Cold Regions Research Symposium -2015

It’s time again for the annual Cold Regions Research Symposium. This event showcases cold regions research at Wilfrid Laurier University. They day will be filled with student presentations and is a good opportunity to meet other students and faculty involved in cold regions research.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Lantz has a unique research program that spans the social and biophysical sciences. He will be presenting two talks, one from his tundra shrubbing work entitled “Causes and consequences of vegetation change in the Tuktoyaktuk Coastlands” and the other on the community-based research he conducts entitled “Understanding landscape change in the Mackenzie Delta region: the importance of local partnerships”.

The event will be held on March 6, 2015 at the Paul Martin Centre at WLU from 9:00-3:00.

For more information contact info@coldregions.ca

Cold Regions Research Seminar – Feb 24

The Cold Regions Research Centre is hosting a seminar on February 24th at 1PM in the Boardroom of the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science (65 Lodge St). Please forward this on to others that might be interested. All are welcome.

“Overview of National Hydrological Services in Meteorological Service of Canada”

Dr. Al Pietroniro
Director, Water Survey of Canada
Environment Canada

Date: Tuesday, February 24
Time: 1PM
Place: CCRWS Boardroom

Refreshments provided


Annual Meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union

The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union – Eastern Sections of Hydrology, Biogeosciences, and Earth Surface Processes is scheduled for Saturday, 7 February at the Paul Martin Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo.

This meeting is a relaxed and peer-focussed forum for student researchers at all levels to present results of both preliminary and complete research projects related to broad subjects within the fields of hydrology, biogeosciences, and earth surface processes.  Short (~12 minute) oral presentations and poster presentations are encouraged from students attending this meeting.  Poster dimensions must not exceed 4 feet wide ×3 feet high. Please be aware that due to time-scheduling constraints we may have to designate some abstract submissions to either oral or poster format as required. Supervisors are very much encouraged to attend the meeting, although they may not present their research. CGU membership is not a requirement for participation at this meeting, but we always welcome new members. If interested in becoming a CGU member, please visit: www.cgu-ugc.ca/membership.

Registration for the meeting will be $30 (cash only) to be paid upon arrival at the conference. This will help to offset the cost of lunch, refreshments and other expenses. If you plan to drive to the conference, please consult the Laurier webpage (www.wlu.ca) for information on parking.

Agenda: CGU 2015 Agenda

Cold Regions Hydrological Model (CRHM) Workshop – Jan 6

The Cold Regions Research Centre is hosting a short CRHM Workshop on Jan 6, 2015.

CRHM was initially devised to provide a framework within which to integrate numerical algorithms derived from the observation of a range of hydrological processes of considerable uncertainty, based solely on the underlying physical interactions which control them, in small- to medium-sized catchments.

For more information click here or email info@coldregions.ca


Cold Regions Research Seminar – Jan 7

How improved cold regions hydrological science offers an alternative to the perils of model calibration

Dr. John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change
Center for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan

Date: Wednesday, January 7
Time: 1PM
Place: Paul Martin Centre

Refreshments provided


Cold Regions Research Seminar – Nov 6

On Thursday Nov 6 from 1230-130 in Arts Building 2E7 Dr. Chris Southcott from Lakehead University will present on “Can Resource Development Help Make Arctic Communities Sustainable: Initial Findings of the ReSDA Project “. This talk is sponsored by the McMurry Research Chair and Cold Regions Research Centre.

Chris Southcott is the Principal Investigator for the SSHRC MCRI sponsored research network Resources and Sustainable development in the Arctic (ReSDA). Its mandate is to develop ways to ensure that a larger share of resource development benefits stay in the region for the people of North with fewer costs to communities. Raised in Northern Canada he has been involved in community-based research in the Circumpolar North for over 28 years. During these years he has published over 100 scientific reports, books, book chapters, and articles dealing with social and economic change in Northern Canada and the rest of the circumpolar world. Over the past 10 years he has led several major Canadian and international research initiatives dealing with social and economic development in northern regions and has played a leading role in research development for the University of the Arctic.


Cold Regions Seminar – Oct 17

The Cold Regions Research Centre and the Biology Department are pleased to host the following seminar. Please distribute to those who may be interested. All are welcome.

