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Images of the Canadian Arctic
1974-1976by Don H. Meredith

Wrottsley River Valley, Boothia Peninsula

In the mid-1970s, the Vietnam War was imploding upon itself, along with the so-called "60s." In 1974, after completing all my field and course work for my Ph.D in Zoology at the University of Alberta, I took employment with Renewable Resources Consulting Services, to join a team of biologists studying the distribution and behavior of caribou and muskoxen in relation to the building of a proposed gas pipeline (Polar Gas) in the High Arctic of Canada.

That first year, we mainly flew aerial surveys to determine the distributions of the two species. The surveys were based out of Resolute (Qausuittuq) on Cornwallis Island in the High Arctic Archipelago.

In 1975, I spent six weeks in a camp on the Boothia Peninsula to determine the migration patterns and movement to calving areas for Peary caribou. David Nanook, an Inuk from Spence Bay (Taloyoak), was my assistant. I learned many things from David about the Arctic, the culture of his people, and how to live and survive in this unforgiving environment.

The summer of 1976 found me once again in the Arctic, this time working for another biological consulting firm, LGL Limited, in relation to protecting some petroleum development camps from marauding polar bears. Enroute to those camps, I spent some time with LGL's marine biology crew and visited the graves of the first casualties of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition (1845-48).

The following are just some of the images from those summers:

Navigating the Slides in Lightbox

  • When you click the "Launch gallery" link below, the first photo will be loaded into a window (lightbox) floating above this page.
  • Roll your mouse over the photo and the caption will appear.
  • Roll your mouse to the right and the "Next" button will appear (or press N on keyboard).
  • In the next photos, roll your mouse to the left and the "Prev" button will appear (or press P).
  • To close the lightbox either click outside the box or click the "Close X" button in the caption.

Launch gallery

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