, >87% for As, and >99% for Se. This study is one of very few studies reported in the literature which demonstrates antimony removal from water by an anaerobic bioreactor.

In addition to the metal removal performance assessment, the results indicate that addition of 20% spruce chips in the composition of the bioreactor substrate improved As removal in the first phase of the study and helped mitigate the impact of freeze/thaw on As, Sb and Se removal. It is thought that the solid substrate provides both an adequate support to either protect and/or favor biofilm growth as well as to provide a surface onto which As can adsorb.
Overall, this study demonstrates the potential application of passive anaerobic bioreactors as a technique to remove As, Sb and Se from mine water effluent.  It also suggests that the addition of wood chips to bioreactors may be a suitable amendment in bioreactors built in the Yukon where cold temperatures and freeze/thaw conditions occur.

Janin A., Ness I. and Wilbur S. 2015. Arsenic, Antimony and Selenium Removal from Mine Water by Anaerobic Bioreactors at Laboratory Scale, May 2015.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Pilot Bioreactors Commission and Operation at Minto Mine - 2014 & 2015 Results (Report)'; ?>

Pilot Bioreactors Commission and Operation at Minto Mine - 2014 & 2015 Results (Report)

Pilot Bioreactors Commission and Operation at Minto Mine - 2014 & 2015 Results (Report)

Amelie Janin

Four (4) pilot anaerobic bioreactors were commissioned at the Minto mine site, in the summer of 2014 by Amelie Janin, NSERC industrial Research Chair at Yukon College, and Capstone staff (Figure 1). Installation was completed on August 7th, 2014 and operation started on August 20th 2014. Bioreactor substrate composition varied amongst the bioreactors and included mixtures of creek sediments, low-grade or river gravel, wood chips or biochar (a coal made out of wood).  Monitoring of the bioreactors stopped on September 23rd 2014 when the bioreactors were dismantled and stored for the winter.
Preliminary results obtained during the one month of operation after commissioning suggested that:
• Bioreactors were able to reduce selenium below Minto Mine’s effluent discharge limits, as regulated under its water use licence (QZ96-006 Amendment #8);
• Copper concentrations were reduced by the bioreactors to a lesser extent than selenium concentrations;
• Two out of the four bioreactors affected the pH of the effluent so that the effluent did not meet the mine effluent discharge limits;
• Chipped wood seemed to release organic acid in the effluent (lower pH, higher Total Organic Content) in the first month of operation; and
• No exceedance of the mine effluent discharge limits were observed for NO3, NO2 and NH3, although high PO4 (not regulated) was observed in the effluent of the biochar amended reactor.

Janin A., Herbert R. and Gjertsen J. 2015. Pilot Bioreactors Commission and Operation at Minto Mine – 2014 & 2015 Preliminary Results, Dec 2016

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Otolith Microchemistry Applied to Environmental Effects Monitoring in the Keno Hill District -Report'; ?>

Otolith Microchemistry Applied to Environmental Effects Monitoring in the Keno Hill District -Report

Otolith Microchemistry Applied to Environmental Effects Monitoring in the Keno Hill District -Report

Amelie Janin

The overall goal of this project was to assess, in three stages, the use of fish otolith microchemistry as a potentially new monitoring tool to be applied around Yukon mine sites. High quality environmental assessments are critical to sound land and water use management as part of all mining development. Improvement of the environmental assessment and prediction of potential impact of land use activities rely on the development of scientific tools and techniques. Fish otolith chemistry integrates information on contaminant exposure and life history of both individual fish and populations. This technique affords a unique opportunity: otoliths consist of a calcium carbonate structure in the inner ear of fish deposited in daily to annual increments. They have been used to determine age and life history events of fish and fish populations. As otoliths are metabolically stable, the contaminant levels within their annular structure can provide a temporal record of  exposure of the fish to trace metals and can be used to get baseline data information required for environmental assessments and reconstruct historical exposure for the further protection of aquatic wildlife. As new mining projects are developing in the Yukon, it is believed that Yukon would benefit in establishing a fish otolith chemistry technique and database with the local population, which in turn gave rise to this project.

The objectives of this study were to:
• Complete the fish otolith study at the Keno Hill District site
• Engage  with Yukoners and share fish otolith knowledge
• Identify gaps that remain for the development and practical use of this technique in Yukon
As a result, otoliths from grayling captured in Cristal Creek and Moose Creek and sculpins captured in Cristal Creek and Haldane Creek were collected and analysed at the University of Manitoba by Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS). Sculpins were shown to indicate lead presence while graylings did not. However, grayling did show the potential to indicate zinc. Continued studies with periodic assessment of otoliths providing a retrospective analysis is suggested as a strategy to further define the impact of mining activities on fish otoliths.

