Amundsen Science

Initiative Type: Infrastructures

Belém Statement Area: Climate Variability, Emerging Pollutants, Ocean Observation, Ocean Resources, Ocean Technology

Initiative Location: Canada

Time Frame: 1978-Ongoing


Amundsen Science is the organization responsible for the management of the scientific mandate of the research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen. Mobilized for science in 2002 thanks to major grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and other partners, the Amundsen has been pivotal in revitalizing Canada’s research effort in the study of the changing Arctic Ocean. Every year, the research icebreaker accommodates hundreds of researchers, experts, and students participating in innovative and multidisciplinary programs addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time. Hosted at Université Laval, Amundsen Science manages the vessel’s pool of scientific equipment, coordinates the deployment of the icebreaker for science, and provides logistical, financial and technical support to user programs. The CCGS Amundsen is a Class-1200 medium-size icebreaker based in Quebec City, Canada. The electric diesel engines of the Amundsen, which generate 11155 kW, and the adjusted shape of the hull allow for navigation at 3 knots in more than 1-meter-thick ice. The vessel was designed to have great autonomy at sea: it can travel 15,000 nautical miles at cruising speed without calling port. The Amundsen is an efficient, versatile and cost-effective ship to conduct scientific research of international calibre in the Arctic and other ice covered seas. The Amundsen’s pool of specialised equipment includes 65 scientific systems and 22 on board and portable laboratories that can accommodate the needs of physical, chemical, and biological oceanographers, paleoceanographers, geologists, atmospheric scientists, remote-sensing specialists and epidemiologists.

Contact: Jay Barthelotte, Fisheries and Oceans Canada,

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