CEN Bulletin 21
March 2020
View this email in your browser
Version française disponible ici
The CEN Bulletin is written for CEN members and the scientific community and others interested in northern environmental research. The material provided herein showcases the work of its members and aims to disseminate information on CEN activities.
Science Highlights

Eddy covariance tower at Scotty Creek near Fort Simpson, NT, measuring carbon, water and heat fluxes over a boreal peat landscape in the sporadic permafrost zone of the Taiga Plains ecozone (PI: Oliver Sonnentag). Winter carbon dioxide losses from sites such as Scotty Creek were used in the study by Natali et al. (2019).

Photo credit: Oliver Sonnentag, Université de Montréal
Substantial loss of CO2 observed in winter in northern permafrost region
Oliver Sonnentag, Associate professor, Université de Montréal

Arctic regions have captured and stored carbon for tens of thousands of years, but a new study published in Nature Climate Change (Natali et al., 2019) shows that winter carbon dioxide (CO2) loss from the world’s permafrost regions could increase by 41% if human-caused greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current pace. Supported through NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment and related to a new Permafrost Carbon Network-led initiative including Centre d’études nordiques member Oliver Sonnentag, researchers synthesized on-the-ground observations of CO2 emissions made with different techniques (e.g., eddy covariance, see photo) to assess current and future winter carbon losses from permafrost regions in the North. They estimated a contemporary loss of 1.7 million metric tons of carbon from permafrost regions during the winter season (October through April).

That loss is greater than the average growing season carbon uptake for this region estimated from process models (1.0 million metric tons of carbon taken up per year). Extending model predictions to warmer conditions in 2100 indicates that winter CO2 emissions could increase 17% under a moderate mitigation scenario (RCP 4.5) but could rise 41% under a business-as-usual emissions scenario (RCP 8.5). Permafrost is the carbon-rich frozen soil that covers 24% of Northern Hemisphere land area. Across the globe, from Alaska to Siberia, permafrost holds more carbon than has ever been released by humans. Right now, permafrost keeps carbon safely locked away, but as global temperatures warm, permafrost thaws and releases greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Carbon from thawing permafrost had been omitted from many models and this source of carbon is not mentioned in the reports that informed policy makers.
The Kuujjuarapik-Whapmagoostui Inukshuk, overlooking the sea ice in Hudson Bay, symbolizes T-MOSAiCs overall goal to better understand the influence of the changing Arctic seas on northern landscapes, terrestrial ecosystems and communities.
Photo credit: João Canário, University of Lisbon. 

T-MOSAiC: a circumpolar project co-led by CEN
Warwick Vincent, Full Professor, ULaval

‘Terrestrial Multidisciplinary distributed Observatories for the Study of Arctic Connections’ (T-MOSAiC) is an international project under the auspices of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) that is focused on understanding how the northern terrestrial environment is affected by changing sea ice and ocean climate conditions. It is led by the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and is co-led by the CEN, with participants from 16 nations. CEN and Sentinel North have co-sponsored five international workshops to date, most recently in Quebec City, in August 2019. The science plan focuses on system-level themes such as gradients, thresholds and connectivity, and is organized as 12 action groups on subjects ranging from greenhouse gases and microbiomes, to arctic infrastructure and northern community issues. Many CEN activities are already linked to T-MOSAiC, including Gradient North, the SILA network and research projects in limnology/paleolimnology. T-MOSAiC will run throughout 2020, and other collaborations are welcome.

Further details are available at: https://www.t-mosaic.com.
Click here to listen to a radio interview about this initiative.


CEN researcher
Isabelle Laurion

Isabelle is interested in the effects of climate change on the mixing regime and water transparency in lake environments, and their interaction with the microbial food web. Her work focuses on the consequences of permafrost thaw on carbon cycling, particularly via greenhouse gas emissions from lakes in northern environments.

She is also involved in the development of optical tools for the detection of algal and cyanobacterial blooms in Quebec lakes, particularly hyperspectral imaging that will soon find applications in satellite and drone remote sensing. Isabelle has been interested in the North for almost 30 years and work at the Bylot and Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik research stations.


Field Preparation 2020

A list of risks associated with the use of CEN research stations and working in remote locations is available on the Safety page of the CEN website. Please read this document carefully and be prepared for your departure with the proper equipment, medical insurance, and all the appropriate training to carry out safely your research activities! Training on these aspects will be given at the CEN
’s spring meeting on April 30th at ULaval.
Credit: G. Degré-Timmons / CEN
Student Perspective
From left to right: Samantha Ruppert, Christine Ha, Priscillia-Ann Sandy, Nathaniel Kawapit and Scarlett George Kawapit, participants in the restoration project.
Photo credit: Claudia Beaupré / CEN 
Vegetation restoration project with youth from the communities of Whapmagoostui and Kuujjuarapik
Claudia Beaupré, Masters student in Biology, Université Laval

From July 29th to August 9th 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the communities of Whapmagoostui and Kuujjuarapik to carry out a vegetation restoration project. The communities wanted to revegetate their environment by transplanting an indigenous plant, the American dune grass, onto two lots, one at the Cree daycare centre and the other at the Inuit school. The dune grass is a plant that colonizes sandy environments, the most abundant substrate in these communities. The communities asked the CEN to teach them how to perform the transplantation since it had been done at the CEN station in 2012-2013 and the result is conclusive.

For this project, I worked with teenagers from both local communities to revegetate the two lots. I taught them about the transplant process over a two-weeks period and we talked a lot about their concerns about different community and environmental issues. In addition, during a revegetating day at the Inuit school, we collected nearly two bags of garbage that were accumulating in the schoolyard, where the children play. Two young girls came to ask us what we were doing and helped us to pick up the waste. Young children also came to see us when we were working in the greenhouse, at the CEN station, and joined us while questioning us about the project.

