Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jody Decker

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Ultra violet radiation (UVR) is believed to be linked to many health problems, and numerous studies have been conducted on Caucasian populations at all latitudes. Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic, comprises approximately one fifth of Canada's land mass and has a scattered population, the majority of which (over 70%) is Inuit. Nunavut also possesses a unique physical geography, as well as culture, which may result in its population being at great risk from UVR Very little research has been conducted in Nunavut on the affects of increased solar UVR and possible links to health. This thesis has compiled baseline data to begin an analysis of this problem. Data are limited, therefore scenario zones were created to outline areas of greater risk and vulnerability within Nunavut. Physical factors such as albedo, solar elevation, the polar vortex, combined with Inuit cultural and genetic factors lead to the conclusion, that in terms of UVR exposure, the Inuit may be at high risk from immunosuppression and cataracts and at lower risk from skin cancer. There is a need for greater attention and education towards the population of Nunavut for protection and awareness regarding UVR.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Public Health Commons