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By Jeremy Heywood, Vancouver Aquarium diving safety officer

Saying farewell to Cambridge Bay did not mean the end of the work for the 2016 Nearshore Ecology Team. Upon our return to Vancouver we had stacks of dive gear clean and stow, receipts to add up, data to collate and images to sort.

Over the course of our month-long project in Cambridge Bay we completed 56 dives and spent in excess of 33 hours under frigid Arctic waters. On those dives, and during our time on shore, we collected over 3000 still photos and 400 video clips. Here are a few of our favourites.

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View of Starvation Cove and the Findlayson Islands near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

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The water was so clear we could see the divers from the boat.

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Drop stone adorned with stack of Buccinum snail eggs and pink coralline algae.

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Buccinum snail egg stacks. We observed these fascinating egg ‘stacks’ everywhere.

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Clione limacina – a predatory pelagic gastropod.

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A pair of Banded Gunnels (Pholis fasciata). These fish are favourites of ours.

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Justin Lisaingo examines kelp growing in the shallows.

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Laura Borden surfaces after a dive.

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Our dive boat named UGYUK, which is the Inuktitut word for “bearded seal.”

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Tundra lakes near Cambridge Bay as the sun sets.

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Fiery clouds reflect the sun setting over the nearly competed Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay.

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An inukshuk at dusk.

With global temperatures on the rise, we’re racing against time to gain insight about one of the least scientifically understood regions on the planet: the Arctic. In August, scientists from Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre headed north to expand upon innovative Arctic research projects started in 2015, in collaboration with Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR), the federal agency responsible for advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and for strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. This blog series chronicles our scientists’ time and research efforts in the Arctic.

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