Category Archives: Science and research

The new arctic architecture: Industrial grey space

The same architectural firm was hired by the NWT government to design Aurora College, The Aurora research institute and the new school. (Now called East 3 Elementary and Secondary)

The three buildings’ style is very distinct. They feature grey corrugated metal siding, exposed pipes and bolts and a lot of glass.

The three buildings are an example of a new, very distinct architectural style in Inuvik.


Venus spotted from Inuvik’s weather station: Once-in-a-lifetime event

This evening, the planet Venus was visible for a few hours in front of the sun. (You can read about it here on National Geographic’s web page.)

Chris Garven works at Inuvik’s weather station, and he was prepared to see it. He bought welder’s glass and made another filter from the inside of an old floppy disk. This was perfect for taking photos and viewing the sun through a telescope.

The result? You can see it here. THE PLANET VENUS was visible as a dot in front of the sun. (Click to make photo larger, it’s a dot in the top centre.)

The Storm Hunter in Invuik: Mark Robinson

How’s this for a cool job: Mark Robinson hosts a show on the Weather Network and travels across Canada and the U.S. looking for extreme weather.

Mark and his teammate recently stopped in Inuvik to gather material for his series. The on-camera challenges included sleeping in a car at Eagle Plains to test how a candle can keep a person warm overnight.

Here’s his website. If only he had been in town for the recent blizzard with 100km-winds!

Weather monitors at Aurora College

Aurora College has an Environment and NAtural Resources Technology Program.

Here, students learn how to check data on weather-monitoring stations. These can be scattered around the arctic, to get information about rainfall, temperature, wind speed, etc. Information is obtained through a USB slot.

The data helps climatologists and other sicentists learn about the north.

Western Arctic Research Institute: Nice architecture and design!

A new building, in partnership with Aurora College, is getting ready to open in Inuvik.

The Western Arctic Research Institute was funded by the federal government to provide lab space and meeting rooms for visiting scientists. There will also be an effort to involve local people and have them see the research work that’s happening.

This is a beautiful and modern building, designed in an open and energy-efficient style, with exposed concrete, steel walkways, etc. Looks great!

CBC radio item: Digital translators being used in schools

Schools in the western arctic are using these devices called Phraselators. They’re portable translators which allow the recording and playback of language.

The CBC show Spark has put a link to my item about phraselators. Click below and then scroll down to hear it.