Canadian Consulting Engineer

News

Stantec to lead Beaufort Sea Arctic Study

Stantec has been selected to lead a long-term U.S.-led scientific study of the Arctic marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf. The study covers an area from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canadian waters.


Stantec has been selected to lead a long-term U.S.-led scientific study of the Arctic marine ecosystem along the Beaufort Sea shelf. The study covers an area from Barrow, Alaska to the Mackenzie River delta in Canadian waters.

The Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) is related to the effects of climate change, energy development and sustainability in the Arctic region. It will gather information to help government, industry, and communities make decisions related to regulations, resource management, economic development and environmental protection.

The team will use ships, drones, satellites, and snow machines and multiple sampling techniques such as ice and snow sensors, acoustics and nets. It will also use multiple ocean, ice and air modeling approaches.

Stantec staff from nine U.S. states and six Canadian provinces will be involved. The company will be working with more than 25 universities, environmental research organizations and private firms and scientists. An independent review board of international experts will help steer and peer review the five-year project.

John Lortie is Stantec’s MARES project director. “We are thrilled to lead this significant Beaufort Sea study,” he says. “The health of the Arctic region ecosystem has immediate as well as long term and far reaching impacts. The results of this work will strengthen the foundation on which a multitude of generational decisions will be based.”

MARES is coordinated and planned by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), a bureau of the Department of the Interior. Federal and private sector research partners include the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, Marine Mammal Commission, National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Naval Research, and Shell Oil Company.