Bratt’s Lake Observatory(Regina, SK)

Bratt's Lake Observatory

Bratt’s Lake Observatory is a site established by Environment Canada's Air Quality Research Division, Experimental Studies Section. It was the first Canadian site in the World Climate Research Programme's Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN). Worldwide, there are approximately 40 sites. BSRN Regina has been operational since the mid-1990s, and is located 20 km south of Regina. The site is spread over several square kilometres of farm land. 

Bratt's Lake Observatory Instrument PlatformBroadband and spectral solar radiation measurements (global, diffuse, direct, incoming infrared) are measured at the main platform. Outgoing radiation (short wave and long wave) measurements and meteorological measurements are measured at the 30 metre tower at the 10 metre and 30 metre levels with incoming shortwave measured at the 30 metre level. Standard weather measurements, air quality measurements, precipitation gauge intercomparison, and pesticide monitoring occur at the meteorological compound.

BSRN Regina serves as a site in several other Canadian and international networks, including:

  • Canadian Air and Precipitation Monitoring Network
  • Stratospheric and UV Monitoring Network
  • Ozonesonde Network
  • AEROCAN/AERONET Aerosol Monitoring Network
  • Canadian Radiological Monitoring Network (Health Canada)
  • USDA UV-B Monitoring and Research Program Climate Network
  • North American Mercury Deposition Network
  • Transport and deposition of currently used pesticides (Environment Canada)
  • Precipitation measurement and sensor evaluation (Environment Canada)
  • Reference Climate Station Network (Environment Canada)
  • National Air Pollution Surveillance Network (Environment Canada)
  • Greenhouse Gases Program (Environment Canada)

National Hydrology Research Centre(Saskatoon, SK)

National Hydrology Research Centre

The National Hydrology Research Centre hosts staff mainly from the Water Science and Technology Directorate of Environment Canada, as well as a group of researchers from the Climate Research Division of the Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate.

Facility highlights include:

  • Fully accredited laboratory capable of providing conventional and nutrients analysis in support of EC research and monitoring studies.
  • Geometrics/Geographic Information Systems lab.
  • Computer modeling facility.
  • National EC Isotope research and analytical facility.

Those from the Climate Research Division who are located at the National Hydrology Research Centre carry out field-based research investigations of cold climate processes, including the investigation of water, energy, and carbon fluxes in the boreal forest and responses to climate variability and change. This group is responsible for the Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites – a network of flux and meteorological measurement towers located in the southern boreal forest in Saskatchewan, which are operated in partnership with the Canadian Forest Service, Parks Canada, and several universities. The Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites is a flagship flux tower super-site within the Canadian Carbon Program Research Network and contributes data sets to several international carbon science and flux tower programs.

Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre(Saskatoon, SK)

Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre

The Prairie and Northern Wildlife Research Centre occupies more than one hectare of land on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, including 10 laboratories in the main building. It is a field-oriented research centre with more than 30 research, program and support staff located at the Centre, as well as space for graduate students from the university.

S&T Branch and Environmental Stewardship Branch staff at the Centre contribute directly to Environment Canada’s wildlife research programs. A small group of Wildlife Enforcement Officers are also based at the facility. The close interaction of operational and research personnel, which is fostered by co-location at the Centre, is central to the delivery of Environment Canada programs.

Scientist performing nutritional analysisSome highlights include:

  • Labs set up to facilitate field research, which involves researchers preparing equipment and samples to take into field.
  • A laboratory where plants are experimentally tested to examine plant sensitivities to different environmental factors. This work relates to the listing of species under the Species at Risk Act.
  • A tissue processing lab to assess the body condition of waterfowl.
  • The Centre is located near two key National Wildlife Areas: St. Denis and Last Mountain Lake. Researchers and biologists from the Centre conduct work within these National Wildlife Areas to assess important wildlife issues. Access to these National Wildlife Areas is important because scientists are able to control what happens on the landscape. For example, by allowing common agricultural activities within the area they can empirically monitor how wildlife respond.
  • The St. Denis National Wildlife Area is a site of long-term wildlife population studies that look at landscape and climate changes, and the impacts on wild populations.
  • Staff from the Centre also conduct research that extends into the Arctic. Work done at the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Canada is monitoring how the population of geese is changing over time and how overpopulation of geese impacts their environment.