New Article- What Canada’s melting glaciers tell USask researchers

Chris Morin
University of Saskatchewan News
Jan 8, 2021

It may seem unfathomable, but these masses of ice are melting at an alarming rate. Canadian glaciers have shrunk 15 per cent since 1985, and estimated glacier loss in the Rockies could rise to 100 per cent by the end of the century, according to University of Saskatchewan (USask) hydrology PhD candidate Caroline Aubry-Wake.

One of the areas that Aubry-Wake conducts research at is the Peyto Glacier in Banff National Park and the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. It’s an area that’s a cause for alarm—not just the immediate region, but also those areas downstream—and a look at the region’s rapid ice loss makes this clear.

Read the full article at:

New Article – Fort McMurray residents still cleaning, considering options after spring flooding

Dr. John Pomeroy was interviewed in a recent article relating to the spring 2020 flooding in Lethbridge Alberta and it’s aftermath:

Lethbridge News Now
December 5, 2020

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — More than seven months ago, Cora Dion and her husband fled Fort McMurray for the second time in four years as a spring flood threatened their home in northern Alberta.

They returned to a soggy mess in the basement, a dispute with their insurance company and the near-foreclosure of their home in the city’s downtown.

“We’re home,” Dion said in an interview earlier this week. “Our basement is still naked, but we have hot water and we have a furnace.”

Dion is one of 13,000 residents who were forced to flee the city in late April when ice jams led to major flooding by causing the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers to overflow their banks.

Read the full article with Dr. Pomeroy’s insights here.

Cold Regions Warming – art exhibit virtual tour

Climate change: art with Russian roots helps Canadian scientists
Representative Office of Rossotrudnichestvo in Great Britain

An exhibition of art by Gennady Ivanov opened in London, as part of an international multimedia project “Transitions”. The artist, born in Russia and raised in Belarus, presented works that help viewers visualize the impact of climate change on the cold regions of Russia and Canada. The project also includes a meeting with climate scientists John Pomeroy and Trevor Davis. Both the artist and the scientists emphasize that human-induced climate change is a greater challenge to humanity than the Covid-19 pandemic.

View the full article and watch the tour here.


Principles of Hydrology course to be offered online this January

Principles of Hydrology Short Course, Geography 827
Dr. John Pomeroy
University of Saskatchewan

Course Synopsis
The University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology with the assistance of the Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences (CSHS) is offering an intensive course on the physical principles of hydrology with particular relevance to Canadian and cold regions conditions. Factors governing hydrological processes in Canadian landscapes will be discussed including precipitation, interception, energy balance, snow accumulation, snowmelt, glaciers, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, groundwater movement and streamflow routing and hydraulics. These processes will be framed within the context of distinctly Canadian landscape features such as high mountains, glaciers, peatlands, prairies, agricultural fields, tundra, boreal forests, frozen rivers and seasonally frozen ground. Students will be exposed to an overview of each subject, with recent scientific findings and new cutting edge theories, tools and techniques. They will complete numerical and essay assignments to develop skills in problem solving and in synthesizing complex hydrological concepts. Students will emerge from the course with a deeper understanding of physical hydrological processes and how they interact to produce catchment water budgets and streamflow response.

The course is intended for hydrology and water resources graduate students and early to midlevel career water resource engineers, hydrologists, aquatic ecologists and technologists who are either working directly in hydrology and water resources or are looking to broaden their understanding of hydrological systems and processes. This physical science course is quantitative in nature and so a firm foundation in basic calculus and physics at the first year university level and some undergraduate hydrology or hydraulics training is strongly recommended.

The course will be delivered online M-F for two weeks starting Jan 11th. Each morning will have two 90 min. lecture sessions (0830-1000h, 1030-1200h MST). Each afternoon will have supplementary lecture material, introduction of assignments and an interactive Q & A session with the instructor of the morning’s lecture (1300-1500h). Lectures will be available as recordings and PDFs of slides after they are delivered.

All participants must apply for admission as a graduate student with the University of Saskatchewan if they are not already a graduate student at the U of S or another Canadian institution.  For more information about the course and how to apply, go to:

New Article – Where the river flows: How a proud history of water research led USask to be ranked No.1 in Canada

Oct 9, 2020

““It’s a tremendous testament to everyone involved to have established such excellence here, and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” said Dr. Jay Famiglietti (PhD) who came to USask in 2018 as the Canada 150 Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing and executive director of the USask Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS).

The rise to the top has been an inspiring story of building on a strong foundation of water science excellence, leadership at many levels, and recruitment of top talent…”

Go here to read the full article.

Jay Famiglietti honoured with prestigious hydrology award

Mark Ferguson, and USask Research Profile and Impact
Oct 1, 2020

University of Saskatchewan (USask) hydrologist Jay Famiglietti has been awarded the 2020 Hydrologic Sciences Award by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for outstanding contributions to the science of water over his career.

Famiglietti, executive director of USask’s Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS), has led development of novel remote sensing tools for hydrology and water security, particularly the capability to do remote sensing of groundwater using the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission.

These satellite remote sensing techniques and advanced computer models have made it possible to document how the water cycle and freshwater resources are affected by climate change and to map how water availability is changing globally. The models are used by major climate labs across North America.

Read the full article here.

Software developed by Centre for Hydrology researcher, Chris Marsh, featured in StarPhoenix and USask articles

Young Innovators: U of S software helps predict floods and freshwater supplies

Federica Giannelli
Star Phoenix, September 13, 2020

“Predicting snowmelt in the mountain headwaters of the world’s major rivers is now vastly more accurate due to a new University of Saskatchewan computer simulation model that can improve forecasts of downstream river flow — an innovation that will improve water management in the face of a changing climate.

“Our software has predicted the high snowpacks that occurred in the Rockies this year and the low snowpacks of previous years — useful for forecasting floods and droughts,” said U of S post-doctoral fellow Chris Marsh, who developed the model as part of his PhD project supervised by hydrologists John Pomeroy and Howard Wheater.”

Read the full article here.

The article is also available here.

John Pomeroy consultant on award-winning Canadian author’s newest book

Author Leona Theis discusses Dr. Pomeroy’s contribution in this interview.

A&S: What is the research process like for your books? For example, you collaborated with USask scientist and alumnus Dr. John Pomeroy (BSC’83, PHD’88) for part of your new book. 
LT: For each of Sylvie’s lives, I wanted to connect with the spirit of the year it was set in—1974, 1979, 1984, etc. To do this I watched news clips, movie clips, and music videos. For example, the OJ Simpson chase plays a role, real and metaphorical, in one chapter. I watched and rewatched videos of the chase to remind me of the public mood that day and the way people were so caught up in the chase itself, in a bizarre, voyeuristic way. Another form of “research” consisted of sifting in a concentrated way through my own memories associated with specific years.
In some of her lives, Sylvie seems slow to grow into the responsibilities of adulthood. I wanted her, in later chapters, to take a more mature approach and to make connections between her own choices and the larger world. When we encounter her in the final chapter, she’s a grandparent concerned about environmental degradation and, wanting to play some part for the better, she returns to school as a grad student. She earns a place working on a research project modelled on Dr. Pomeroy’s work at Fisera Ridge in Kananaskis Country…