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MARS: McGill Arctic Research Station

The McGill Arctic Research Station (MARS) is located 8km inland at Expedition Fjord, Nunavut, on Central Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian High Arctic (approximately 79º26'N, 90º46'W). Established in 1960, MARS is one of the longest-operating seasonal field research facilities in the high Arctic. The station consists of a small research hut, a cook house, and two temporary structures. MARS can comfortably accommodate up to twelve persons.

MARS provides access to glacier, ice cap, and polar desert environments. The surroundings are mountainous and glaciated. MARS has the longest continuous mass balance record for any high Arctic glacier (White Glacier). Some of the most detailed environmental information in the Arctic, including topographic map data, have been collected at this station.

Current research activities include glaciology, climate change, permafrost hydrology, geology, geomorphology, limnology, planetary analogues, and microbiology.

Besides McGill, recent users have included other universities, NASA, the Polar Continental Shelf Project, the Geological Survey of Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature.