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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

 
Abstract
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. 

 

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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

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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.

Funding received for Water Knowledge Application Network

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Permafrost in the Northwest Territories is thawing and the ecosystem is changing. Over the past three years, Wilfrid Laurier University researcher William (Bill) Quinton, a Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Hydrology, has been working with collaborators to map the change in the permafrost and to develop computer models that will help predict permafrost distribution and river flow. Quinton has received $150,000 in funding from the Canadian Water Network (CWN) to create the Water Knowledge Application Network (WatKAN).

For entire Press release go HERE

By andrewspring Posted in News
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Recent Media Coverage

There has been a great deal of activity lately that has resulted in several media articles and reports on different CRRC researchers.

1) NWT Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources’s visit to the Scotty
Creek Research Station
2) CBC Radio International interview with Bill Quinton
3) CBC Northbeat Interview with Jennifer Baltzer (minute ~46)
4) More on the Minister’s Scotty Creek visit
5) A story on the Climate change in the subarctic field course