Labrador Institute Research Station

The Labrador Institute Research Station (LIRS) is co-located with the College of North Atlantic and the North West River community library. The facility includes employee and general office space, a large board room, a scientific laboratory, a GIS/social science laboratory, a general (wet) laboratory, accommodation space for four people, a full kitchen and dining area, and storage space. The Labrador Institute (IT) also has offices in HV-GB and Labrador City.


LIRS Building. Photo credit: Bryn Wood

Name Email Phone Number
Primary Contact Caitlin Lapalme (709) 497-3630 x.222
Secondary Contact Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo
(709) 896-4702

Download Labrador Institute Research Station profile as a PDF document

Memorial University

Regular Member




North West River

Nearest Community
North West River (0 km) and Sheshatshiu (2 km)

Territory/ Province
Newfoundland and Labrador

Aboriginal Government/ Homeland
North West River is centrally located to the Nunatsiavut Government and Innu Nation land claim areas. The NunatuKavut community council land claim is also nearby, but this claim has not been settled. The proposed Mealy Mountain National Park is also just across Lake Melville from LIRS.

Facility Type
Year-Rround Research Station

Research Hinterland
Freshwater, Taiga / Boreal forest

Main Research Disciplines
Anthropology, Archaeology, Environmental Sciences, Geology and Sedimentology, Human Biology/Wellness, Mapping/GIS, Sociology, Soil Science, Traditional/Aboriginal Knowledge

Research History
LIRS is just coming on line, however LI has a long history of research in Labrador in a great variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to: health research, arts and culture, social programs, climate change, archaeology, education, mining and resource development history, migratory birds and land mammals, etc.

Current Projects
LIRS is supporting and/or taking part in climate change research, land use studies, interior archaeology, archaeological mitigation, and addictions awareness. LI is involved in education research, food security, community health, mining history, post-doc support, etc.

External Electrical Grid

Telephone, Satellite phone, Internet, Computer, Printer/scanner

Local Transportation
The Station is accessible by car/truck. Also available are chartered boats in summer and snowmobiles in winter. There is an airport with modern facilities including helicopters and bush planes for charter, coastal trawlers are available, as well as year round road access.

Equipment Storage
Minimal Storage Space available

Dormitory/Sleeping Facilities
Accommodation space available for four people

Dining/Kitchen Facilities
Full kitchen and dining area

Laboratory Facilities
Our primary scientific lab is currently being developed. Current equipment includes: digital balances, a variety of microscopes (with more on the way), incubators, a sample freezer, water purification, a Ph testing kit, a centrifuge, a digestion block, a water bath, a large volume stirrer, portable ventilation system, etc. There are 7+ work stations, sinks, a teaching area (with white board), and lots of open space for further development. Lab space also includes satellite internet and telephone service. Our secondary lab space is very basic. It includes a sink and stainless steel bench, two work benches and lots of open space with concrete floor. This area is intended to be used for wet and dirty work.

Fuel Availability
Commercial distributors available in town.

Research Requirements
Please consult facility coordinator for information

Special Rules and Regulations
Currently being developed. Contact facility coordinator for additional information

Local External Resources
Nunatsiavut Government maintains health and conservation offices in North West River, as well as the Sivunivut Community Corporation offices. The NL government maintains a Forestry Centre and a Museum in the community. There are a number of local businesses, such as: gas station, store, snowmobile parts, gas station/garage, post office, and a k-12 school. Just across the river in Sheshatshiu there is an RCMP station, a health clinic, a treatment centre, and Innu Nation and band council offices.

Nearest Medical Service
Health clinic with nurse practitioners and visiting doctors, Sheshatshiu (2 km). Large Health Center located in HV-GB (35km).

Safety Considerations
Basic safety is provided at the Research Station involving our equipment. We have Personal Protective Equipment available. We also ensure users complete our Laboratory Safety Course on our website. For more information contact the Facility Coordinator.

Please consult facility coordinator

Other Information
LIRS and LI are currently undergoing a period of significant growth. As a result, we will maintain our focus on the social sciences and humanities, and increase our capacity in environmental studies, climate change, earth sciences, anthropology, archaeology, and geography. Last June we also started an artist in residence program.

Last Updated


Researchers working from LIRS.Photo credit: Morgon Mills


View of Sheshatshiu from NWR. Photo credit: Bryn Wood


Main LIRS Lab. Photo credit: Scott Neilsen