August 30, 2019

Inuvik, NT –The research division of Aurora College, Aurora Research Institute (ARI), has been awarded $150,000 for an Applied Research Tools and Instruments grant through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program.

The grant supports the purchase of research equipment for the Application of UAV LiDAR Systems to the Monitoring and Mapping of the Effects of Climate-Driven Changes on Western Arctic Communities project.

The funds will be used to purchase an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system that will support the investigation, mapping, recording and monitoring of the effects of climate-driven changes on northern communities. Used together, the UAV and LiDAR system is a geomatics tool that has multiple applications including, but not limited to: producing high-resolution 3D maps of urban and remote areas, measuring snow depth, monitoring permafrost thaw, measuring ice thickness, and monitoring ice road maintenance.

The Applied Research and Tools Instrument grants provide financial support for colleges to purchase research equipment that enhances the capacity for applied research, innovation and training. One of the objectives of the grant is for colleges to collaborate with small and medium-sized enterprises. ARI currently hosts a UAV program in Inuvik that supports its researchers and partners, as well as provides training to northern communities. With this equipment, ARI will be better equipped to develop collaborative, community-based, and regionally-relevant research programs and provide training opportunities for northern students and Indigenous research partners, as well as support private sector partnerships.


 “NSERC values the tremendous contributions of Canada’s colleges in the research and innovation ecosystem. Today’s investment will enhance our country’s world-class research capacity, help businesses innovate to create growth, and train our next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs.”
–              Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

“Aurora Research Institute (ARI) looks forward to implementing the new UAV and LiDAR system to support research in the Western Arctic. With a more advanced and complex system, ARI and its partners can develop applications more suitable for the Arctic environment.”

-Pippa Seccombe-Hett, Vice President, Research, Aurora College

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Aurora Research Institute (ARI) is the research division of Aurora College.  The mandate of ARI is to improve the quality of life for residents of the Northwest Territories by applying scientific, technological and Indigenous knowledge to solve northern problems and advance social and economic goals. To achieve this mandate ARI conducts, supports, and licenses research throughout the NWT.  ARI is headquartered in Inuvik, and has regional research centres in Inuvik, Yellowknife and Fort Smith.

For more information, please contact:
Jayne Murray                                                                           
Manager, Communications & College Relations 
Aurora College                                                             
Phone: 867-872-7021