August 01, 2012 12:49 ET

WWF Opens Iqaluit Office

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2012) - WWF-Canada is pleased to announce the opening of a new office in Iqaluit, Nunavut, which will strengthen WWF's Arctic program and increase its field presence in Nunavut. On August 7, 2012, Vicki Sahanatien will start a new position in Iqaluit as Senior Officer, Government and Community Relations with WWF's Canadian Arctic Program.

Sahanatien brings a wealth of Arctic knowledge and experience to the position. She spent 12 years leading and managing Arctic conservation programs with Parks Canada, including with the Nunavut Field Unit. During that time she consulted and developed partnerships with co-operative management boards, Hunter and Trapper Organizations, Inuit elders, governments and universities for research, monitoring and planning initiatives. Sahanatien also has many years of on-the-ground field experience traveling on foot, ski, helicopter, snowmobile and boat in Nunavut. Several years ago, inspired by her work in Nunavut, she decided to pursue Ph.D. research at the University of Alberta. Her interdisciplinary research (under Dr. Andrew Derocher) on the Foxe Basin polar bear subpopulation uses satellite collar data, sea ice satellite imagery and maps, and Inuit knowledge to understand how the annual evolution, dynamics, and structure of sea ice habitat influences polar bear movements.

With WWF-Canada, Sahanatien will initiate, facilitate and contribute to discussions of long-term planning and management options to provide for development in Nunavut while conserving ecological and traditional values. The high arctic region is of particular interest for WWF. Global climate models project that the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and northern Greenland will be the 'Last Ice Area,' (www.lasticearea.org) and of global importance in habitat conservation for sea-ice dependent species. Sahanatien and her colleagues at WWF will work to raise awareness and understanding of the significance of this region, and support local and regional planning efforts to conserve its ecological resilience.

Sahanatien will be working out of the Nunavut Research Institute, in Building 959A in Iqaluit. She can be contacted at vsahanatien@wwfcanada.org, 867-970-7298 (office) and 867-222-2620 (mobile).

About WWF's Canadian Arctic Program

Working in cooperation with Inuit, Government, Community and Industry interests, WWF seeks to shape the course of development in the Arctic, such that new activities in this rapidly changing environment are based in sound conservation science informed by local and traditional knowledge, and demonstrate stewardship and responsible and sustainable development. www.wwf.ca/arctic

About WWF

WWF is creating solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive. www.wwf.ca

Contact Information