Encountering the Waterlands: Stories of Environment, Animals and Architecture in the Ahiak

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    Composite image of Canada showing flight paths to Karrak Lake.
    Logan Steele
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    Pressing into the night - Two exposures at 1/125 sec, fifteen seconds apart
    Logan Steele
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    Photos of the main cabin south (top) and west (below) facades
    Logan Steele
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    Main cabin in plan
    Logan Steele
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    Photos of the bunkhouse from southwest (top) and east facade showing shower (below)
    Logan Steele
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    Bunkhouse in plan
    Logan Steele
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    Photo of Karrak Lake research station from the northeast
    Logan Steele
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    Photo of snowmobile tracks descend onto Karrak Lake from the research station
    Logan Steele
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    Photo of the North Cabin showing bear deterrent boards in place
    Logan Steele
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    North Cabin in plan
    Logan Steele
Author
Logan Steele

Examining Committee Members

Supervisor
Committee Member
Internal Reader
External Examiner
David Lieberman

In spring of 2019, I travelled through Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), Nunavut to the Ahiak (Queen Maud Gulf) Migratory Bird Sanctuary for a five-week volunteer position studying populations of migratory geese. In this space of migration, I question not only how we understand our changing environment but also how we can recalibrate a relationship in it. In so doing, I approach the Karrak Lake research station as a multiplicity of landscapes, buildings, animals and climatic forces, putting forward a method of engagement and expression that engages each of these actors through photographic composites and narrative-based writing.

This research is informed by a wide spectrum of cultural study, historical research, the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Henri Bergson, and James Gibson among others as they helped to reflect upon personal encounter with the Arctic environment over the course of five weeks in the Ahiak. The narratives were composed largely in-situ and tell the story of intense interrelations between living beings, landscape, weather and architecture. The thesis reframes the research station as an integrated component in much larger environmental processes. It explores the interconnectedness of the humans and animals whose territories it sits among, as well as its unique ecological surroundings, and looks toward how we can pursue a relationship with the land in the context of Canada’s changing environmental and reconciliatory discourses.

Project Date
Completed