Research programs contribute to understanding how the environment and aquatic ecosystems function, provide information about how stressors like climate change and industrial development can affect water and aquatic ecosystems, and helps water stewardship decisions be shaped and adapted. Monitoring results are usually a key component of research programs.
Research is conducted by communities, governments (Indigenous, municipal, territorial and federal), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), industry, and academics (universities and colleges), and is often coordinated as a partnership between several of these interested parties.
All research conducted in the Northwest Territories (NWT)—including water-related research—requires a licence or permit. Depending on the topic or location of the research project, multiple research licences might be required.
- Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, GNWT (archaeological research)
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources, GNWT (wildlife research)
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Government of Canada (research on marine and freshwater life, including fish and marine mammals; **note: research projects that fall under this category also require a licence from the Aurora Research Institute)
- Aurora Research Institute, GNWT (all other research in NWT, including biological sciences, physical sciences, contaminants, traditional knowledge, engineering, social science, and health-based research)
- Parks Canada Agency, Government of Canada (require a licence for any research within their boundaries)
- Additional licences/permits from other agencies—for example, the NWT Regional Contaminants Committee, may be required, depending on the type of research being conducted.
Researchers should contact the relevant agencies and communities at least three months in advance of when they hope to begin their research in the NWT. More information about community perspectives on research in the NWT is available. For more information about conducting research in the NWT, please visit Aurora Research Institute’s web site.
The Aurora Research Institute (ARI) maintains a publicly available collection of scientific research license information for studies conducted within the NWT, called the NWT Research Database. This database is a compilation of license information from various processes that have been in place since 1974.