All the water quality data, otoliths data and metal data collected have been shared amongst the project partners. In addition, a workshop was hosted in Mayo to discuss the potential application of this technology and discussions were engaged with Yukoners in various organizations.

Halden N.M., Janin A., McKenzie-Grieve J., Yang P., Song Z and Petkovich D. 2015. Otolith Microchemistry Applied to Environmental Effects Monitoring in the Keno Hill Mining District, June 2015.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands [conf. proceedings]'; ?>

Metal Uptake in Northern Constructed Wetlands [conf. proceedings]

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Amelie Janin

Constructed wetlands (CWs) have been employed as passive treatment systems for metal contaminated mine drainage in Canada. However, relatively few CWs have been documented in northern environments and further studies are needed to understand the metal removal mechanisms in wetlands operating under cold climates, with short growing seasons. The goal of this study was to evaluate the performance of laboratory-scale CWs for the removal of Cd, Cu, Se and Zn, as well as to evaluate Cu uptake in two northern plant species (Carex aquatilis and Juncus balticus). Eight laboratory-scale wetlands were constructed using local materials, including locally harvested plant species and microorganisms, and operated under northern summer conditions for ten weeks. The CWs had a three-day retention time and were fed continuously with synthetic influent containing Cd, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn, at concentrations predicted at mine closure. Average removal efficiencies of 96%, 99%, 79%, and 97% were observed for Cd, Cu, Se, and Zn respectively. There were no significant differences in plant growth between the CW treatments, or any evidence of increasing Cu uptake with increasing availability in either northern plant species. Our study suggests that CWs could operate as successful passive treatment solutions in a northern environment, at least during the summer months. However, further studies are required to examine potential contaminant uptake in a suite of northern plant species and examine the efficacy of CWs under winter conditions.

Janin A., Stewart K., Sobolewski A., Mioska M. 2015. Metal partitioning and uptake in northern laboratory-scale wetlands treating synthetic mine drainage. In Cathcart J., Corser P., Evans D., Hutchison I., Johndrow T., Martin T., McLeod H., Obermeyer J., Ramey D., Royle M., Shaw S., Smith L., van Zyl D. (Eds), proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments, Vancouver, BC, April 12-15 2015, p. 505-518.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Anaerobic bioreactors in cold climate [conf. proceedings]'; ?>

Anaerobic bioreactors in cold climate [conf. proceedings]

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Amelie Janin

Passive biological treatments have been proposed as an efficient and cost effective treatment of metal bearing water discharged from mine sites after closure. However, concerns are typically expressed around biological treatments and their suitability in northern, colder climates, as few examples of passive treatment systems operating under cold conditions have been documented so far. In this study, four laboratory scale anaerobic bioreactors were monitored for over one year for their capacity to reduce metal concentrations at ambient laboratory temperature, then at 6°C and 3°C. As, Cd, Cu, Se and Zn concentrations in the effluent were compared and contrasted with discharge limits in application at the Bellekeno Mine, Yukon Territory. Removal efficiencies in the range of 90 to 100% were observed in the four reactors and for the five metals studied, suggesting that sulfate-reducing bacteria native from the Yukon stayed active under cold conditions. In addition, integration of biochar in the composition of a bioreactor had a positive effect on the treatment efficiencies at the lower temperatures. This finding suggested that addition of a reactive material in the composition of the bioreactor substrate might help reduce the impact of the cold climate on the treatment system by taking advantage of metal adsorption mechanisms, which allows for continued metals removal during changes in temperature.

Janin A. and J. Harrington. 2015. Performances of lab-scale of lab scale anaerobic at low temperature using Yukon native microorganisms. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mine Water Solutions in Extreme Environments, Vancouver, BC, April 12-15 2015, p. 505-518.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Treatment Options for Drinking Water Production from Brackish Well Water at Eagle Plain Base Camp'; ?>

Treatment Options for Drinking Water Production from Brackish Well Water at Eagle Plain Base Camp

Treatment Options for Drinking Water Production from Brackish Well Water at Eagle Plain Base Camp

Amelie Janin

Northern Cross Yukon Ltd. is in the process of electing a treatment method for drinking water provision at their base camp situated in Eagle Plains, Yukon Territory (Canada). An experiment was conducted at the Yukon Research Centre for comparing three treatment train options that were proposed by different stakeholders.

