ASM2023 Conference

Event Summary

To those who attended, don’t forget to fill out the survey here!

To view the conference photos, visit the Polar Photography Gallery here.

From December 4-7, 2023, ArcticNet brought the northern research community together for the first time in the North for the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM2023) at the Aqsarniit Hotel and Conference Centre in Iqaluit, NU. The event was a record-breaking success as ArcticNet hosted over 450 members of the Canadian and international Arctic research community for a week of discussion, networking and knowledge sharing, in-person as well as virtually. With approximately 200 Northern participants (43%), this year was the most representative conference to date. Northern participation is critical to the ASM, ensuring Northerners are an integral part of the conversation around current results emerging from Arctic research and the future of research in Canada. This was especially important this year, given the ASM being hosted in the North for the first time.

ASM2023 convened the northern research community for more than 40 presentations, and four panel discussions, all of which were live-streamed. The recordings of the panel discussions are available here. The scientific programming demonstrated a commitment to research excellence, where researchers, throughout presentations, panel discussions and posters, shared their expertise on a range of environmental, health, and socio-economic Arctic issues.

ArcticNet was honoured to open the conference with remarks from Solomon Awa, Mayor of Iqaluit, Olayuk Akesuk, President of Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Her Excellency The Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, The Honourable Daniel Qavvik, Minister of Environment, The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), and Aluki Kotierk, President of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

The ArcticNet Student Association (ASA) kicked off ASM2023 by hosting students and early career researchers during the Early Career Northern Researchers (ECNR) Annual Meeting. The 2023 edition of the ECNR Meeting featured a panel on Inuit Experiences in Academia, over 15 workshops and training sessions for ECNRs, a community pitch contest, networking events, and a knowledge expo featuring over 15 booths hosted by researchers and local organizations.

Throughout the ASM, three panel discussions touched on a variety of subjects: A Healthy Arctic; A Self-Determined Arctic; and An Interconnected Arctic. These panels featured experts from a multitude of different sectors.

Aligned with its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, ArcticNet worked with InclusiveKind through the HearU program to offer all conference attendees a designated inclusive space, with the opportunity to discuss barriers in Arctic research, and a safe and anonymous way to report mistreatment during the ASM. On-site, were also two Inuit counsellors, available for advice on and reporting of inappropriate behaviour.

The ASM featured two cultural nights with performances from Nunavut artists, and storytelling from local Elders. 

ASM2023 ended with the awards gala with musical performances from the talented throat-singing group Paunnakuluit, and the local band Kamaalukutaat, and the presentation of multiple awards: 

  1.   Polar Knowledge Canada presented the 2023 Northern Science Award to Dr. Trevor Bell for his lifelong dedication to Arctic climate change research. The award was accepted by Andrew Arreak and was dedicated to Mishak Allurut, in memory and his recognition of his inspiration and guidance. 
  2.   The ASA and APECS Canada presented the Mentor Award to Dr. Sonja Ostertag for her devotion to the success of her students. 
  3.   The ASA presented the Community Pitch awards to Sienna Dyer Dunphy, Inuksuk High School, Hailey Garbig, Inuksuk High School, Meghan Brockington, Guelph University, and Tapisa Kilabuk, University of Calgary. 
  4.   Carla Pamak, Nunatsiavut Government, presented the Inuit Recognition Award on behalf of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to Dr. Eric Oliver for his contributions towards Arctic research in Canada. 
  5.   Jean Allen presented the Knowledge Expo – Best Science Booth award to “Project CSI Nunavut” and the Knowledge Expo – Best Culture Booth award to “Revival of the Qajaq”.

ArcticNet awarded nine student poster awards to: Social and Health Sciences, 1) Alexis Polidoro, sponsored by Société du Plan Nord, 2) Faith Rahman, and 3) Faith Maelzer; Terrestrial Sciences, sponsored by Arctic Science Journal (Canadian Science Publishing), 1) Jasmin Dawson, 2) Hannah Harrison, and 3) Madeleine Anderson, and; Marine Sciences, sponsored by Ocean Networks Canada, 1) Stephanie Chan, 2) Kimberly Franklin, and 3) Manon den Haan. Thank you to all the poster judges.

ArcticNet also awarded six photo contest awards to: Kimberly Franklin (Landscape), Stephanie Chan (People and Communities), Kelly Evans (Plants), Kimberly Franklin (Wildlife), Véronique Dubos (Research Activities) and Kelly Evans (Artistic Merit and Originality). Thank you to all the judges.

A special tribute was provided by Melissa Lafrenière for the passing of ArcticNet researcher and friend, Maya Bahtia. 

The Northern Travel Fund allowed for over 50 Inuit, First Nations, Métis, and other Northerners to attend the ASM2023. Thank you to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC), and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami for contributing to the fund together with ArcticNet. 

Thank you to all ASM2023 sponsors who made this year’s event possible: Qikiqtani Inuit Association, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., CIRNAC, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Weston Family Foundation, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, Arctic Research Foundation, Amundsen Science, Sentinel North, Société du Plan Nord, Ocean Networks Canada, Arctic Science, and Defence Research and Development Canada. Thank you to all the participants, presenters, partners, and exhibitors for their contributions that helped make the ASM2023 such a success. 

During the ASM2023, ArcticNet announced that its proposal to the Strategic Science Fund, co-developed with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Polar Knowledge Canada, was successful. This funding for the next five years secures a new era of scientific collaboration and will focus on bridging and leveraging diverse knowledge to better understand and prepare for a changing Arctic.

Finally, a last big thank you to everyone who attended ASM2023! It was an honour to host our first ASM in the North in Iqaluit. We hope to see you next year December 9-12 in Ottawa, Ontario! 


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