Contaminants Research Highlighted at the International Polar Year Conference
Environment Canada scientists led a 3-day special session focusing on contaminants research in Polar Regions at the final International Polar Year (IPY) conference – From Knowledge to Action - held in Montreal in April 2012. This session was led by Dr. Hayley Hung from the Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate (ASTD) and highlighted findings from wildlife, atmospheric, and water research specialists.
A total of 41 oral and 64 poster presentations were featured in this session. The keynote presentation was given by Birgit Braune and John Chetelat, scientists from the Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate (WLSD), who led the Northern Contaminants Program's Canadian Arctic Contaminants Assessment Report on mercury. Session chairs included Alexandra Steffen (ASTD) and Robert Letcher (WLSD).
Highlights of S&T Branch contaminant research results included oral presentations on mercury (Alexandra Steffen), persistent organic pollutants (Hayley Hung), and observations and modelling in the atmosphere (Ashu Dastoor, ASTD) from the IPY Intercontinental Atmospheric Transport of Anthropogenic Pollutants to the Arctic program led by Hayley Hung. As well, WLSD showcased research on contaminants in polar bears (Robert Letcher) and Ralf Staebler (ASTD) presented summary results from the Ocean Atmosphere Sea Ice Surface – Canada program that was led by Jan Bottenheim (ASTD).
Regarded as the final event to wrap-up International Polar Year, the conference served as a platform to share major advances in scientific knowledge of the Arctic and Antarctic, including a greater understanding of how the rest of the world affects these vulnerable regions and how they in turn impact the rest of the world. Over 3000 scientists, policy makers, Aboriginal peoples and media from around the world participated at the conference.
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