Umiujaq Research Station

The Umiujaq Research Station is owned and run by CEN whose secretariat is based at Université Laval, Québec, Canada. This station is part of the CEN Network. In 2010, CEN undertook major station upgrades thanks to a grant from the federal government and restored the warehouse (still shared with its partners), built a vehicle garage, and a 3 bedroom house. The facility is next to a pier for easy maritime access. The facility can accommodate 7-8 people. The house is equipped with partial solar powered electricity, running water (kitchen, toilette and laundry), and oil heating. Climate stations, part of the CEN SILA network and permafrost monitoring sites.

Name Email Phone Number
Primary Contact Christine Barnard (418) 656-2131, ext. 2503
Secondary Contact Claude Tremblay or (819) 929-3319 or (418) 656-3340

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Centre d’études nordiques (CEN)/ Centre for Northern Studies

Regular Member




Umiujaq, situated on the shores of eastern Hudson Bay, in Nunavik

Nearest Community

Territory/ Province

Aboriginal Government/ Homeland
Anniturvik Landholding Corporation:; Municipality:;

Facility Type
Year-Round Research Station (no station manager)

Research Hinterland
Discontinuous Permafrost, Freshwater, Lake, Ponds, Thermokarst Pond

Main Research Disciplines
Archaeology, Biochemistry, Climatology, Environmental Sciences, Geodesy, Geology and Sedimentology, Geophysics, Geocryology, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Limnology, Mapping/GIS, Microbiology, Paleoecology, Paleolimnology, Terrestrial Biology/Ecology, Traditional/Aboriginal Knowledge

Research History
Past and present research has focused on permafrost studies, coastal geology, and geomorphological characterization of the region. CEN’s research has been conducted here since 1980. CEN researchers use a meat plant/warehouse that has shared ownership (CEN, Anniturvik Landholding Corporation, and Makivik Corporation). Other than the scientific literature available, CEN has extensive climate data since 1997 which is available via the Nordicana D data repository ( and upon request (

Current Projects
Permafrost studies, coastal geology, & geomorphology, biodiversity & dynamics of northern aquatic ecosystems; groundwater hydrology; wetland paleoecology; mercury dynamics; snow & ice dynamics; greenhouse gas emissions; sea & lake mapping; plant community dynamics.

Generator, Solar, External Electrical Grid

Telephone, VHF, Internet

Local Transportation
Truck and ATV can be rented through CEN and the community

Equipment Storage
Yes, arrangements must be made prior to arrival

Dormitory/Sleeping Facilities
In 2010, CEN undertook major station upgrades and restored the warehouse (still shared with its partners), built a vehicle garage, and a 3 bedroom house. The facility can accommodate 7 to 8 people at a time.

Dining/Kitchen Facilities
The house is equipped with partial solar powered electricity, running water (kitchen, toilette and laundry), and oil heating.

Laboratory Facilities
Wet and dry.

Fuel Availability
Within the community, arrangements must be made prior to arrival.

Research Requirements
Makivik Corporation is currently working on a research licensing system. Local authorities must be informed of your work. No permitting and licensing required for work within the village, but please contact local authorities: and the Landholding corporation: If your work takes place within the limits of Tursujuq Park, you must apply for a research permit:

Special Rules and Regulations

Local External Resources
Arrangements can be made to hire Inuk guides for projects taking place outside the village.

Nearest Medical Service
CLSC (health clinic) in town, 2 staff with basic medical training, 45 min. to hospital in Puvirnituq (by plane).

Safety Considerations
First aid kit; satellite phone; weapon; pepper spray


Other Information
Umiujaq was established in 1986 by Inuit from Kuujjuarapik, 160 km to the south, who decided to relocate in the region where they hoped to better preserve their traditional lifestyle in an area where fish and game were not threatened by development. CENês research has been conducted here since 1980.

Research topics cover biodiversity and dynamics of northern aquatic ecosystems; impacts of thawing permafrost in the context of global warming; wetlands paleoecology; research on mercury dynamics (air, precipitation, snow); snow and ice dynamics; greenhouse gas emissions from thermokarst ponds and tundra; sea and lake bottom mapping; and plant community dynamics and response of northern plants to climate change. Archeological studies and community based monitoring activities have also taken place. CEN operates four climate stations in the area and thermistor cables are installed to monitor permafrost temperature. Umiujaq has a population of about 500 inhabitants, mainly Inuit. The people speak Inuktitut and English with some French. Some work on the social dimensions has been conducted over time.

Umiujaq is only accessible by commercial airlines (Air Inuit). All research activities must be planned in advance. Maritime transport is available twice a year. Local guides and translators are available for hire. Access to the surrounding area by chartered flights (floatplane and helicopter) can be organized by CEN from the Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik Research Station. Contact CEN ( for more information.

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