Editorial Ideas

SCIENTISTS AND RESEARCHERS CONTRIBUTE FEATURE COLUMNS

Involve scientists and researchers in contributing articles/stories to the local media. Resources include local universities and colleges, science centres, museums, zoos. Topics of interest could relate to the people, wildlife and plant life in the Arctic. Other areas of focus may include research, impacts of climate change and tourism.

Keep in mind local, national and international events that may be linked to the exhibition. Find a way to capitalize on interesting news related to the Arctic, polar animals and climate change.

Topics may include:
Arctic Research

Are you considering writing a story highlighting Arctic research? The Canadian Museum of Nature is a great resource on this topic.

Arctic Voices features specimens from the Canadian Museum of Nature's world-class natural history collections and introduces the museum's scientists, and the research they are undertaking to understand the Arctic's biodiversity.

The work of marine biologist Dr. Kathy Conlan, for example, reveals the colourful diversity of marine invertebrates that populate the ocean floor. The importance of microscopic algae and phytoplankton in sustaining the Arctic food chain is shared through the research of Dr. Michel Poulin. And new information about the diversity and distribution of Arctic plants is featured through the work of museum botanists.

To find out more please contact:
Dan Smythe
Senior Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Nature
(613) 566-4781; (613) 698-9253 (cell)
dsmythe@mus-nature.ca
http://nature.ca

People

Inuit Forecasters – In the Arctic a reliable weather forecast is crucial, and can mean the difference between life and death. Traditional Inuit knowledge, passed down through generations, allows Inuit forecasters to decipher weather signals. Explore this indigenous environmental knowledge and discover how climate change is having an impact on these tried-and-true forecasting skills.

Throat Singing – The art of Inuit throat singing features a very unique style and is played as a friendly competition or game between two participants. This skill, which was once traditionally performed by women only and passed down from mother to daughter, is now also being shared with young boys to preserve throat singing as a part of Inuit culture.

Wildlife

The Arctic Circle is home to a number of species, each with their own unique adaptations to survive on the frigid tundra. Whether you're writing about the iconic polar bear, the Arctic fox, or the beluga whale, life in the Arctic is full of amazing and interesting science!

Caribou – Caribou are well adapted to living in cold environments. Their hooves adapt to the seasons, they hold the record for furthest migration of any terrestrial mammal, they can see ultraviolet light, and a one-day-old baby caribou can run faster than an Olympic sprinter!

Narwhals – The real unicorns of today live in the Arctic Ocean and move around using flippers and a fluked tail. This "unicorn of the sea" is the narwhal – the only whale species in the world that lives year-round among the Arctic ice.

Polar Bears – Did you know that the fur of a polar bear is actually transparent? Explore the science behind this and discover why a polar bear's fur actually appears white, or in some cases, a yellowish brown.

Plant Life

The Arctic: More than Ice and Snow – There are approximately 1,700 plant species in the Arctic. How are tundra plants able to grow in such a cold place that also experiences six months of darkness? Embark on a garden tour to see how plants have adapted to survive and thrive in this harsh environment.

Tourism

Polar Bear Capital of the World – Welcome to the town of Churchill, population of about 850 – or roughly one person for every polar bear. The "Polar Bear Capital of the World" offers tourists the chance to safely view polar bears from specially modified buses known as tundra buggies.

Impacts of Climate Change

Sea Ice: A Way of Life – Ice is to the Arctic as the trees are to a rainforest. It's the foundation upon which the entire food chain revolves – the element that binds everything together. Sea ice is the platform that polar bears use to stalk and hunt seals that have hauled out to sun and give birth. It's the refuge that allows bowhead whales to escape from their main predator, killer whales, whose large dorsal fins restrict their movement under the ice. It's the hiding place of the tiny Arctic Cod, which are the preferred food of the Thick Billed Murre – an Arctic bird that looks much like a penguin. Ice is the highway that the Inuit travel on for nearly nine months of the year. It provides access to marine mammals, and links coastal communities and families that are hundreds of kilometres apart. It is a way of life.

A Changing Arctic – The temperature in the north has risen three times faster than the global average. The year-round ice cap that has covered the area around the North Pole for hundreds of thousands of years has shrunk by nearly 70% in the past 30 years. The fabled Northwest Passage that lured hundreds of explorers to the north where their ships became frozen into the ice pack is now ice-free most summers. The Arctic is in the midst of a huge transformation that will only accelerate as the temperature rises.

Arctic Council

Arctic Council – Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, and the United States of America all hold territory, and a vested interest, in the Arctic. These member countries form the Arctic Council – a high-level intergovernmental forum that addresses the issues faced by Arctic countries and the indigenous people of the Arctic. The work of the Arctic Council may be relevant to host venues for Arctic Voices as Canada will Chair the Council from 2013 to 2015, and the United States will Chair the Council from 2015 to 2017.