Research Published on Environmental Implications of Global Beaver Population Recoveries

CH Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr Colin Whitfield, together with CH’s Dr Cherie Westbrook and colleagues from the Global Institute for Water Security and School of Environment and Sustainability, recently published a research paper describing the environmental ramifications of beaver population recoveries around the globe.

The paper, in The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ journal AMBIO, is available here: releases describing the new knowledge it has generated are available from Springer, and from the U of S Media Relations office (here and here).

The National Post also ran an article on the paper in its December 19th issue, here.

Research Seminar – Wednesday 10th December

A select group of Centre for Hydrology graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will be presenting previews of their thesis proposals, research findings, and forthcoming AGU talks at a special CH seminar. The full order of battle is available here.

The seminar will be held in 146 Kirk Hall on Wednesday 10th December in Kirk Hall from 10am-12:30pm (Saskatchewan time).

All invited, feel free to pass on to colleagues that may be interested.

AGU Press Conference to Focus on CH Snowmelt Research

One of twenty press conferences at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU – 15-19 December in San Francisco, California) will focus on CH snowmelt research.

  • MSc student Stacey Dumanski is studying increased spring and early summer flooding in the prairies due to changing climate and wetland drainage.
  • Dr Danny Marks is a CCRN collaborator studying rain-on-snow melt in the US Pacific NW.
  • Prof. John Pomeroy’s presentation will discuss the June 2013 rain-on-snow event which contributed to flood generation in the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River Basin in the Canadian Rockies.

The conferences will be streamed online – details of how to hear them are available here.

PDF Opportunities at CH and GIWS

Applications are invited for three Post-Doctoral Fellowships in cold regions hydrological modelling in the Centre for Hydrology and Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.

Large-scale Modelling – snow model development, including data assimilation
Snow and cold regions processes are extremely important to understand for hydrological forecasting in the Prairie Provinces. A PDF is required to build upon past work to incorporate state-of-the-art snow processes critical to proper snowpack development in the Prairie Provinces, as well as new techniques for estimating snow accumulation and melt properly in Mountainous, Prairie and Boreal Forest biomes. This research will draw on ground-based and remotely sensed data and model products, as well as a network of observatories for model evaluation and further development, and include intercomparison with international modelling systems, including the UK’s JULES and USA’s WRF models. Progress has already led to development and preliminary testing of an improved Prairie land surface algorithm; this work will be developed further for large-scale application. The successful applicant will have excellent computational and programming skills, previous experience of hydrological modelling and ideally of cold region processes and data assimilation.

Modelling for the Diagnosis of Environmental Change
A PDF is required to develop modelling tools for the diagnosis of change using cold region hydrological and hydro-ecological process models within a framework of uncertainty analysis, and to support their uptake and application in process and modelling studies across the network. The successful applicant will have excellent computational and programming skills and previous experience of algorithm development and analysis of model performance using multi-objective, Monte-Carlo based methods for parameter identifiability and uncertainty analysis.

Large-scale Modelling – assimilation of improved precipitation products
Remote sensing estimates of precipitation and high resolution modelling present exciting opportunities for improved hydrological forecasting. A PDF is required to undertake analysis of the strengths and limitations for large-scale hydrological modelling of various precipitation products that are currently available or in development. This includes ground-based data products, the CaPA merged re-analysis and data product, GPM remote sensing data, and high resolution atmospheric modelling. The successful applicant will have excellent computational skills, previous experience of remote sensing and ideally also of data assimilation for hydrological modelling. Good programming skills will be an advantage.

These posts will be able to take advantage of the NSERC Changing Cold Regions Network http://www.ccrnetwork.ca/ – CCRN is investigating a set of critical cold region environments, including the Western Cordillera, Western Boreal Forest, Lowland Permafrost and Prairies, and their integrated response at the scales of the Saskatchewan and Mackenzie river basins and the regional climate system. Environment Canada (EC) is a key partner in CCRN, and has a particular interest in improving its large-scale modelling capability, i.e. land surface schemes and large-scale hydrological models. While primarily based in Saskatoon, modellers will be encouraged to engage with science conducted from the U of S Coldwater Laboratory in the Centre for Hydrology’s Canadian Rockies Hydrological Observatory http://www.usask.ca/hydrology/CRHO.php.

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Kate Wilson, Executive Assistant, GIWS, with a copy of their CV, resume and a cover letter.

Seeking World-Class Students and Postdoctoral Fellows in Water-Related Research

The Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan is continuing to build a $30+ million interdisciplinary experimental and modelling research program in Western Canada. We invite applications for graduate studentships and postdoctoral fellowships for research in the following areas. For more information and full listings, visit www.usask.ca/water.

