The Human Ecology and the Impact of Chemical Pollutants on Arctic Marine Communities Project
The Human Ecology and the Impact of Chemical Pollutants on Arctic Marine Communities Project was a collaborative Canada/US research initiative involving researchers from the University of Alaska, North Slope of Alaska’s Department of Wildlife Management, Environment Canada and the University of Calgary.
Dr. Kassam led the Human Ecology component of the research project. The project examined the impact of chemical pollutants on the human ecology of three Arctic marine communities whose livelihood and food sources are dependent on marine resources.
These Arctic circumpolar communities are: UluKhaktok, NWT, Canada, on the western extent of Victoria Island in the Beaufort Sea; Wainwright, Alaska, USA, located on the North Slope of the state (within the US National Petroleum Reserve); and, Novoe Chaplino, Russia located (in a highly militarized zone) on the Chukotka Peninsula.
10 undergraduate and graduate students participated in undertaking research on this project. A total of 10 community members across the three Arctic communities were trained to collect scientific and indigenous knowledge that will help to clarify the impact of chemical pollutants on indigenous peoples.
This information is expected to have immediate impact on the formulation of policies related to future industrial development and the existing subsistence economies of the region. A Publication entitled Passing On The Knowledge containing indigenous knowledge from the Community of Wainwright, Alaska was published in July 2001. This project was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA.