In just over a week's time I along with my research assistant, Sofia, are heading to the Canadian Arctic to monitor Arctic plant phenology! It is a loooong journey. First we will fly 3hrs north from Ottawa to Iqaluit on Baffin Island, where we will be spending 2wks setting up phenology monitoring around Iqaluit. Sofia will continue the monitoring at Iqaluit while I will fly 3.5 hrs further north to Resolute on Cornwallis Island and then another 4hrs even further north on a Twin Otter prop plane to Lake Hazen in Quttinirpaaq National Park on Ellesmere Island. That is pretty much as far north as one can go in Canada or anywhere in the Arctic. I have now discovered that Canada is longer north to south than it is wide east to west!
While in the Arctic, myself and my research assistants will be recording when Arctic plant species are flowering, how long they flower for and how long it takes to reach fruit maturity. We will be taking lots of photos capturing the species' flowering and fruiting developmental progression. The data we gather will be used as a baseline for my research on phenological responses of Arctic plants to climate change.
Phenology is the study of the timing of natures seasonal biological events such as the timing of leafing out and flowering, arrival of migrant birds and emergence of insects.