In order to further motivate the young people to work on the project, Jacynthe Boudreault, the station
s cook, offered to invite them to eat with us. Thus, the young people came to eat at the station every lunch time and helped Jacynthe to prepare their meals while learning how to cook various recipes, thus enhancing the sharing of knowledge. It was a very enriching experience that allowed us to meet, share and discover each other.
A word from our student representatives

The Centre détudes nordiques is proud to highlight the involvement of its students in the field of northern research. Whether by sharing their results at conferences or through publications, by completing training and internships, or by obtaining their diplomas, students actively contribute to the CENs mission and outreach. We are currently in the screening process of applications for awards and scholarships. All students who have applied can expect an email response by April 2020.
We invite you to visit the CEN website to explore the scholarships and awards available to undergraduate and graduate students. If you missed the deadline of March 1st 2020 for activities this year, it may not be too late to apply. We encourage you to review the criteria and requirements for each award. We also remind you that in order to be eligible, it is essential to complete your application  for your CEN
’s membership quickly, in the first year following your registration at the masters or doctoral level.
The Dedicated Student Committee (DSC) would like to welcome its new representatives: Alex Mavrovic (UQTR), Charles Gignac (ULaval), Camille Girard (UQAM) and Elizabeth Hardy-Lachance (UdeM). We are still looking for a student representative from the Institut National de Recherche Scientifique Eau Terre Environnement (INRS-ETE). Interested CEN student members can contact us by email. We would also like to thank once again Xavier Dallaire (ULaval) and Karine Rioux (UdeM) for their years of invaluable involvement in the CEN
’s Student Committee! Thank you and good luck in your future projects!
Do not hesitate to contact us! Enjoy the field work! We wish you all the best!
The Dedicated Student Committee etudiants@cen.ulaval.ca 
Isolated Research
Women and non-binary people have their say


The Centre d’études nordiques and the Réseau Québec Maritime, in collaboration with the feminist committee of the Université du Québec à Rimouski, organized a talking circle with the objective of creating a safe space for women and non-binary people conducting research in remote or isolated areas to share experiences. This activity brought to light little-documented realities that will make it possible to initiate a broader reflection on these issues with all those involved in these unique field campaigns and trips. Other sharing and awareness-raising activities will follow in the coming months. For any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact Marie-José marie-jose_naud@uqar.ca.
Special Distinctions
José Gérin-Lajoie receives the ACOA Mentorship Award - EYA 2019 at the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Assembly banquet in Halifax (December 2019).
Photo credit: SebaZtien Girard / ArcticNet
Prestigious recognition for the research professional José Gérin-Lajoie
Emilie Hébert-Houle, Geneviève Dubois and Gwyneth Ann MacMillan

APECS (Association of Polar Early Career Scientists) Canada is a group of polar researchers that offers each year, in collaboration with the ASA (ArcticNet Student Association), the opportunity to highlight the mentorship of an experienced researcher whose efforts support the next generation of researchers. We were honored to submit and present the 2019 APECS Canada-ASA Mentor Award at the ArcticNet 2019 Gala to José Gérin-Lajoie, a researcher who brings people together.

José fell in love with the North after three careers, three children and after going back to university. She began her scientific career in plant ecology and quickly became interested in collaborative research projects. Over the past fifteen years, she has led a large number of successful projects and collaborations in education, film and participatory research which help bridge scientific and northern communities. 

This inspiring researcher actively participates in the transition from doing research "about the North" to research "by and with the North", both through her actions and through her influence on the actions of others. José is an outstanding ambassador for decolonizing and indigenizing methodologies and she never hesitates to advise and assist anyone interested in them. 

She has encouraged the participation of youth and adults, of non-Indigenous and Indigenous, and of academics and workers alike into many of her projects, which are real opportunities for intercultural and intergenerational sharing. With her participative style of leadership, José allows the early-career researchers who collaborate with her to develop their own ideas and to see the significance of their own contributions. With openness and humility, she knows how to accept and support the success of each person
s goals,  developing the strengths of all team members.

We all agree that José is an exceptional mentor. Her passion and her confidence in us encourage us to go beyond ourselves, going further together.
Congratulations to José for this richly-deserved award.
Multiple rankings on Québec sciences lists!

CEN researchers have distinguished themselves in the 2019 Québec sciences’ rankings. A pilot project by INRS researcher Karem Chockmani was named one of the 10 inventions of the year. He piloted the beginning of E-nundation, software program to predict and characterize flood risks. Researchers Jasmin Raymond (INRS) and Dominique Gravel made the list of the 10 discoveries of the year. Dr. Raymond’s publication concerns the use of geothermal energy to store energy to keep northern communities warm. Dr. Gravel contributed to a team that produced a map of predator-prey interactions which tells us a lot about the interconnectedness of the oceans. Congratulations on these important advances!
Mark your calendars!
April 30 - CEN spring meeting, ULaval, Québec
May 20 - 21 - Journées nordiques of the Institut nordique du Québec, Québec
Dec 7 - 10 - Arctic Change 2020, Toronto (On), ArcticNet inc.
Twitter @cen_nord
Site internet du CEN
You are subscribed to the Centre for Northern Studies mailing list.
To Suscribe / Unsuscribe, or contact us.

Centre for Northern Studies
Pavillon Abitibi-Price 
2405, rue de la Terrasse 
Université Laval 
Québec (Québec) 
Canada, G1V 0A6 
Telephone: (418) 656-3340 
Email: cen@cen.ulaval.ca