The three treatment trains had their share of advantages and shortcomings (Figure 14, p. 39). Most notably, the ion exchange step of treatment train A had the disadvantage of requiring prohibitive quantities of inputs, the capacitive deionization step of treatment train B had the disadvantage of a low water recovery rate (volume of drinking water produced per volume of brackish water treated) and the reverse osmosis step of treatment train C had the disadvantage of requiring an anti-scalant dosage beyond regulatory standards. On the other hand, cartridge filtration proved to be the cheapest, simplest and most efficient way to remove coarser solutes; it also has a very high recovery rate and does not require any input. Similarly, nextsandTM proved very efficient at removing high concentrations of Fe and Mn. Given the information gathered from commercial suppliers, it is deemed possible to overcome the low water recovery rate of capacitive deionization when using a full-scale unit. Finally, reverse osmosis has shown very cost-effective at polishing pre-treated water down to drinking water standards.

Our recommendation thus goes towards a composite treatment train (Figure 15, p. 40) made of treatment processes gleaned from the three original treatment trains under scrutiny in this study. The recommended treatment train involves Cartridge Filtration, nextsandTM Filtration, Capacitive Deionization, and Reverse Osmosis.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop - Event Summary Report 2014'; ?>

Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop - Event Summary Report 2014

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Amelie Janin

The goal of Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop was to foster discussions between mines environmental personnel, regulators, project managers, consultants, design
engineers, and other affected stakeholders to identify the gaps that need to be addressed.

The specific objectives were:
1. Facilitate communication between stakeholders and set up an environment for constructive discussion on progressing passive water treatment systems in the
Yukon.
2. Identify constraints, gaps, and reservations that industry, regulators, and researchers encounter.
3. Increase knowledge-sharing
4. Encourage the development of plans on how to address these issues.

This event was planned and organized by Dr. Amelie Janin, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle at Yukon College, Bob Truelson, Manager, Water Quality Section with Environment Yukon, and Martin Haefele, Permitting Manager at Capstone Mining Corp.

Forty-seven participants attended the workshop, representing the various stakeholders. The workshop helped to successfully bring out a few themes that presented themselves through question periods and group facilitation. There was agreement that many stakeholders have common goals and effective collaboration and resource pooling will help to better meet these goals. It was generally agreed that further
research is needed to further tailor passive treatment technologies for application in Yukon.

The creation of a group supporting the development of passive water treatment was suggested by the participants, possibly using the Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) model. It was also identified that the decision-making process in long-term treatment plans should include First Nations Government in advisement and monitoring, lower the dependency on prescribed technological terms, but rather emphasize the technology’s process and targets.

Overall, this event successfully met many of its goals and it is noteworthy there was a 100% survey respondent consensus that the workshop changed the way participants will conduct future work regarding passive water treatment technologies.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Bioremediation Research Project - 2013 Results'; ?>

Bioremediation Research Project - 2013 Results

Bioremediation Research Project - 2013 Results

Amelie Janin

Passive water treatment has been identified as one of the areas of focus by the four partners who likely plan to use some sort of biological passive treatment systems at closure (closure plans of Minto, Wolverine, Bellekeno, and likely Eagle Gold) or during operation (Wolverine Mine, possibly Eagle Gold) whether this is wetlands, anaerobic bioreactors, electro-biochemical reactor or a combination of these techniques. Using passive biological treatment at mines in the North can be challenging due to the regulators lacking confidence in this type of technology due to limited Northern operational experience in applying these systems. A common concern relates to the efficiency of biological systems at cold temperature. To address that particular issue, research was conducted through the Chair program, starting in January 2013, to assess and compare different substrates for their potential to support bioreactor efficiencies. Substrates (biochars and wood products) were compared for their ability to remove metals by sorption as well as for organic carbon release in the effluent. Eight lab-scale bioreactors were installed and monitored since then to demonstrate their efficiencies and compare substrates. The first set of 4 bioreactors used creek sediment from Keno Hill District (KHD) and is treating synthetic water containing high concentrations of As, Cd, Cu, Se and Zn to encompass the common metals found at the different partner sites. This set has been in operation for more than 5 months to date. The other set of four used creek sediment from Wolverine creek and is treating true mine effluent from this site with a particular focus on selenium. This set has been in operation for 1 month. Results from the substrate assessment and from the monitoring of the bioreactors are reported here. The four KHD bioreactors all displayed a very high efficiency for As, Cd, Cu, Se and Zn with concentrations in the effluent lower than discharge limits except the wood-amended reactor. Low pH may have been the limiting factor in this bioreactor.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Industry Academia Joint Research - SCOPe March 2014 (presentation)'; ?>