Disturbance as a catalyst and driver of change in the boreal forest
Dr. Jill Johnstone
Biology, University of Saskatchewan

Date: Friday, October 17

Time: 2:30 PM

Location: Science Building N1044

Pre-seminar coffee will be available in N1046 at 2PM

The rapid pace of climate change has raised warning flags for many researchers who anticipate large changes in forest systems as a direct result of warming climate conditions. In the boreal forest, changes in tree mortality and growth responses under recent climate conditions suggest that forests are experiencing increasing environmental stress. However, the substantial inertia of intact forest communities means that large scale changes in forest structure are most likely to occur in association with disturbance. In addition, the characteristics of a disturbance itself can push a system in different directions, acting as an additional driver of change. Here I discuss results from seeding trials in post-fire forests of Alaska that help identify conditions that support forest recovery to pre-fire conditions (=resilience) versus those that may be pushing the system into new configurations. Vegetation legacies associated with organic layer accumulation and propagule availability are a key factor supporting resilience across fire cycles. Unusual disturbance conditions that disrupt these legacies, such as increases in fire frequency or severity, open the playing field for new community configurations to develop. Interactions between landscape gradients, vegetation legacies, and disturbance characteristics give rise to certain parts of a landscape likely being more vulnerable to rapid changes in forest cover than others. These studies of fire and succession in the boreal forest suggest that predicting near-term, transient responses to climate change will require a landscape-explicit understanding of how environmental conditions, vegetation legacies, and disturbance characteristics interact to drive patterns of forest resilience under climate change. 



Cold Regions Research Symposium


The Cold Regions Research Centre is proud to present the 2014 Cold Regions Research Symposium

March 6, 2014, Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science, Wilfrid Laurier University


The Cold Regions Research Symposium is an opportunity for Laurier faculty and students working in the North to present and discuss their current or planned research.

Keynote Speakers:

Lithalsa distribution, morphology and landscape associations in the Great Slave Lowland, Northwest Territories, Canada
Dr. Stephen A. Wolfe, Geological Survey of Canada

Traditional Knowledge and Science: Is Integration the Answer?
Dr. Allice Legat, Former Roberta Bondar fellow, Trent University

Download the agenda: CRRC AGENDA

Student presentations: Coming soon

For more information contact us: info@coldregions.ca


Laurier opens Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science

On Oct. 11, Wilfrid Laurier University and partners celebrated the opening of the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science, located on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Research within the centre will involve scientists from across Canada and will focus on some of the country’s most pressing questions about water, environmental and resource issues in cold regions, with implications for policy development and resource management.

The opening began with a traditional Aboriginal welcome from Jean Becker, Laurier’s senior advisor: Aboriginal initiatives, followed by words from Max Blouw, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor.

“It really is a special day, and I think by the buzz in this room everyone is excited to see the building come to completion,” said Blouw. “This will be the home of leading-edge research from scientists all across Canada and, in fact, internationally.”

The two-storey facility will house Laurier’s Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research (CALIBER); Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre (CRRC); and the Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS). It will also house the ecotoxicology activities of the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC), including equipment and labs, sample preparation and staging areas for mobile trailers.

The facility and the research it houses represent a partnership between Laurier, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and SOWC.

Minister Michael Miltenberger of the Government of the Northwest Territories spoke to the partnership between the university and the territory.

“The relationship we have with Laurier is a very important one to us,” said Miltenberger. “As an indication of how important … we have come 4,900 km to be here to share this moment with you.

“The physical structure is beautiful, but we are very, very interested in what’s going to happen in here when it’s operational. This building is symbolic of the relationship we have, and the importance of the work you’re doing and going to continue to do.”

Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener-Waterloo, said the centre is integral to training the next generation of scientists.

“The construction of the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science would not have been possible without the cooperation of many partners, including the governments of the Northwest Territories and Ontario,” said Braid. “This new centre will integrate the expertise of the university’s research groups and centres already studying various aspects of water management, and it will improve our understanding and preservation of the Canadian boreal forest as one of the largest natural sources of freshwater in the world.”

After the opening speeches, an art installation by Patrick Mahon was unveiled. His work, titled Water Movements/Multiple States, was produced specifically for the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science building. Mahon utilized layers of sem-transparent coloured resin on plexiglass, as well as frosting techniques that modulate the clarity of the surfaces, to develop an arrangement of fluid forms that emphasize mobility and change. The piece emphasizes physical change as a constant, inferring the importance of attempts to know and control a fluid that is central to human and planetary life, while also acknowledging it as both vulnerable and uncontrollable.

The event ended with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by tours of the building that showcased some of its many features, including four bio-chambers for plants and invertebrates, deep freezers (capable of temperatures as low as -80°C) and aquatic tanks.