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.

Opportunity for a Hydrology Research Officer

The University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology, with funding from Yukon Environment Water Resources Branch and in collaboration with McMaster University, under a climate change study supported by Transport Canada, is inviting applications for the post of Hydrology Research Officer.

We are looking for an energetic hydrologist to carry out field and office research which includes:

  • Installation, maintenance and operation of hydrological and meteorological monitoring instrumentation in Wolf Creek Research Basin, and along the Dempster Highway, Yukon;
  • Hydrological and meteorological data retrieval, quality control and assurance, archiving and dissemination of data;
  • Carrying out hydroclimatic analyses;
  • Preparation of technical reports.

Applicants must have a BSc degree and preferably a MSc degree in a hydrology, atmospheric science, natural resources, or an environmental engineering field. The successful applicant should have interests in hydrology and meteorology. Applicants should have an aptitude for conducting field work in a challenging environment while programming, deploying and maintaining hydrological and meteorological instrumentation. All candidates must demonstrate that they have excellent oral and written communication skills and an ability to work with a diverse research team.

The one year position (with possibility for extension) will be staffed through the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology and will be based in Whitehorse. Salary will be commensurate with level of experience and demonstrated abilities.

Applications will be reviewed starting June 15, 2015. The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found. See further details at www.usask.ca/hydrology. Please email your CV, cover letter, and names and contact information of three references to Joni Onclin at centre.hydrology@usask.ca.

This posting is available in PDF format here.

CBC Interview Covers Challenges of Managing for Flood and Drought Risks

Professor John Pomeroy was interviewed on 11th May 2015 by the CBC Radio One Calgary Eyeopener morning show, to discuss this year’s lower snowpack and early snowmelt, and the challenges of managing reservoirs so that they are equally effective for both flood control and sustaining low flows during dry years.

The interview also resulted in an article on the CBC website, available online here.


Flood-Mitigation Potential of Beavers Highlighted

At the recent joint CGU / AGU congress in Montreal, Dr Cherie Westbrook presented a detailed assessment of the effectiveness of beaver dams as natural flood defences, based on observations made in the Kananaskis area during the major Alberta floods of June 2013. Her work has also been profiled in Science News, in an article available here.

INARCH Announcement Published in Nature

The new International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology (INARCH), which has been established as a GEWEX cross-cut project following its founding by Professor John Pomeroy and an initial list of 25 participants from around the world, was formally announced in a recent edition of Nature. The article is available online here, and full details of the aims of INARCH are provided on its website.

Call for National Climate Plan to Address Flooding and Drought

The 24th April edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix includes an article discussing the federal government’s continued failure to formulate a climate-change mitigation strategy. It includes some forthright observations from the CH director Professor John Pomeroy about Canada’s embarrassing record in this area.

The piece is currently (25 April 2015) available online here, and as a PDF archive here.

Alpine snowmelt season already under way in the Rocky Mountains

With surveys by the Alberta Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development reporting generally below-average snowpack at lower elevations in the Alberta Rockies (details), and signs of an early melt already getting under way even at higher levels, the Calgary Herald has been asking CH staff for their perspective on what this may mean for water supplies in the coming summer.

In an article published on April 8th, Prof. John Pomeroy notes the connections between these patterns in Canada and persisting severe drought conditions in California.

The piece is available in its original form here, or as a PDF archive.

CH to play leading role in INARCH

CH is to play a leading role in a major new scientific initiative, the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology (INARCH).

With the strong encouragement of CH director Professor John Pomeroy, plans for the network have been devised over the past three years, by a global team of scientists interested in the dynamics of mountain climates, glaciers, snow, hydrology and associated ecological systems. It is intended to provide a forum for collaborative research, with the aim of developing and sharing improved understanding of these fragile and extremely important environments.

Scientists from more than 25 government institutions, universities and non-governmental agencies in 15 countries, spanning North and South America, Europe and Asia, have so far committed to contribute to the network’s activities.

In an important recent development, the new initiative has been adopted as a key ‘cross-cutting’ project under the auspices of the GEWEX Hydroclimatology Panel. With GEWEX being the core project of the UN-sponsored World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), INARCH will operate among the highest levels of mountain research world-wide.

More information is provided in an article published in the Rocky Mountain Outlook, available in its original form here, and as an archive PDF here.

Snow chemistry commentary for US NPR

The Centre for Hydrology provided commentary for a US National Public Radio food show The salt – what’s on your plate that dealt with the consumption of snow – Snow is delicious. But is it dangerous to eat?

Technical input ranged from concerns on the concentrations of various contaminants in snow, the contribution of prairie dirt to blowing snow, to the atmospheric scrubbing qualities of snowfall to a snow hydrologist’s recipe for snow.

More details from the discussion are available here.

GIWS Posts Water Science Videos

The University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Water Security has posted a series of videos describing the wide range of water-related research being conducted throughout the Saskatchewan River Basin, many of which feature the activities of faculty and post-graduate students in the Centre for Hydrology. These vignettes also highlight a variety of ways in which climate and environmental change is affecting Canadian biomes and water resources. They are available for viewing here: http://www.usask.ca/water/saskrb/Videos.php.