Industry Academia Joint Research - SCOPe March 2014 (presentation)

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Amelie Janin

Since January 2013, Yukon College has partnered with Access Consulting Group, Alexco Resources Group, Capstone Mining, Victoria Gold Corp and Yukon Zinc Corp. As a result of this partnership, the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle was attributed to Yukon College and the industrial partners with the objective to advance environmental remediation techniques applicable in Yukon. The benefits of this collaborative approach between the academic researcher and the industrial partners our outlined in a presentation by Dr. Amelie Janin (NSERC Industrial Research Chair) and David Petkovich (General Manager at Access Consulting),an advisor for this research program. Tips and tricks on developing industry-focused research and research partnerships are covered in this presentation.

This presentation was delivered in early 2014 for the Science Community of Practice (SCOPe), a new initiative of the Interdepartmental Science Committee of Yukon Government. SCOPe activities may include brown bag lunch talks, field tours, informal discussion groups, workshops and networking opportunities, such as Science After Hours.

 

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle - Geoscience Forum 2013 (presentation)'; ?>

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mine Life Cycle - Geoscience Forum 2013 (presentation)

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Amelie Janin

This presentation outlines the current projects and services that the Yukon Research Centre can provide to industry working in the North.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Green Mining Matters - Winter 2014 (newsletter)'; ?>

Green Mining Matters - Winter 2014 (newsletter)

Green Mining Matters - Winter 2014 (newsletter)

Amelie Janin

Green Mining Matters is a quartely newsletter from the desk of the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges in Mine Life Cycle, Dr. Amelie Janin.

Dr. Janin and her partners, Alexco Resources Corp., Capstone Mining Corp., Yukon Zinc Corp. and Victoria Gold Corp., are currently developing research leadership in order to address northern-specific challenges and opportunities within the mining industry. Together, the academic researchers and the industrial partners will develop technologies for a smarter, greener way of mining. The role of the academic researchers is to develop new ideas and test modern technologies. The results of their research, in conjunction with the support and investigations by the industrial partners, provide invaluable scientific knowledge to Yukon’s mining sector.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Database - Metal uptake in plants growing on mine sites in Yukon'; ?>

Database - Metal uptake in plants growing on mine sites in Yukon

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The general purpose of this project was to compile information on the uptake of metals by different plant species in the North, specifically on mine-impacted sites, in order to compare this data to the scientific literature on species specific metal uptake. To this end, literature of this type was gathered from a number of sources for both the Yukon and Alaska. The Access database is available for download as well as a how-to guide to use this database.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Compendium of metal uptake in plants growing on mine sites in Yukon'; ?>

Compendium of metal uptake in plants growing on mine sites in Yukon

Compendium of metal uptake in plants growing on mine sites in Yukon

This document is meant as a report on, and a supplement to the Metals Uptake Database (http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/research), completed in the summer of 2017. It acts to summarize and report on certain aspects of the data contained within the database, and highlight the literature from which data in the database was retrieved.

The general purpose of this project was to compile information on the uptake of metals by different plant species in the North, specifically on mine-impacted sites, in order to compare this data to the scientific literature on species specific metal uptake. To this end, literature of this type was gathered from a number of sources for both the Yukon and Alaska.

The document is organized with the compendium of literature as the first section of the report, containing written summaries regarding the main trends of the metal uptake data within each piece of literature. The executive summaries or abstracts of the literature were included in the compendium, and where no such section existed in the particular document, an attempt was made to concisely summarize the findings of the literature, denoted with an asterisk. Note that these summaries are in no way reflections of the views or opinions of the original authors. Following the compendium is a written summary of the main trends of the data in the database, as well as summary data tables.

