Profile: Sarah Newell

Collaborative Community Based Coastal Monitoring and Harvesting in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut

Dr. Sarah Newell is an interdisciplinary health researcher. Sarah completed her Honors Degree in Health Sciences and Master¡¯s in Health Systems, both at the University of Ottawa. She went on to earn her PhD in Health Policy at McMaster University while also completing a Water Without Borders Diploma from the United Nations University ? Institute for Water, Environment and Health. During her PhD, Sarah had the opportunity to travel to Nunavut for the first time to collaborate with the community of Chesterfield Inlet. This began Sarah¡¯s love of Arctic research. Sarah is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa where she is researching water security in Nunavut.

Ever since defending her PhD thesis, Dr. Newell and the community of Chesterfield Inlet have been seeking an opportunity to continue their research relationship, building on the results of their previous collaboration. The Robin Rigby Trust has generously provided an opportunity to do just that. The community of Chesterfield Inlet has recognized the importance of monitoring the impacts climate change and increased shipping has on marine mammals in their region. They are also looking for opportunities to support the intergenerational transfer their local, Inuit Traditional Knowledge.

This research project provides an opportunity to do both while empowering community members to become more engaged in the research process. We will be organizing a series of harvesting trips on the land with youth, current hunters, and elders. During these trips they will develop a community-based wildlife monitoring program while creating opportunities to share Inuit Traditional Knowledge and current hunter¡¯s knowledge about how climate change has impacted their harvesting practices. This project will provide community members with evidence and additional tools to advocate for policies that mitigate and adapt to the impacts of our changing climate and increased shipping in the Arctic.
Midterm Report: