Changing sea ice in the Canadian Arctic is the inspiration behind SIKU (pronounced: see-coo) a new online social media and mapping platform, which is a finalist for the Google.org Impact Challenge. Headed by a University of Manitoba researcher, the not-for-profit Arctic Eider Society (AES) is harnessing social media, wiki and digital mapping technologies to address these challenges.
This month, AES is one of 10 finalists competing for the top prize in the 2017 Google.org Impact Challenge, which the public can vote in until March 28.
“It’s an honour to be nominated alongside many established and respected charities,” says AES executive director Joel Heath, a research associate at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Earth Observation Sciences. “We’re a small charity with a big heart. This funding will go a long way toward achieving our goals and helping Inuit communities address long-standing priorities for environmental and community health.”
Sea ice environments are changing across the Canadian Arctic, making travel on the ice more dangerous. These changes affect food security for Inuit. Named for the Inuktitut word for sea ice, SIKU will provide tools and services designed specifically to meet the unique needs of northern communities.