Soprovich and Janin, 2017. Compendium of metal uptake data for plants growing on mine sites in Yukon, YT. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Characterization and performance of local organic materials for passive treatment systems of mine dr'; ?>

Characterization and performance of local organic materials for passive treatment systems of mine dr

Characterization and performance of local organic materials for passive treatment systems of mine dr

Passive treatment systems (PTS) present a potential low-cost solution to treating mine-impacted waters (MIW) and impeding release of contaminants, such as metals and sulphate, into receiving waters in remote mine sites in Yukon. Nevertheless, the traditional carbon substrates used to maintain efficient functioning of these systems (i.e., molasses) are not readily available and can be expensive in remote locations. Moreover, the extensive periods of cold temperatures experienced in Yukon may impede the biological functioning of PTS. The goal of this study is to characterize a selection of local organic materials that may be used as complex carbon substrates for PTS and evaluate their potential performance as carbon substrates in the Yukon environment. In the first part of the study, the physiochemical properties of six local complex carbon substrates: willow leaves (Salix sp.), sedges (Carex sp.), peat, peat moss (Sphagnum), poplar (Populus sp.), wood chips, and spruce (Picea sp.) wood chips were characterized. In the second part, bench-scale bioreactors containing organic substrates, were used to evaluate carbon substrate degradation and the performance of bioreactors for sulphate and metal reduction from synthetic mine water at low temperatures for approximately five months.
Sulphate reduction in the carex, moss, and willow bioreactors was reduced 100%, and overall, these substrates appear to support microbial-mediated metal sulfide precipitation at low temperatures (<10°C). During the time-frame of the study, spruce was not found to be effective in sulphate reduction. With some exceptions, the overall metal reduction was found to be high in all bioreactors, including controls. Thus, most of the metal removal was attributed to abiotic processes.
Basic characterization of substrates, such as carbon content (DOC, TC) and nitrogen (TN) may be indicative of substrate performance, however a more in-depth analysis of the chemical properties of these components is warranted. This study is the first phase of a multiphase research project and is intended to inform future studies.

Piggott, N. and Janin, A. 2016. Characterization and performance of local organic materials for passive treatment systems of mine drainage in Yukon, January 2017

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Factors influencing climate change adaptation research uptake by Yukon communities (report)'; ?>

Factors influencing climate change adaptation research uptake by Yukon communities (report)

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Final report for a project identifying the barriers or facilitating factors to climate change adaptation research uptake.

Grabowski, M. and Clark, D. 2016. Factors influencing climate change adaptation research uptake by Yukon communities: Using adaptation planning to evaluate mechanisms for research uptake. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 19 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop - Event Summary Report 2016'; ?>

Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop - Event Summary Report 2016

Yukon Passive Water Treatment Workshop - Event Summary Report 2016

The overall objective of this workshop was to understand how research on passive water treatment systems can be used to help industry achieve expectations set by First Nations and regulatory bodies.

Additional objectives of this workshop were to:

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' eDNA activity sheet for children'; ?>

eDNA activity sheet for children

eDNA activity sheet for children

Students can swim with their pencils from the ocean to where the salmon were born imagining the eDNA they leave behind on their journey.

This colourful activity sheet was designed to be used by grade 4 and 5 students. It provides a brief overview of eDNA and how it can be used to determine presence and absence of Chinook salmon in rivers.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Findings'; ?>

Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Findings

Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Findings

Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Findings seeks to assess our state of knowledge for climate change in Yukon. The report focuses on indicators – objective measures of climate – and on key findings: simple, high-level conclusions of current research and Traditional Knowledge. Given the dynamic challenges and opportunities presented by climate change, the intention is that this report should be updated on a regular basis.

Synthesizing our understanding is useful for researchers, decision makers, and the general public. This report will be useful for making more informed, evidence-based decisions on how we respond to a changing climate. 

This report is a cross-sector, structured, evidence-based assessment of Yukon climate change knowledge, based upon the most up to date research across the territory. The report was developed through the Northern Climate ExChange at the Yukon Research Centre. It was reviewed by a number of organizations, scientists and government agencies, including the Yukon government’s Climate Change Secretariat, and the Council of Yukon First Nations. 

Development of this report was funded by the Government of Yukon's Climate Change Secretariat.

Streicker, J., 2016. Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Findings 2015. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 84 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Your Yukon - 2016'; ?>

Your Yukon - 2016

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This column is coordinated by the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) at Yukon College, with major financial support from Environment Yukon and YRC. These articles are published biweekly in the Friday edition of the Yukon News.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Sensitivity to herbicide in the north (conf. proceedings)'; ?>

Sensitivity to herbicide in the north (conf. proceedings)

