Tundra Hydrology Research Profiled by CCRN

The research of Sebastian Krogh, a CH student from Chile working towards his PhD under the supervision of Dist. Prof. John Pomeroy, has been profiled in an article released by the Changing Cold Regions Network (CCRN).

Sebastian is studying interactions between climate, landscape and hydrology near Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Using the Cold regions Hydrological Model (CRHM), he has reconstructed flows over the past 56 years in order to improve understanding of the processes associated with warming air temperatures and increasing vegetation on the tundra.

The article is available here.

25 years of Research at Wolf Creek Celebrated by CBC

The Wolf Creek research watershed near Whitehorse (YT), which has repeatedly been a prime focus for work by CH scientists and their affiliates, has recently completed its 25th year of operation. To mark the occasion, a group of researchers gathered at the watershed, and the meeting was covered by the CBC.

The watershed continues to provide an invaluable resource for studying hydrological processes in upland northern landscapes, and shifting influences under changing climatic conditions.

The CBC report is available here, and also within the Northbeat video of 2 October 2017 (at 20:23 minutes).

U of S hydrologist Howard Wheater to advise on US national water future

Renowned University of Saskatchewan hydrologist Howard Wheater, who co-leads the world’s largest university-based water research initiative—Global Water Futures (GWF), has been appointed to a distinguished U.S. National Academies panel looking into the future of water resources in the United States.

The panel of leading water science experts is charged with identifying America’s highest-priority water science and resource challenges over the next 25 years, and making recommendations on the strategic water science and research opportunities to address those challenges. It will report its finding in 2018.

“The loss of life and $180-billion damage from Hurricane Harvey is a wake-up call to the U.S. for the need to better manage water-related threats, including risks from climate change, and the hurricane’s effect on rising gas prices in Canada shows the far-reaching impacts of extreme events on the global economy,” said Wheater, who attended the panel’s first meeting in Washington this week.

“The work of this U.S. panel reinforces the importance of the work we are doing with our U of S Global Institute for Water Security to address Canada’s challenges of coping with a rapidly warming climate and its impacts on our water environment.”

Wheater lends his expertise to several other international water-related issues. He serves as an independent international expert supporting the Republic of Chile in a dispute with Bolivia before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.  He is also working with the State of Nevada in a dispute with the U.S. Department of Energy over the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository. He also gives keynote addresses to national and international water science meetings.

To devote more time to international work, Wheater is stepping down from the GWF directorship on September 30th.  He will take a one-year administrative leave next year, but will continue to provide strategic support to John Pomeroy who has served as GWF co-director over the past year. Wheater will also continue to provide support and advice to the GWF core team responsible for hydrological modelling and co-supervise graduate students. He will stay on as director of the Global Institute for Water Security, which he founded in 2010, until next March 31st.

“The $143-million Global Water Futures project is now well launched and is gathering momentum with the support of our three key university partners and scores of other partners across Canada and around the globe,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president of research.

“Howard Wheater has made an outstanding contribution over the past seven years, and I know that this nationally important Canada First Research Excellence Fund initiative is now going to be in very capable hands under the stellar leadership of Canada Research Chair John Pomeroy.”

Wheater noted that a number of major projects that he has been leading at the U of S are drawing to a close. The research program of the seven-year Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Water Security concludes this month. Federal funding for Changing Cold Regions Network concludes in March of 2018.

Through the CERC research program, U of S researchers have developed new in-depth knowledge of water issues in the enormous Saskatchewan River Basin and the Mackenzie River Basin, ranging from drought and flooding, to competing societal water uses, to water quality issues. They have used new experimental modelling and remote sensing approaches to understand, diagnose and predict changing land, water and climate in these major river basins.

“Due to our CERC, the U of S has become one of the world-leading research-intensive institutions in the area of water security,” Wheater said.

One of the CERC accomplishments of which he is most proud has been the training of almost 800 graduate students, more than 140 post-doctoral fellows, and more than 250 research scientists, technicians and assistants.

Wheater, who is a Distinguished Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor in Hydrology at London’s Imperial College, served as chair of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Sustainable Management of Water in the Agricultural Landscapes of Canada which reported in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the American Geophysical Union and winner of the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water.

For more information about the U of S-based Global Water Futures initiative, visit: https://gwf.usask.ca

GIWS Announces GWF PhD Excellence Scholarships

As part of the Global Water Futures (GWF) program, the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) has recently established the GWF PhD Excellence Scholarships, each valued at $45k per year for 3 years. At least 10 scholarships are available, and hydrology is one of the eligible subjects.

These are entrance scholarships offered to students who have outstanding academic records, show research promise, have exceptional communication, interpersonal and leadership abilities, and are registering for the first time in a PhD program at the University of Saskatchewan. More details are provided on this PDF and the award web-page.

The proposed PhD research program should be in alignment with at least one of the GIWS themes and GWF research areas, under the supervision of a GIWS faculty member. Most faculty from the Centre for Hydrology are eligible members of GIWS and PhD students wishing to study hydrology are strongly encouraged to apply and to contact a potential supervisor from this list posted here.

If you have questions regarding potential topics of study in hydrology please contact Joni Onclin at centre.hydrology@usask.ca

Whitfield Gives Plenary Talk on Model Assessment Methodology

On Monday 10 July 2017, Paul Whitfield, Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Hydrology and Scientist Emeritus with Environment and Climate Change Canada, gave an invited Plenary talk titled Assessing hydrological and climatological models against observations at the Banff International Research Station workshop, Challenges in the Statistical Modelling of Stochastic Processes for the Natural Sciences.

The workshop, which was attended by forty eminent statisticians from across Europe and North America, focused on statistical models for natural science phenomena. It is now recognized that stochastic models whose behaviour more closely mirrors the scientific structure of the system under study provide a more interpretable framework for analyzing data.

Whitfield’s talk, which provides a thought-provoking discussion of how we might better assess how well our models can reproduce natural phenomena in hydrology and climatology, may be viewed online here.

 

John Pomeroy awarded Distinguished Professor status by U of S

Professor John Pomeroy, Director of the Centre for Hydrology and Associate Director of the Global Water Futures initiative, has been elevated to the rank of ‘Distinguished Professor’ by the University of Saskatchewan.

The title “honours and celebrates exceptional achievement in research, scholarly, or artistic work by University of Saskatchewan faculty or emeriti. This honorary title is a lifetime award that becomes Distinguished Professor Emeritus upon retirement”.

The awarding committee was impressed by Professor Pomeroy’s many research accomplishments and outstanding contributions to the university, and particularly by his work in the hydrology and global water policies, which they said has been “indicative of his visionary approach”, earning him a strong reputation in this branch of science.

 

CH Alumna Awarded CWRA Prize

CH / GIWS alumna Emily Anderson was awarded the 2017 Bill Stolte Prize for the best student paper at this year’s Canadian Water Resources Association’s conference, which was held in Lethbridge (AB) in June.

Her talk, based on her MSc research, was titled Modelling changes in multi-decadal streamflow contributions – Bologna Glacier, NWT.

Emily is now employed as a Hydrologist-in-Training with Sasakatchewan’s Water Security Agency.

 

CH Director Receives Prestigious CGU Award

Professor John Pomeroy, Director of the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for Hydrology and Associate Director of the Global Water Futures Initiative, has been awarded the highly prestigious John Tuzo Wilson Medal for outstanding contributions to geophysical sciences by the Canadian Geophysical Union.

Professor Pomeroy is the third member of U of S faculty to have received the award – and the second hydrologist, following Professor Don Gray in 2000.

Full details of the award are available here.