  • Hydrological Modelling & Data Assimilation
  • Diagnosis of Environmental Change (PDF) –develop modelling tools for diagnosis of change (using hydrological/hydro-ecological process models) within framework of uncertainty analysis.
  • Assimilation of Improved Precipitation Products (PDF) –analysis of strengths/limitations for large-scale hydrological modelling of various precipitation products & associated modelling uncertainty.
  • Snow Model Development (PDF) –build on previous work to incorporate improved snowpack development & assimilate remote sensing snow data into existing large-scale models.
  • Watershed Modelling & System Identification (PDF) –address issues including scale, transferability, non-stationarity, complexity v. fidelity, uncertainty, architecture &parameterization, calibration.
  • Water Resources Modelling (PhD) –develop watershed modelling/management framework to represent scale-appropriate natural & human-induced processes (with extensive optimization/uncertainty analysis).
  • Artificial Intelligence in Water Resources (masters) –develop Artificial Neural Network tools for various applications in water resources modelling/management.
  • Hydrological Process Modelling (masters, possibly PhD) –application of mathematical modelling to address climate & land use change impacts on hydrological processes in the southern boreal forest.
  • Applied Limnology (PhD or masters) -effects of climate change on lakes, effects of agricultural activity on water quality, and algal bloom ecology.
  • Ecosystem Monitoring and Analysis (PhD) –fine-scale patterns of tree growth and allocation in the southern boreal forest.
  • GIS and Remote Sensing (PDF) –support research/understanding of the hydrological, hydraulic & ice regimes of Mackenzie and Saskatchewan River basins.

Review of applications begins 25 November 2014 and continues until suitable candidates are identified.

Prairie Hydrological Modelling Webinar, Monday November 17th

Prof. John Pomeroy will be giving a webinar on The Impact of Wetland Drainage on the Hydrology of a Northern Prairie Watershed to the Association of State Wetland Managers on Monday November 17th at 2 pm Saskatchewan time (1 pm Mountain time).

The talk will detail CH research at Smith Creek, with respect to the hydrological implications of its changing climate and the implications of wetland drainage, as investigated through hydrological model simulations.

If you would like to know more about this research, the webinar will be available at this link.  Thanks are due to co-authors Stacey Dumanski, Logan Fang, Kevin Shook, Cherie Westbrook and Xulin Guo.

Abstract: The Prairie Hydrological Model simulates blowing snow redistribution, snowmelt, infiltration to frozen soils and the fill and spill of networks of prairie wetlands.  The model was used to simulate the hydrology of Smith Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada with various wetland extent scenarios.  This model simulation exercise shows that prairie wetland drainage can increase annual and peak daily flows substantially, and that notable increases to estimates of the annual volume and peak daily flow of the flood of record have derived from wetland drainage to date and will proceed with further wetland drainage.

The Nature of Things features CH research

CBC’s documentary program The Nature of Things has produced an episode called Chasing Snowflakes, which features The Centre for Hydrology’s research in the Canadian Rockies: it will air on Thursday, Nov. 13th at 8pm on CBC TV local channels.

More information is available on the epoisode’s web-page, here.

Pomeroy to Chair and Present at UN Climate Change and Water Workshop

Professor John Pomeroy has been invited to chair sessions and present at the UNESCO International Workshop on Climate Change Impacts on Snow, Glacier and Water Resources: Multidisciplinary Network for Adaptation Strategies (www) to be held 6-7 November at the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change in Koblenz, Germany.

Pomeroy’s talk will be on Alpine snow hydrology and the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology – water towers for the world. The talk will outline the activities of a new collaborative research network led by Pomeroy, INARCH – the International Network for Alpine Research Catchment Hydrology.

Research contributing to INARCH is taking place in the Americas, Europe and Asia and is demonstrating the tremendous sensitivity of alpine water supplies to climate warming. By better observations and modelling of mountain snowpacks and their melt, INARCH hopes to identify the most vulnerable mountain snowpacks and the implications of their loss for downstream water supplies.

The Workshop will inform UN climate change policy and the International Hydrological Programme activities relating to sustainable water supply. The UN’s overall aim for the Workshop is to connect scientific research, policy development and action, and identify recommendations to enhance the interface between science and policy to develop sustainable adaptation strategies.

U of S Centre for Hydrology contribution to Global Chorus

The University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology has contributed two chapters to Global Chorus, a collection of 365 perspectives on the environmental future of the planet.

John Pomeroy, director and Bob Sandford, fellow have written contributions on climate change and hydrology that are frank assessments of the challenges imposed by excessive greenhouse gases and the global water crisis from the perspective of research in western Canada and elsewhere.

Contributors to the book are from around the world and include Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jane Goodall, John Ralston Saul, Farley Mowat and many others. Global Chorus is being published this month by Rocky Mountain Books: more details are available at http://globalchorus.ca

Pomeroy to Lecture on 2013 Floods at U of C

Professor John Pomeroy has been invited to make a presentation titled The Mountain Hydrology behind the Alberta Flood of 2013 as part of the University of Calgary’s Energy and Environmental Systems Specialization Seminar Series.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 3pm on Monday 6th October in EEEL 210 (Energy. Environment. Experiential Learning, 750 Campus Drive).