CH Insights on Developing Widespread Drought in Western Canada

CH director Professor John Pomeroy has been asked by a number of media outlets to contribute insights relating to the drought conditions developing across much of western Canada this summer, and associated widespread wildfire activity. These concerns are being driven by the past winter’s low snowpacks, followed by early spring melt and premature peak flows, which have been linked to unprecedented regional weather patterns and probable long-term climate change.

The articles and videos are listed here, ordered from newest to oldest;

Rocky Mountain Outlook Profiles CH CRHO Research on Athabasca Glacier

Canmore’s Rocky Mountain Outlook of 29th July 2015 has published an article profiling CH’s current work on the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. The research, conducted within the framework of the Canadian Rockies Hydrological Observatory (CRHO), aims to obtain observations of atmospheric conditions close to the ice surface, which may in turn be related to rates of melting and retreat by the glacier. This will also permit comparisons to be made with conditions affecting other glaciers in the area, such as the already greatly reduced Peyto Glacier in Banff National Park, further to the south.

JConway_CRHO_Athabasca_Glacier_LMartellCH’s Dr Jono Conway at the Athabasca Glacier
(Photo – Lynn Martell)

The article is available from the RMO site, here.

Postdoctoral Fellowship Opportunity in Canadian Prairie Agriculture Water Quality Modelling at CH

The University of Saskatchewan is seeking an exceptional individual for a three-year appointment as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Water Quality Modelling.

The PDF will contribute to an experimental and modelling programme focused an agricultural land management in the Canadian Prairies, and develop multi-scale models of water quality suitable for agricultural cold regions where snowmelt and frozen ground as well as agricultural practices such as tillage and wetland drainage impact hydrochemistry. The research will provide improved tools to evaluate beneficial management practices and support regional water quality modelling. The position is jointly supported by the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) CREATE postgraduate training programme in water security and will be part of the research team of Professor John Pomeroy and Professor Howard Wheater.

Qualifications: A recent PhD in hydrology or water quality with experience in hydrological water quality modelling and ability to develop model code in C++ or related languages. Experience in cold regions water quality and/or hydrology is an asset.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Kate Wilson, Executive Assistant, Global Institute for Water Security by 4 September 2015, with a copy of their CV, a cover letter and the name and contact information for three references. Review of applications will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. The Postdoctoral Fellow will hold their academic appointment with the Department of Geography and Planning and will be a member of the Global Institute for Water Security  and the Centre for Hydrology research units.

CH Contributes to Elbow River Tour

While preoccupations focus this year on the likely onset of drought conditions, CH Director Professor John Pomeroy was asked to contribute a scientific perspective on proposed flood-mitigation measures as part of a river tour organized recently by the Elbow River Watershed Partnership, as part of their annual general meeting.

Prof. Pomeroy re-iterated the importance of improvements to seasonal and severe weather predictions; precise forecasting for water bodies and groundwater; improved responses to impending floods; avoiding land use and development in floodplains; and the expansion (where necessary) of physical flood-control structures, in conjunction with the development of appropriate watershed management practices.

More information about the AGM and river tour is available from this article in the Cochrane Times.

Nicolas Leroux wins Wiesnet Medal

Nicolas Leroux, PhD student in the Centre for Hydrology, part of the Department of Geography & Planning at the University of Saskatchewan, has won the 2015 Wiesnet Medal for best overall student paper at the Eastern Snow Conference in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Student papers from across North America on aspects of snow, ice, glaciers, hydrology and climate were presented at the meeting. Mr Leroux presented the paper A dual pathway heterogeneous flow snow model at the 72nd Annual Eastern Snow Conference and was awarded the Weisnet Medal at the ESC banquet at the Jouvence Centre, near Sherbrooke on June 10th. The paper and presentation documented an advanced physically based approach to modelling 2D preferential flow through melting snowpacks that has great promise. Well done Nicolas!

New Water Security CREATE Program Invites Applications for Coordinator Post

The University of Saskatchewan, with funding from NSERC and in collaboration with University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, McMaster University and University of Waterloo, is seeking a Program Coordinator for its newly established NSERC CREATE program in Water Security. The NSERC CREATE program in Water Security is a national water resources graduate training program housed in the Department of Geography and Planning, in coordination with the Centre for Hydrology and Global Institute for Water Security. The NSERC CREATE program in Water Security will play a key role in transitioning graduate students from academic to professional environments through internships, lab exchanges and specialized university-level professional training courses. Reporting directly to the Program Director, the Program Coordinator will organize student-learning opportunities and support the flow of information between and among the program’s students, faculty and practitioner partners. The Program Coordinator will be people-oriented and will have the ability to manage multiple priorities promptly, efficiently and professionally, while ensuring deadlines are met within a demanding and fast-paced environment.

Position Details
Position: Half time (20 hrs/wk) – Grant funded
Term: Up to 6 years, renewed annually based on performance
Salary: $26,000 – $30,000 /yr
Start date: 15 July 2015
Closing date: Applications will be reviewed starting 19 June 2015


  • Provides ongoing support to the Program Director including scheduling and advertising courses, workshops and lecture series
  • Schedules and organizes program committee meetings; prepares materials and agendas, takes minutes and follows up on action items
  • Acts as the first point of contact and provides information to prospective and active students regarding general inquiries and concerns; tracks students’ progress and reviews student’s meeting of certificate program requirements
  • Liaises with practitioner (industry and government) partners and participating universities
  • Composes and reviews business documents such as e-mails, reports, presentations, and other correspondence and marketing resources
  • Makes arrangements for the annual workshop
  • Assists with monitoring financial activities and ensures compliance with sponsor conditions
  • Develops, renews and maintains promotional material
  • Works with Global Institute for Water Security staff to maintain the program website via advising the web designer of any needed changes
  • Maintains databases that track: i) students registered in the program; ii) student progress and funding sources; and iii) program evaluation metrics.
  • Drafts annual program progress reports for the funding agency under the guidance of the Program Director


  • Enjoys working and interacting with people and supporting their professional development
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, strong organization skills, and a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Superior computer skills (word processing, database management)
  • Excellent initiative, resourcefulness, willingness to accept responsibility, and self-motivated
  • Experience working in educational or research environments greatly preferred
  • Working knowledge in social media communication, concepts and platforms preferred
  • Education: Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (environmental science, environmental engineering, environmental studies, ecology or related field), and a post-secondary business or office administration diploma preferred; equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted. Please send your résumé, cover letter and names of three references (as a PDF document) to Dr. Cherie Westbrook.

The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Snow Modelling

The Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan is seeking a Post-Doctoral Fellow to join Canada’s Changing Cold Regions Network.

Working in conjunction with Environment Canada, the succcessful candidate will seek to improve the representation of snow processes and incorporate data assimilation techniques in large-scale hydrological models for application in prairie, forest and alpine contexts throughout western Canada.

Full details of the post and application process are available here.


Dr Cherie Westbrook Leads New U of S CREATE Program in Water Security

CH member Dr Cherie Westbrook is the project leader for a new water security training program, established at the U. of S. through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) scheme. The aim of the initiative is to provide a multi-disciplinary grounding for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in issues such as water resources, floods, drought and water quality.

The program will receive $1.65 million of NSERC funding over the next six years, and over $2.8 Million from the U. of S., the University of Waterloo, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba, and McMaster University, and from industrial collaborators.

More information is available here.