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User-Driven Monitoring of Adverse Marine Weather States in the Eastern Beaufort Sea

Working with communities and companies in the Eastern Beaufort Sea to identify weather-related vulnerabilities.

Dr. Atkinson is identifying how specific weather events impact stakeholders and their economic activities, linking these to determine which large-scale weather patterns are of greatest concern, and working with northerners to explore how to provide access to accurate information in the Eastern Beaufort Sea region.

There are two main project achievements to date:

  1. Improved liaison with end-users. This provides a greatly enhanced understanding of their needs, identification of impacts in terms of marine capabilities and hazards and how these are driven by weather, and improvement of methodologies for engagement.
  2. A major increase in wave modeling capacity in the presence of marginal sea ice in the Canadian Arctic Ocean has been realized under this project. This will facilitate enhanced marine safety and coastal planning. Anticipated future achievements will include establishment of climatologies for wave energy and adverse weather parameters, methodological guidance for other projects seeking to engage end-users to address these sorts of questions, synoptic weather pattern overviews of problem weather occurrences for Environment Canada use, and provision of tools and training to facilitate end-user take-up of modern weather and marine data sources. 

This project is performing ongoing training of numerous HQP, including seven post-docs and three PhDs. This project is also engaging in training of non-standard HQP in communities. 


  • Atkinson,David, David E., Forbes, Don L. and James, Tom S. 2016, Dynamic coasts in a changing climate; in Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate, , p. 27-68,
  • Perrie,William,Hoque, Md. Azharul, Steven M. Solomon. 2017, Evaluation of two spectral wave models for wave hindcasting in the Mackenzie Delta, Applied Ocean Research,
  • Perrie,William,Li, Haiyan. 0, Sea Ice Characterization and Classification Using Hybrid Polarimetry SAR, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 10.1109/JSTARS.2016.2584542.
  • Atkinson,David,Eerkes-Medrano,Laura , Hajo Eicken, Bill Nayokpuk, Harvey Sookiayak, Eddie Ungot, Winton Weyapuk, Jr.. 2017, Slush-Ice Berm Formation on the West Coast of Alaska, ,
  • Perrie,William,Xie T, H. Fang, L. Zhao, W. Yu, Y. He . 2917, Spatial and temporal variability of sea ice deformation rates in the Arctic Ocean observed by RADARSAT–1., Science China Earth Sciences, 10.1007/s11430-017-9023-8..

Dr. Atkinson’s approach of directly engaging northern stakeholders and determining from them what sorts of local weather halts their economic activities is feeding into a broader understanding of how the large scale weather links into the local scale. This work will be able to inform the weather forecast process to ultimately reduce risk and enhance safety. It will also help considerations of impacts of projected climate change.