Becky Segal, MSc student, was in the Canadian Arctic communities of Kugluktuk, Cambridge Bay, and Gjoa Haven from November 13 – 26, 2017. Along with researchers from Ocean Networks Canada and the Canadian Ice Service, she conducted public meetings, workshops, and interviews. Becky is researching ways to map and deliver enhanced sea ice information to these communities using satellite image data, particularly synthetic aperture radar data (SAR).
Community members are very knowledgeable about SAR images. They have expressed interest in having access to SAR images that are processed in ways that provide reliable information about areas of rough and smooth sea ice (for travel planning), as well as hazards to be avoided. Since the European Space Agency launched the Sentinel-1 SAR in 2014, free and open access SAR imagery makes mapping and information delivery to communities much closer to a reality. Becky consulted with community members on ideal formats for the delivery of Sentinel-1 SAR images and derived maps. She also went on four sea ice excursions to areas of interest identified by locals as travel hazards or areas of known change. More community activities are planned for the spring of 2018.