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The toxicity of herbicides has been the subject of extensive study; however, how these products interact with boreal species in northern climates has received little attention. As part of a larger project investigating vegetation management strategies for power line rights-of-way in Yukon, Canada, the objective of this study was to determine the impact of herbicide use on target and non-target plant species. At four sites in Yukon, Arsenal Powerline and Garlon XRT were applied to vegetation using three application methods: foliar spray, cut stump and point injection. Target species were identified as trembling aspen, balsam poplar, willows and Alaska birch. All other vegetation was considered non-target. Visual damage assessments were completed after 30 and 365 days. There were significant differences in efficacy of treatments after 30 days, but these differences largely disappeared after 365 days. All combinations of herbicide and application method were highly effective on target species. Damage to non-target erect shrubs, however, was significantly different across herbicide and application methods. Arsenal Powerline caused more damage overall than Garlon XRT and broadcast spraying was the most damaging application method, followed by cut stump and point injection. With all treatments causing similar damage to target species, reducing impacts on non-target shrubs may be considered a priority when evaluating vegetation management options.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Dawson City Landscape Hazards (report/maps)'; ?>

Dawson City Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

Dawson City Landscape Hazards (report/maps)

This report outlines the landscape hazards mapping project the Northern Climate ExChange and its partners conducted for Dawson City, Yukon. The report and accompanying maps can be used to support climate change adaptation planning.

Benkert, B.E., Kennedy, K., Fortier, D., Lewkowicz, A., Roy, L.-P., Grandmont, K., de Grandpré, I., Laxton, S., McKenna, K., and Moote, K., 2015. Dawson City Landscape Hazards: Geoscience Mapping for Climate Change Adaptation Planning. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 166 p. and 2 maps.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Economic Implications of Climate Change Adaptations on Mine Access Roads in Northern Canada (report)'; ?>

Economic Implications of Climate Change Adaptations on Mine Access Roads in Northern Canada (report)

Economic Implications of Climate Change Adaptations on Mine Access Roads in Northern Canada (report)

This study evaluates the climate-related vulnerabilities and related costs and benefits of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road, a mine access road built mainly over frozen lakes in the northeastern region of the Northwest Territories. 

Perrin, A., J. Dion, S. Eng, D. Sawyer, J.R. Nodelman, N. Comer, H. Auld, E. Sparling, M. Harris, J.Y.H. Nodelman, L. Kinnear. 2015. Economic Implications of Climate Change Adaptations for Mine Access Roads in Northern Canada. Northern Climate ExChange, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College, 93 pp.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Technology Development for Brackish Water Treatment (Poster)'; ?>

Technology Development for Brackish Water Treatment (Poster)

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Technology Development for Brackish Water Treatment (Poster)

Soprovich P., Duteau M., Janin A. and Mallet C. 2015. Technology Development for Brackish Water Treatment. Poster, May 2015.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Yukon River Water Isotope Data: Interpretation of Canadian Indigenous Observation Network Results'; ?>

Yukon River Water Isotope Data: Interpretation of Canadian Indigenous Observation Network Results

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his project examines a robust set of water isotope data collected within the Yukon River watershed. The data was collected by the Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council (YRITWC)’s Indigenous Observation Network (ION) of community-based monitors over the past several years, at sampling nodes along the Yukon River. Here, the YRITWC has partnered with the Northern Climate ExChange (NCE) to work towards interpretation of the isotope data collected from Canadian stations.

The YRITWC has been charged by its signatory Tribes and First Nations with coordinating the collection, analysis and amalgamation of water quality and quantity data for the Yukon River, for the purposes of protection and preservation of the Yukon River watershed. The YRITWC’s signatories are particularly concerned about climate change impacts on fish habitat in the Yukon River, and thus the monitoring program the YRITWC coordinates through its Indigenous Observation Network aims to assess water quality within the framework of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment’s Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life.

This project, which focuses on interpretation of the water isotope component of YRITWC’s dataset, represents an important step forward in returning information to the communities in which it was collected, and to the monitors who were involved in its collection. It contributes towards the process of integrating YRITWC’s data in watershed planning, resource management, and adaptation-related decision-making.

Northern Climate ExChange, 2015. Yukon River Water Isotope Data: Interpretation of Canadian Indigenous Observation Network Results. Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College. 36 p.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Comics, Communities and Geoscience: Creative Science Communication'; ?>

Comics, Communities and Geoscience: Creative Science Communication

Comics, Communities and Geoscience: Creative Science Communication

At the Yukon Research Centre, we aim to build lasting connections with communities in the North. We do this by developing tools to support decision-making, and by solving northern problems with northern expertise. But, in order for our tools to be used locally, we need to let users know they exist. Using the example of our hazards mapping project, we illustrate the evolution of our science communication process.

