More money for northern science students


The federal Northern Scientific Training Program will see more money this year. Beginning in the fall of 2004, its annual budget will increase to $1 million. Last year, 30 universities asked for $1.3 million – and received $636,000.

This program allows Canadian students of northern science to go out in the field for research projects. It also considers applications from Canadian students who want to study in other circumpolar nations.

Since 1961, the program has spent $18.6 million and helped 7,000 students. The money pays for transportation, living expenses, cargo and interpreter fees for field work.

“As other nations discover the significance of the Arctic, more international research teams are gathering in our North,” said Indian and Northern Affairs minister Robert Nault in a press release. “Our objective is to increase the number of graduate and other advanced students within Canadian universities who have specialized in some aspects of northern studies and who have northern research experience.”

According to polar bear scientist Dr. Ian Stirling, more money for the program should help interest students in northern research. Stirling, 62, said there are few northern scientists under 45.

“It’s going to take a while to see a new research cohort in the North – and one that includes Inuit,” Stirling said.

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