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Melanie Irvine


Office: SN 2005
Telephone: (709) 737 8998
Fax: (709) 737 3119


Drs. Trevor Bell and Rod Smith.

Thesis title

Assessing community scale vulnerability in relation to landscape hazards in the Canadian Arctic.

Research description

Climate change is affecting various aspects of the planet, with resulting environmental, social and economic impacts, particularly in polar regions. The primary goals of my thesis are to examine community landscape hazards, with a focus on those related to climate change, and to determine which conditions communities are vulnerable too.

My research is based out of the hamlet of Clyde River, on north east Baffin Island. Specifically, the goals of the research are: (i) to document landscape and environmental hazards in and around Clyde River; (ii) to classify and map hazards in relation to both the level of risk (exposure) they pose and the community’s ability to adapt to the conditions (iii) to assess how the community is responding to these hazards; and (iv) to establish how conditions may be changing, particularly though not exclusively in response to changing climate. Local, traditional and geoscientific information will be compiled to produce a GIS-based, community scale hazard map for Clyde River. Airphoto interpretation and Quick Bird satellite imagery will be used in conjunction with data collected in the field. Results will be examined in relation to current and future risks associated with the impacts of climate change at a community scale. It is anticipated that protocols developed for this mapping project may be applied in other northern communities.

My thesis is part of Project 1.2, Coastal Vulnerability in a Warming Arctic of ArcticNet, and provides an understanding of how communities are vulnerable to landscape hazards in a changing arctic.

Clyde River Welcome Rock

Clyde River