The Peel Project – heading to the Yukon!

6 artists paddle into the Arctic Circle 
— A film of Art, Wilderness & Canadian Identity —
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Hello to the SAFS community! This summer I (Emma Hodgson – a SAFS student) will be taking part in a collaborative project between art and science in northern Yukon. The Peel Project is a multi-layered endeavor bringing together film, the arts and sciences as a means of telling a unique story of art, adventure and Canadian identity. The film will highlight the landscape, culture and wildlife of the Peel River Watershed (PRW) in Yukon/Northwest territories, through filming 6 artists as they experience the landscape. Each artist will use a different medium to explore and document their experience in the Peel region. As the solo scientists on the trip, I will be collecting baseline data including putting out temperature loggers, and benthic invertebrate sampling.

The work is timely, as the Peel River Watershed is one of the last undeveloped watersheds left in Canada, spanning nearly 68,000km2 of wilderness. But as of January 2014 71% was officially opened for economic development, primarily related to mining and oil exploration. There is a court case to fight this development of the watershed, but whatever the outcome, few baselines are known about the region and understanding the system now is an exciting opportunity.

For more information on the project visit: As we are soon to wrap up a fundraising campaign to help make the whole project happen, please visit – with 5 days left in the campaign, we are are $5,000 away from our $30,000 goal!

Emma Hodgson
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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Grizzly bears are numerous in the Peel Watershed. Un-habituated to humans due to the pristine nature of the region. Photo: Calder Cheverie
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Lower Peel River outside of Ft. McPherson, NWT. Entering the arctic plateau. Photo: Calder Cheverie
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