CEN Bulletin 20
May 2019
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The CEN Bulletin is written for CEN members and the scientific community and others interested in northern environmental research. The material provided showcases the work of its members and aims to disseminate information on CEN activities.
Science Highlights
Photo: Line Rochefort in the field with sphagnum moss in her hands, credit Doris Reeve.

Publication of a Reference Book on Sphagnum Mosses of Eastern Canada by Gilles Ayotte and Line Rochefort
The species of the genus Sphagnum are known to be difficult to identify by naturalists or botanists and even by experienced bryologists. However, their importance in the arctic, boreal and temperate biomes of Quebec and the Maritime provinces, as well as in peat and swampy ecosystems, makes it essential to identify them during environmental studies.
This book covers the sixty or so sphagnum moss species that are known to grow in Quebec, Labrador and in the Maritimes (with the exception of the island of Newfoundland). It contains a unique dichotomous identification key that demystifies the jargon used in botany. To make it easier for identifiers, the book also presents ways to recognize species in the field, along with notes on their habitat and distribution maps.
Line Rochefort (Professor and Researcher in the Department of Plant Science at Université Laval and a regular CEN member) had the idea of starting this project in 2005 following the award of the NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation (Université Laval - the Canadian Peat Industry). The award recognized the unique collaboration of Line Rochefort, the Peatland Ecology Research Group, and its partners in the peat industry that have developed responsible peatland management techniques in Canada. Line Rochefort was able to allocate the necessary funds for the digitized capture of thousands of specimens at the Louis-Marie Herbarium and to produce an atlas of distribution maps. After consultation with her colleague Gilles Ayotte (in charge of practical work and research at the Department of Plant Science at Université Laval), it was decided to produce a visual identification reference book of sphagnum mosses from Quebec and Labrador and to include the maps originally planned for the atlas.
The guide was first used by students from all levels in the "Taxonomy and Peatland Sampling Methods" course, which is offered by Université Laval’s Plant Science Department each spring. As part of this popular course, students have suggested corrections and improvements over the years to the various versions of the guide. A version was produced as a book which is now available to anyone who is interested in identification of sphagnum mosses.
The book "Sphagnum Mosses of Eastern Canada" will be useful not only to students who want to learn more about the sphagnum mosses that inhabit our peat bogs and other ecosystems, but also to ecologists, foresters, biologists and geographers involved in environmental management, as well as to companies for the sustainable management and exploitation of natural resources. This guide is also intended as a tool for any naturalist or botanist working east of the Rockies, in the Canadian Arctic or in New England (United States).
Publication of the third volume of the Northern Flora of Quebec and Labrador

You now have access to an essential source of information on the plant heritage of northern Quebec-Labrador. This four-volume book is devoted to the Vascular Plant Flora of northern Quebec and Labrador, from the 54th parallel north to Hudson Strait, from James Bay and Hudson Bay in the west to the Labrador Sea in the east. It is the result of a long-term collaboration between several botanists from Quebec. It brings together unpublished knowledge and data on northern plants in boreal, subarctic and arctic environments. The third volume of this book has just been published by Les Presses de l’Université Laval. It includes a key to identify all the plant families that grow in this vast northern region. The morphological characteristics of taxa belonging to 23 different families are described, from shepherdies to umbelliferous plants, including dogwoods, ericaceae, gentians, willowherbs, louseworts and bellflowers. The botanical description of each taxon is accompanied by photographs of the plants and organs with diagnostic characteristics, a distribution map and comments on the ecology and habitat of each. This book will serve as a reference for researchers and students interested in the natural sciences, environmental professionals and the informed public interested in the plant heritage of Quebec and Labrador.

Volume 3 ISBN: 978-2-7637-4263-2
CEN researchers receive ArcticNet grants
On April 16, 2019, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) in Canada announced that ArcticNet was renewed at a level of $32,475,000 over five years. This extension will provide an opportunity for the Network to develop beyond the NCE program and transform into a perennial pan-Canadian research powerhouse in northern sciences. ArcticNet will fund several research projects in which CEN members are involved:
1) Study of northern lakes and rivers and their responses to environmental changes

