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History Polar Regions

The Joint Arctic Weather Stations

Science and Sovereignty in the High Arctic, 1946-1972

by (author) Daniel Heidt & P. Whitney Lackenbauer

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Polar Regions, Social History, Meteorology & Climatology
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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This is the first systematic account of the Joint Arctic Weather Stations (JAWS), a collaborative science program between Canada and the United States that created a distinctive state presence in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 1946-1972. These five meteorological stations, constructed at Eureka, Resolute, Isachsen, Mould Bay, and Alert, became remote hubs for science and sovereignty, revealing the possibilities and limits of modernity in the High Arctic.


Drawing on extensive archival evidence, unpublished personal memoirs, and interviews with former JAWS personnel, this book systematically analyzes the diplomatic, scientific, social, environmental, and civil-military dimensions of this binational program. From the corridors of power in Washington and Ottawa to everyday life at the small outposts, The Joint Arctic Weather Stations explores delicate statecraft, changing scientific practices, as well as the distinctive station cultures that emerged as humans coped with isolation in polar environments.

About the authors

Daniel Heidt is an independent scholar whose numerous publications focus on Ontario and Canadian political history, as well as the Arctic during the Cold War. He is the founder and manager of The Confederation Debates.

Daniel Heidt's profile page


P. Whitney Lackenbauer is associate professor and chair of the Department of History at St. Jerome's University in the University of Waterloo, and a faculty associate with the LCMSDS.

Peter Kikkert recently completed his M.A. at the University of Waterloo and is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Western Ontario.


P. Whitney Lackenbauer's profile page


  • Short-listed, Aleberta Book Publishing Awards - Scholarly Book of the Year
  • Short-listed, CSN-REC Best Book in Canadian Studies
  • Runner-up, Atmospheric Science Librarians History Book of the Year

Editorial Reviews

A captivating story of the difficulties, as well as the benefits and successes, of jointly operating Canadian-American scientific research bases in the remote Arctic.

Alina Bykova, NiCHE Canada

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