Learning Modules & Pilot Projects

The third phase of N-CAMP envisions the completion of the learning modules and the delivery of the pilot project in Coral Harbour, Igloolik and Kugluktuk. This phase of the program will involve setting up a steering committee for the project and the selection of students who will be trained in either fisheries or aquatic monitoring techniques. The learning modules have been designed so that the training can take place within the communities themselves.

During our consultations, the N-CAMP team presented five different learning modules and discussed these with community stakeholders and partners.

These included:

  • Fisheries data collection
  • Water (aquatic) quality monitoring
  • Freshwater habitat assessment
  • Benthic monitoring (benthic concerns the environment in the lowest layers of water)
  • Career development

All communities showed strong levels of interest in two of these modules: fisheries data collection and water quality monitoring. These are the two modules that N-CAMP has developed for the pilot project. Moderate interest also was expressed for the remaining modules, and water quality training will include benthic monitoring. All of the partner communities will participate in the Fisheries sampling module during the upcoming year. In addition, an aquatic sampling module will be delivered to the community of Kugluktuk.

Both of the pilot project modules have made use of already existing programs to monitor water and fish, but they have adapted these programs to the arctic environment and to meet the needs of Nunavummiut. The learning modules will combine classroom instruction with local field work that offers "hands on" experience out on the land. Instruction will be provided by a combination of individuals experienced in scientific monitoring techniques and local elders.

Upon completion of their training, participants will provide feedback to help improve the program and prepare the groundwork for its expansion. Once it is up and running in these communities, N-CAMP envisions both the introduction of the program into more communities, and the development of further modules that will make the program more effective at meeting the needs of Nunavummiut. 

It is hoped that participants in N-CAMP will contribute to continued efforts to set up effective monitoring programs in Nunavut, and will be able to pursue careers in areas such as commercial fishing, environmental work and community development. To this end, discussions are in progress with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop further career options for N-CAMP participants. Students will also become knowledgeable about N-CAMP as well as potential contributors to future discussions about water quality and fish health in their communities, and in Nunavut more generally.

The Fisheries Biological Sampling Module

This module is designed to train Nunavummiut in the essential techniques of monitoring fish stocks. The module is a nine-day program taught both in the classroom and in the field. It introduces students to several important branches of knowledge about fish and fishing. This will include learning the standard methods of taking fish samples, fish biology and health, basic knowledge of commercial fishing practices, and the significance of different kinds of data such as “Catch per unit effort."  The student also will learn how the monitoring program influences wider issues affecting the community; they will become familiar with the various regulations and government acts that govern the creation and management of commercial fisheries. An important part of their training will involve traditional Inuit knowledge concerning fish and fishing as well as its importance to Inuit culture.


The Water Quality  Module

Participants in this module will be trained in the basics of water management in Nunavut, and the methods and standards of monitoring water quality. The module also includes training in the methods of identifying and collecting a variety of invertebrates living in the benthic environment – the bottom layer of water. This module is a six-day program that involves two days of field work where the student will gain first-hand experience using different kinds of testing equipment. They will acquire knowledge of important issues influencing water quality (such as contaminants) and the different methods of monitoring the aquatic environment. They also will learn about the different species of aquatic invertebrates and how testing these species can give us important information about environmental quality. They also will learn about local and traditional sources of knowledge concerning the land and waters of Nunavut, and how this knowledge relates directly to economic development issues in the community.