As the APECS representative to the Canadian High Arctic Reserach Station (CHARS) management committee I attendeed the most recent meeting in May 2015. At the meeting an update of staffing and projects run by CHARS was given. Although CHARS supports numerous projects throughout the Canadian north, the main part of the program will run out of the reserach station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Construction on the buiding is now underway, with the triplexes that will house staff and visiting researchers the first phase. Once this phase is complete, the construction of the main resrach buildings will begin.
Also in the works is the change from CHARS being a program within Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development of Canada (AANDC) to joining with the Canadian Polar Commisssion (CPC) and becoming a crown corporation. This transition has taken up much of the man-power of the CHARS/CPC staff, but is slated to be finalized in the coming months. You can read more about CHARS here.
The management committee also discussed how future calls for proposals will function, and how the priorities will be determined. Working groups will be formed from the management committee and invited experts to determine scientific priorities and needs CHARS will focus on under the Canada's Northern Strategy.
Lastly, the proposals submitted for this years funding were reviewed. A selection committee made up of ten members from the manangement committee reviewed each proposal in detail and made recommendations to the larger management committee on what projects were to be funded this round. A large emphasis on placed on assessing how projects involved northerns. The management committee accepted the recommendations of the selection committee, and those recommendations will now be presented to the AANDC minister for final approval (since CHARS is still technically under AANDC).
The management committee is slated to meet next via a conference call in the fall to discuss the next call for proposals.