November 20, 2012 09:00 ET

Climate Change, Food Security, Inuit Education and Arctic Sovereignty, Top Issues at ArcticNet's Annual Scientific Meeting

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2012) - Leading Arctic scientists, researchers, policy makers, NGOs, and northern stakeholders will meet in Vancouver next month to discuss climate change, food security, Inuit education, sovereignty and other pressing issues facing the Canadian Arctic.

"The Arctic is changing rapidly," said Louis Fortier, ArcticNet's scientific director. "Arctic ice is melting at record rates, new shipping routes are opening up and industries are showing keen interests in potential opportunities in the area. With Canada on the eve of taking over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, this year's meeting will address some of the major challenges and opportunities brought by climate change and modernization in the Arctic."

More than 450 people are expected to attend what is the country's largest annual Arctic research gathering. This year's event will also host the first award ceremony of the $1 million annual Arctic Inspiration Prize, donated by the Vancouver couple of Sima Sharifi and Arnold Witzig of the S. and A. Inspiration Foundation. The prize will be awarded annually to teams that have presented a viable plan to turn Arctic knowledge into action.

"When visiting Canada's North we noticed a lot of similarities to developing countries," said Witzig. "As immigrants to Canada, we wanted to contribute to the future of our adopted country and help address the challenges our Arctic communities face with a rapidly changing environment, culture, and economy."

Industrial development, vulnerability of northern communities, and changing terrestrial and marine ecosystems are amongst the critical topics that will also be addressed by top Arctic researchers including Dr. Dave Barber, Dr. Michael Byers, Dr. Louis Fortier, Dr. Derek Mueller and Ms. Sara Statham. ArcticNet's 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting takes place Dec. 10 to 14th at the Westin Bayshore hotel in Vancouver, BC. For more information visit:

About ArcticNet

ArcticNet is a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada that brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners from Inuit organizations, northern communities, federal and provincial agencies and the private sector to study the impacts of climate change and modernization in the Canadian Arctic. Over 150 ArcticNet researchers and 700 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates and technicians from 30 Canadian universities and 20 federal and provincial departments and agencies collaborate on 36 research projects with more than 100 partner organizations from 15 countries.

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