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Michael Foster and Marino Carol
Toronto NC Press, cl986. 127pp, cloth, $24.95
ISBN 0-920053-63-7. CIP

Subject Headings:
Polar Continental Shelf Project (Canada).
Arctic regions-Research-Canada.

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up

Reviewed by Robin Lewis

Volume 14 Number 6
1986 November

This is really the story of those of Canada's scientists who have been involved with the Polar Continental Shelf Project. The P.C.S.P. was created in 1958 in response to the need for surveying and collection of other scientific data from the area north of Canada's seventieth parallel. This research organization is relatively little known to lay people. When acting as a co-ordinating body or support service (operating as a division of the department of energy, mines and resources) the P.C.S.P. itself does not publish scientific reports. These go out under the name of the group to which the various scientists belong. Recently, it involved 235 groups a total of about one thousand people.

Early efforts to map the earth's gravitational field, and to establish weather stations, led to continuing research. New interests evolved as the major Canadian radar lines were constructed. Military personnel and prospectors needed data on northern physiography and living conditions. One significant achievement was the development, by a British supplier, of the Decca navigation equipment. Some sort of bibliography of projects or research papers is needed, however, to help the reader evaluate the relative extent of the P.C.S.P.'s involvement in Arctic science.

A large portion of this book is devoted to photographs. Picture quality is often poor on the black and whites. Many seem to have been developed in the field, under difficult conditions. Retouching and cropping to remove hair and dirt is needed. Michael Foster's own photographs, for The Chartmakers (NC Press, 1983), are better. Still some, such as the ice island picture, are unusual and very interesting.

This book is short and easy to read, but the subject is so narrow that it will have limited appeal to those who are not already familiar with the P.C.S.P.

Robin Levels, Riverdale H.S., Pierrefonds, Que.
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