Led by CEN members Milla Rautio and Warwick Vincent and their colleague Suzanne Tank (UAlberta), this projects aims to develop an improved, integrated understanding of northern lakes and rivers and their responses to environmental change. The focus will be on the functioning of aquatic ecosystems via detailed studies on nutrients and basal food web processes that affect the transfer of energy, carbon and contaminants to fish and other animals, and the transport of materials to downstream ecosystems across the Canadian Arctic, including Arctic seas. Other team members include Alex Culley and Connie Lovejoy (CEN) as well as Brien Lanoil from UAlberta.
2) Supporting humans in a thawing landscape
Michel Allard is part of a team led by Fabrice Calmels of Yukon College. The four principal objectives of their project are to: 1) use of innovative techniques such as computed tomography to acquire basic knowledge about permafrost thawing, 2) analyze the interactions between infrastructure, urban construction and land use, and permafrost, with an emphasis on transportation networks, 3) assess and predict geomorphological and ecological changes in landscapes of high importance to the livelihood and cultural activities of local communities, and 4) assess the impacts of permafrost thawing and landscape changes on community health, resilience, and well-being. The other team members are Duane Froese (UAlberta) and Pascale Roy-Léveillée (LaurentianU).
3) Processing and dissemination of Arctic seabed mapping data
Patrick Lajeunesse is a co-researcher on this project funded by the ArcticNet network whose principal investigator is Jean-Carlos Monterro-Serrano (ISMER-UQAR). Dermot Antoniades is also a collaborator of the project.
4) Development of seasonal multilayer network models to assess cumulative impacts on Arctic ecosystems
Pierre Legagneux’s research team will focus their efforts on a project with the following objectives: 1) develop new models of tundra food webs that integrate seasonality, 2) maintain long-term ecosystem-based monitoring programs to feed and test ecosystem models, 3) promote and support community-based citizen science to enhance spatial and temporal monitoring of biodiversity, and 4) address environmental issues that matter to northerners. The rest of the team is composed of CEN researchers G. Gauthier (Ulaval), J. Bêty and D. Berteaux (UQAR), D. Gravel (USherbrooke) as well as P. Archambault (ULaval).
5) KUUUK-SHIPI-SHIPU: Building bridges and local capacities to track environmental and land use changes in the George River Basin, Nunavik, Canada.
Finally, researcher Thora Herrmann (UdeM) partnered with CEN researchers Marc Amyot (UdeM), Esther Lévesque, José Gérin-Lajoie and Gwyneth Anne MacMillan (UQTR), Jean-Sébastien Moore (ULaval), Jan Franssen (UdeM), Hilda Snowball (Municipal Councillor Kangiqsualujjuaq, ARK and Sukuijarvik Research Station‘s scientific committee (CEN)), Noah Swappie (Chief of the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach), and Jean-Pierre Dedieu (U. Grenoble-Alpes) to develop this 3-year project.
CEN researcher
Pierre Legagneux

Pierre is a new professor in the Department of Biology at Université Laval and holds the Sentinel North Chair on the impacts of animal migration on ecosystems. Since his arrival in Quebec as a post-doctoral researcher in 2009, Pierre has established and strengthened many links within the CEN community. His research focuses on the individual responses and ecosystem consequences of bird migration in the Arctic in the context of global changes. He has many years of experience in empirical and theoretical research on northern systems from the banks of the St. Lawrence to Bylot Island.

Have a great field season!

Stay safe!

A list of risks associated with the use of the CEN’s research stations and with fieldwork in remote areas is available on our website. Please read this document carefully and be well prepared with the appropriate equipment and medical insurance, and make sure to have completed all the appropriate training and safety courses to carry out your activities.

Book your CEN Stations reservations online!
Visit our web page on safety
(in French)

Student Perspective
Photo: Muskoxen in a defensive circle, credit MFFP.

In the Land of Muskoxen
Rachel Guindon, Master‘s student in Biology, Université Laval

Last March, I joined experts from the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs during a muskox survey in Nunavik. Survivors of the last ice age, muskoxen were first introduced in captivity near Kuujjuaq in the late 1960s and gradually released into the wild until the 1980s. Rapidly, repeated observations throughout Nunavik confirmed that this ungulate has adapted well to the conditions of its new home. In the absence of detailed monitoring over the past 15 years, this recent inventory provides a clear picture of the number of muskoxen occupying the Ungava Bay coast.
Our days consisted of flying over the coast by helicopter and observing the white and almost lunar land looking for those whom the Inuit call Umingmak in Inuktitut, "the one whose fur is like a beard". Fortunately, we could count on the unerring eye of Inuit observers on board to assist us. Once a group of muskoxen was spotted, they would usually gather in a defensive circle. We could therefore easily photograph them in order to later determine their age and sex.
My participation in this unique survey was also an opportunity to establish valuable contacts with the communities of Kuujjuaq and Tasiujaq, in particular by presenting my research project to local hunting associations, schools and to the leaders of these communities. During discussions, hunters shared their vast knowledge of the land and their observations of these large herbivores. This will allow me to select more precisely my sampling sites for field work next summer. Special thanks to Johnny and Billy Cain, Billy Dan May, Steven Kleist and Barrie Ford for their help. This stay in Ungava will remain in my memory for the warm welcome of the inhabitants of this region as well as for the fascinating beauty of snow-covered Nunavik.
The Challenge and Rewards of Northern Long-distance Collaborations
Michaël Bonin, doctoral student, Caribou Ungava, Université Laval

