Water Ecosystem Monitoring using Earth Observations
Principal Investigator: Chamberland, Joseph (2)
Licence Number: 15696
Organization: C-CORE
Licenced Year(s): 2016 2015
Issued: Jun 19, 2015
Project Team: Gila Somers (Research Design and Field Staff, ENR-GNWT), Juanetta Sanderson (Research Design and Field Staff, ENR-GNWT), Bing Yue (Research Design and Analysis , C-Core)

Objective(s): To define an Earth Observation driven monitoring program to provide information towards monitoring environmental indicators of northern ecosystem health.

Project Description: The research project Water Ecosystems Monitoring using Earth Observation aims to define an Earth Observation (EO) driven monitoring program to provide information towards monitoring environmental indicators of northern ecosystem health. Once the project is done information on water indicators including water temperature, suspended sediment concentrations, water levels, and ice quality and will be generated on a an ongoing basis from free and accessible remote sensing imagery and can be accessed and used by the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and the local communities for decision-making and other research and monitoring activities.

The research portion that is taking place in the NWT is water sampling to validate suspended sediment concentrations generated by remote sensing imagery. The grab samples will be collected by boat in the identified sites 2-3 times during the summer and fall in 2015. The water samples will be analyzed in Yellowknife at Taiga Environmental Laboratory for Suspended Sediments Concentrations.

Community members in Fort Resolution and Fort Smith will have an opportunity to participate in the water sampling. In addition, this project is designed to address monitoring and research priorities identified in a vulnerability assessment produced by the Slave River and Delta Partnership. The end product will produce ongoing monitoring information generated by remote sensing imagery. This information is intended for community use.

The progress of the project was provided to community members in January, 2015, in Fort Resolution and Fort Smith at research open houses organized by the Slave River and Delta Partnership. Representatives from Government of the Northwest Territories-Environment and Natural Resources and C-core attended the open houses, along with community members and local organizations and other agencies. Progress be on an ongoing basis be communicated face-to-face at Water Strategy events as well in written form distributed via email and accessible on website.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from June 23, 2015 to December 31, 2015.