Benkert BE, Donohoe M, Davey T. (2014) Comics, communities and geoscience: Creative science communication. ArcticNet Arctic Change 2014. Ottawa, Ontario. Poster presentation.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Your Yukon - Archive 2015'; ?>

Your Yukon - Archive 2015

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This column is coordinated by the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) at Yukon College, with major financial support from Environment Yukon and YRC. These articles are published biweekly in the Friday edition of the Yukon News.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Cambridge Bay Energy and Emissions Inventory'; ?>

Cambridge Bay Energy and Emissions Inventory

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A Partnership Project by the Yukon Research Centre, the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay, and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station.

Yukon Research Centre, Hamlet of Cambridge Bay, and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, 2014. Community Energy and Emissions Inventory, a Partnership Project by the Yukon Research Centre, the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay, and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Cambridge Bay Energy Survey Report Highlights Document'; ?>

Cambridge Bay Energy Survey Report Highlights Document

Cambridge Bay Energy Survey Report Highlights Document

Cambridge Bay Energy Survey Report Highlights Document

Summary paper highlighting the findings from the Cambridge Bay Enegery Survey Final Report

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Community Energy and Emissions Inventory Cambridge Bay Final Report'; ?>

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory Cambridge Bay Final Report

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory Cambridge Bay Final Report

Cambridge Bay Community Energy and Emissions Inventory Final Report

Concurrent with climate change impacts are community responses to them. Management of energy resources, with a focus on conservation and the development of renewable energy, is one way in which northern peoples are responding to climate change—the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions being the central point. Beyond climate change, dependency on oil for electricity and heat generation creates added incentive for communities to seek more sustainable modes of energy production. It is in this context that Cambridge Bay and the Canadian High Arctic Research Station are exploring energy use and greenhouse gas emissions inventorying as a tool to support energy-related planning and decision making.

Following the International Local Government Greenhouse Gas Emissions Analysis Protocol, total energy used/emissions generated in 2012 by local governments and the participating community were analyzed. Consideration was given to stationary energy (electricity and heat generation), transport, land use, and waste sectors. In Spring 2013, structured interviews were carried out with residents and commercial and government operators to determine the types of energy people depend on, how much they use, and how much it costs them; views on local energy success stories and energy concerns were also solicited. Summarized information will be presented to the community in Spring 2014 for sharing and verification purposes and final products will be produced thereafter.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Indigenous Self-Determination'; ?>

Indigenous Self-Determination

Indigenous Self-Determination

Indigenous Self-Determination booklet

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Burwash Wind Study Report'; ?>

Burwash Wind Study Report

Burwash Wind Study Report

Report on the study into the feasibility of utilizing wind for alternatve energy in Destruction Bay/Burwash

Over one year of wind measurements have now been collected at the Kluane Wind Project site and the data has been analysed and correlated to Burwash Landing’s airport to provide an estimate of long term mean wind speed at the site. While the wind speed at 50 m above ground level (AGL) was 6.2 m/s for the October 2012 to November 2013 period the projected long term mean wind speed is estimated to be 6.8 m/s (projected to 2001‐2013 period). The Burwash airport wind measurements show that the average wind speed during the 2012‐13 period was at 93% of long term average. These recent measurements projected to long term are consistent with previous measurement campaigns and reports. The business plan used a long term mean wind speed of 6.9 m/s at 50 m AGL for calculating wind energy production.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Wireline Modem Development for Real Time Borehole Monitoring Final Report'; ?>

Wireline Modem Development for Real Time Borehole Monitoring Final Report

Wireline Modem Development for Real Time Borehole Monitoring Final Report

Final report detailing the success of the project to develop a functional surface communication system including both a downhole and surface modem that communicates with all of the Icefield Corporations’ existing products, transmits and receives data and works with common wireline cables, trucks and monitoring devices that are standard. Working to challenging timeline ICefield Tools exceeded the expections of the project. Icefield Tools and CCI feels confident with the design and implementation of this device, Icefield will begin marketing the completed product late in the 3rd quarter of 2014. This will include trade events for both mining and oil & gas, demonstrations with existing clients.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Community Energy and Emissions Inventory - Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (poster)'; ?>

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory - Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (poster)

Community Energy and Emissions Inventory - Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (poster)

This poster was presented at the International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS) VIII on May 22-26th 2014 at UNBC in Prince George, BC.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Haines Junction Bioenergy Project – Evaluation of Waste Heat Potential'; ?>

Haines Junction Bioenergy Project – Evaluation of Waste Heat Potential

Haines Junction Bioenergy Project – Evaluation of Waste Heat Potential

The Dakwakada Development Corporation (DDC), the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN), Yukon Energy Corporation, Cold Climate Innovation of the Yukon
Research Centre, and the Village of Haines Junction are investigating the potential for a biomass power plant in the Haines Junction community. The plant is expected to provide renewable electricity for the territory and has the potential to produce a viable community heat source and create local economic opportunities. To this end, the proponents are interested in investigating the use of the power plant’s thermal energy production to create benefit for the community.