As young researchers, we are increasingly encouraged to integrate into communities in the North, by involving community members in the planning and implementation of our field work and projects and by communicating our results. This integration is challenging but is rewarded by the knowledge and efficiency gained from working with people who are immersed in the northern reality on a daily basis. However, setting up such collaborations requires time and this is the main challenge for a graduate student; time in the field to "socialize" is often very limited. This has been my case for the past three years. It takes time to get in touch with community members, develop a trusting relationship and ask for help. Short stays and several telephone exchanges allowed me to find people interested in helping me with the collection of samples. However, I had to learn to let go a little (let‘s face it, we‘re all a little obsessed with controlling our project!) and trust people with whom I‘d often exchanged only a few words and who were now in charge of ensuring the continuity of sampling for my project while I was sitting at my desk several hundred kilometers to the south. In this regard, I would like to thank Elena Berthe, Jeremiah Kumarluk, Wille Cain Jr., Clark Shecapio, Abraham Matches and many others who have generously invested time and energy. Of course, there were many unexpected and pleasant surprises along the way, with phone calls in the middle of dinner to plan the transport of samples to the university or the reconstitution of identification tags half in English and half in Inuktitut. Nevertheless, in the end, the success of the sample collection for my project depended mainly on working with people who I have never met in person. A good example that long distance relationships should be given a chance!
A word from our student representatives

CEN is proud to recognize the involvement of its students in the field of northern research. Whether by sharing their results at conferences or in publications, by participating to training and internships, or by obtaining their diploma, students actively contribute to the outreach of CEN. This year, 85 scholarships were awarded, for a total amount of $28,916. The Student Committee (DCÉ) would like to congratulate all the recipients!
We invite you to visit the CEN website to explore the range of scholarships and awards available to undergraduate and graduate students. We encourage you to take a look at the criteria and requirements specific to each award. We also remind you that to be eligible, it is essential to complete your application quickly, within the first year following your enrollment in a M.Sc. or Ph.D. program. Please note that the next scholarship competition will end on March 1, 2020.
The DCÉ would like to welcome its new delegates: Andréanne Beardsell (UQAR), Lucas Deschamps (UQTR), Marianne Valcourt (ULaval) and Paola Ayala Borda (UQAC)! We remind you that the position of student representative at the Institut National de Recherche Scientifique Eau Terre Environnement (INRS-ETE) is vacant. Interested CEN student members can contact us by email. We would also like to thank Audrey LePogam (UQAR), Edgardo Alvarado (INRS),  and Yannick Seyer (ULaval) once again for their invaluable involvement in the student committee. Thank you and wishing you great success in your future projects!
Feel free to contact us! Have a good field campaign!
The Dedicated Student Committee
Please acknowledge the contribution of northerners to the success of your projects!
CEN strongly encourages its members to formally acknowledge northerners who have played active roles in the success of their projects. This serves to recognize their important roles in research. Such acknowledgements should be added to all types of publications, including posters, newspaper articles, presentations, and scientific articles. Why not add them as co-authors? It is up to you to judge their level of involvement and to discuss this with them... 
Photo credit: Tanya Gibéryen / CEN
Special Distinctions
Photo contest nomination

The photograph of CEN student and student committee member Andréanne Beardsell, entitled "Everything but a kiss" (#9), was selected for the 2019 edition of ACFAS‘ prestigious "Proof by Image" contest. The vote for the Discovery Public Award 2019 is now open and will end on September 15, 2019. Vote here!

Mon projet nordique Contest
Congratulations to Thomas Pacoureau, a CEN student at INRS-ETE, for his selection as one of the 6 finalists in the Mon projet nordique competition organized by the Institut nordique du Québec on May 23rd. He will have the opportunity to present his project during the international competition held as part of the Arctic Circle Assembly in October 2019 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
A new manager at our flagship station!

Welcome to Mr. Patrick Lacerte, new manager at the CEN station in Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik! Patrick has lived in the North for over 15 years and has a vast experience in logistics management and coordination. 
Mark your calendars!
August 18 - 22 - 18th International Conference on Cold Regions Engineering and the 8th Canadian Permafrost Conference, Québec
August 18 - 23 - Summer school in Biodiverity Modelling, Orford
August 26 - 28 - Sentinel North Scientific Meeting, Lévis
October 3 - 621st Inuit Studies Conference, Montréal
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Centre for Northern Studies
Pavillon Abitibi-Price 
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Université Laval 
Québec (Québec) 
Canada, G1V 0A6 
Telephone: 418.656.3340 
Email: cen@cen.ulaval.ca

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Centre d'études nordiques · Pavillon Abitibi-Price · 2405, rue de la Terrasse · Québec, Qc G1V 0A6 · Canada

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