Community Monitoring of Environmental Change: College-Based Limnological Studies at Crazy Lake (Tasirluk), Nunavut


  • Markus G. Dyck



Arctic, Baffin Island, college project, community monitoring, freshwater, ice cover, lake, limnology, snow


In light of the difficult logistics and high cost of polar research into climate change, involvement of local people can contribute immensely to important data collection. One can use the knowledge and skills of human resources that are already present—teachers, students, and community members. An example is the long-term Arctic monitoring program established at Crazy Lake (63°51' N, 68°28' W) near Iqaluit, Nunavut, to monitor snow and ice thickness, biological components, and water chemistry. Nunavut Arctic College students collected basic limnological data at Crazy Lake during spring field camps held between 10 and 16 April in 2005 and 2006. Mean snow depth ± SD for Crazy Lake was 0.46 ± 0.13 m (n = 24). White ice averaged 0.13 ± 0.12 m and black ice 1.38 ± 0.28 m. Total ice thickness (white ice + black ice) ranged between 0.91 and 1.91 m (mean = 1.51 ± 0.22 m). The total lake cover (snow + ice) averaged 1.97 ± 0.20 m. Water depth ranged from 1.48 to 18.58 m (mean = 10.10 ± 4.99 m).