Aurora College gets $150K for climate change drone project

The research division of Aurora College is receiving $150,000 to investigate climate change in northern communities using drones.

The money will help Aurora Research Institute purchase a drone and a LiDAR (light detection and ranging) system.

With the new equipment, the institute says it’ll be able to do more work with private-sector and Indigenous partners – and offer more training opportunities for northerners.


The project uses drones to map, record, and monitor the effects of climate change by measuring changes in variables like snow depth, permafrost thaw, and ice thickness.

The drones can also be used to monitor issues like maintenance of ice roads.

Money for the project comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, which is a federal funding agency.

“With a more advanced and complex system, Aurora Research Institute and its partners can develop applications more suitable for the Arctic environment,” said Pippa Seccombe-Hett, the college’s vice-president of research.


The council’s vice-president of research partnerships, Marc Fortin, said in a news release: “Today’s investment will enhance our country’s world-class research capacity, help businesses innovate to create growth, and train our next generation of researchers and entrepreneurs.”