Adam and Pascale present at EUCOP 2018 in Chamonix

EUCOP 2018 took place in beautiful Chamonix, and was a success with more than 400 conference attendees from 29 different countries. (During the conference, these attendees consumed 2000 pastries per day, 60 L of red wine, 30 L or white wine, and 2000 beers. Can you tell we were in France?)

Pascale gave the opening talk for the thermokarst lake session on Thursday the 28th. She presented a discussion of the influence of vegetation structure on the geomorphic evolution of thermokarst lakes in the forest tundra transition.

Adam presents to a full room a EUCOP, it was difficult to get a photo!

Adam attended the PYRN (Permafrost Young Researchers Network) workshops along with approximately 170 young researchers from June 22nd to 24th. He presented his undergraduate thesis research on greenhouse gas production production potential from degrading palsa fields of the Hudson Bay Lowlands  in the session on permafrost peatlands, on Tuesday the 26th. The room was overflowing, with people sitting on the floor and filling the hallway in front of the door.

Up North On Climate Conference, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Pascale and Adam attended the Up North on Climate Conference in Thunder Bay, April 24 to 26. They presented as part of a panel on peat and permafrost along with Nathan Basiliko from Laurentian University, Maara Packalen, and Jim McLaughlin from OMNRF.

The conference was a concluding event to the work conducted by David Pearson and his team in collaboration with MIRARCO‘s Climate Change Division and northern Ontario communities to improve preparedness for the consequences of a changing climate.  The conference was well attended, with representatives from more than 50 northern Ontario First Nation communities (out of 88 communities in the north of Ontario), as well as members of provincial and territorial governments and university-based researchers.

 

Elders panel at Up North on Climate Conference in Thunder Bay, April 2018. From left to right: Josephine BigGeorge, Mike Hunter, Bellamie Bighead (translator), Joel Bighead, Wilfred Wesley, and David Pearson.

 

 

Adam wins a Weston WCS-Canada fellowship in northern conservation

Sam Hunter and Adam Kirkwood extract a permafrost cores from a palsa in Polar Bear Park

Sam Hunter and Adam Kirkwood extract a permafrost cores from a palsa in Polar Bear Park, Ontario.

Adam Kirkwood won a Weston Wildlife Conservation Society-Canada Fellowship for his M.Sc. project on The significance and vulnerability of carbon and mercury stores frozen in palsa mires of the Ontario Far North. He will be working on cores extracted from intact, partially degraded, and degraded palsas extending along a latitudinal gradient between Peawanuck and Attawapiskat. Adam will 1) characterize the microbial community in the cores with eDNA (targeting methanogens, SRB and Hg methylation genes with sequencing and qPCR); 2) incubate the samples to assess greenhouse gas production potential; and 3) analyzed them for total mercury and methyl mercury content.

This project is a collaboration with researchers from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, who have equipped the palsa gradient with climate stations, permafrost monitoring stations, and flux towers, and with the BIOTRON Institute for Experimental Climate Change Research at Western University, and the Vale Living with Lakes Center at Laurentian University.

Field work on a palsa

Adam Kirkwood, Mark Crofts, and Benoit Hamel take field notes and package a permafrost core before leaving a site.

Adam’s project directly addresses concerns and priorities identified by the Muskegowuk Council, which has given its support to the project, and we look forward to sharing information with Muskegowuk communities. A poster in Cree and English (Greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost in Polar Bear Provincial Park – ᑲᑎᑭᑌᐠ ᐱᑐᐡ ᑲᑎᑭᐠ ᐁ ᐃᔑ ᑭᔑᑲᐠ) with information on some aspects of this project was presented earlier this year at the Muskegowuk Climate Summit.