The following report endeavours to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of utilizing the waste heat from a 500 kWe bioenergy gasification plant in the Haines
Junction area and, when possible, the secondary option of using heat from a 2 MWe power plant was also considered. The options evaluated in this report include a
community District Energy System (DES), increased electrical power production with Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, and localized food production through
Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Greenhouses.

The report evaluates these options against a set of criteria including, technical feasibility, economic feasibility, environmental impacts, socioeconomic considerations, and risk. A previous phase of the work also considered preliminary siting considerations. Based on secondary research, Excel-based modeling, and interviews with numerous experts and suppliers, a set of preliminary recommendations are made to the project proponents. It is understood that ultimately the community must evaluate the options available to them through the lens of their own priorities and criteria, as well as better define the nature and scale of the proposed biomass power plant. However, given what is currently known about the project, the lowest risk, highest community benefit would appear to stem from the implementation of a very simple heat network that distributes heat from the 500 kWe power plant to the community school in Haines Junction. In the less likely event that a 2 MWe system is selected, the option of a DES serving the school, arena complex, convention centre and swimming pool complex is considered the most viable.

Both the options of CEA greenhouses and ORC were deemed to have risks in excess of benefits and were not ultimately advocated for. Nevertheless, further work to confirm project feasibility will be required once the power plant has been selected, siting confirmed, and the quality and quantity of heat available corroborated.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Versatile machine and happy bacteria serve science, education and mining at Yukon College (article)'; ?>

Versatile machine and happy bacteria serve science, education and mining at Yukon College (article)

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This column is coordinated by the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) at Yukon College, with major financial support from Environment Yukon and the YRC. These articles are published biweekly in the Friday edition of the Yukon News.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Yukon Bioenergy Demonstration Project'; ?>

Yukon Bioenergy Demonstration Project

Yukon Bioenergy Demonstration Project

Stantec Consulting Ltd. (Stantec) was contracted by a Steering Committee led by Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) to complete a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) Study for the Yukon Bioenergy Demonstration Project in Haines Junction, Yukon. The focus of the study was to evaluate available biomass gasification technologies for application in the North in the range of 2 MWe – 4 MWe and determine its potential viability. The primary objectives were to complete a preliminary design of the facility, define its business case, draft baseline conditions and an impact assessment to form part of a submission to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board (YESAB), and develop and support the engagement of CAFN members and members of the public.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining'; ?>

Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining

Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining

2014 brochure for CNIM

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Landscape hazards - Centre d’Etudes Nordiques colloque (poster)'; ?>

Landscape hazards - Centre d’Etudes Nordiques colloque (poster)

Landscape hazards - Centre d’Etudes Nordiques colloque (poster)

This poster was developed for display at the Centre d'Études Nordiques annual seminar, held in Quebec City in February 2014.  It uses the Northern Climate ExChange's hazards mapping comic to illustrate our landscape hazards mapping initiative, which creates maps of climate-related landscape hazards for Yukon communities. The maps help communities understand how land responds to environmental change, and plan for future development. The poster shows the hazards map produced for the Burwash Landing area.

Benkert, B., Kennedy, K., Fortier, D., Lewkowicz, A., Doré, G., Grandmont, K. (2014) Cartographie des risques et capacité d'adaptation des communautés du Yukon, Canada. Colloque annuel du Centre d’études nordiques, 12-13 février, Centre Eau Terre Environnement de l'INRS, Québec, QC, Canada.

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Report to the Community'; ?>

Report to the Community

Report to the Community

Report to the Community

Yukon College Home YRC '.$pub_title.' Your Yukon - Archive 2014'; ?>

Your Yukon - Archive 2014

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This column is coordinated by the Yukon Research Centre (YRC) at Yukon College, with major financial support from Environment Yukon and the YRC. These articles are published biweekly in the Friday edition of the Yukon News.