Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

ArCS Blog

After 4 straight days of successful samplings, today that was originally planned as a “spare day” for sampling turns out to be a free day. Curious on seeing a sunrise in Salluit at 62 degree north, I got up around 4 am hoping to capture the sunrise. To my disappointment, it was cloudy with drizzle drops accompanied by south-easterly winds, making every drop felt like freezing ice for me, a Solomon Islander. I was busy trying to pull down my jacket’s sleeve when the grasses below me moved.

Looking at the map and aerial photo of Salluit, I noticed that there is a river surrounded by rocks, streaming almost along the center of the Salluit valley. Since rock tripe lichens grow anywhere on hard substrates, preferably in the presences of water and sunlight. Such sites as the rocky river banks could harbor lichens, and I hoped to find interesting lichen flora. One way to know is to see the site; to see is to believe.

Salluit, characterized as tundra environment has permafrost (permanent frozen soil); short summers with almost continuous daylight; long winters and ‘Arctic nights’; low annual precipitation; strong wind and winter blizzards; discontinuous vegetation; and unstable, wet soil conditions resulting from permafrost melt and frost action.

My name is Merry Sailonga Faluaburu, and I am a PhD student (from Solomon Islands) of the Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, under supervision of Professor Takeshi Naganuma. This time, I am so glad to have a great opportunity to participate in the sub-Arctic expedition to Salluit in northern Canada.

This time was the second CAFF board meeting with the United States as the chair. The meeting took place at Chena Hot Springs Resort where it took about one hour by bus from Fairbanks, Alaska. The meeting is usually carried out in an indigenous community, but this was the first time to be held at a resort place. We were very lucky because we saw five moose when traveling by bus to the meeting place.