Are you an undergraduate student interested in both hydrology and ecology? If so, you may be a perfect fit for one of two summer research assistant positions. More details in the advert: Summer URA advert for 2019 (Ecohydrology)
We are looking to add a member (undergraduate student level) to our watershed research team to work on hydrology and biogeochemistry projects. Interested? See the complete advert (link below) and contact Genevieve Ali by February 2nd, 2018: Genevieve.Ali@umanitoba.ca.
Members of our group attended a shortcourse focusing on isotope hydrology and biogeohemistry at Environment Canada’s National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon, SK. The shortcourse was led by Jeff McDonnell and included not only him but also Genevieve Ali, Ali Ameli, Jaivime Evaristo, Carol Kendall, Geoff Koehler, Kim Janzen, Scott Jasechko, Cody Millar, and Tricia Stadnyk as instructors. In only four days of lectures and labs, the course reviewed key ways in which the use of isotope tracers in catchment hydrology challenged traditional understandings of rainfall/runoff processes. The course also covered the application of isotopes in hydrograph separation, transit time calculation, model testing and evaluation, groundwater age dating and plant water source identification. We also had the pleasure of learning about the latest technology in stable water isotope analysis and soil and plant water extraction methods while touring the cryogenic vacuum extraction and soil physics labs, led by Kim Janzen and Cody Millar.
The collaborative atmosphere felt during lectures allowed students and researchers attending both in person as well as via WebEx to ask questions and receive feedback regarding their own research. After hearing course organizers, including our own Genevieve Ali, speak on their respective areas of expertise, we returned home to Winnipeg feeling re-inspired and with even more project ideas!
For a sneak peak on some of the group’s most recent research, keep an eye out for Cody Ross, Aminul Haque, and Genevieve Ali at the upcoming American Geophysical Union meeting Dec. 12-16, 2016 in San Francisco, CA.
To learn more about the Watershed Hydrology Lab led by Jeffrey McDonnell at the University of Saskatchewan, see the following link:
General information regarding this short course on isotopes in catchment hydrology can be found here:
Meet Matt, the man who lives Environmental Science at work, at home and at play. A former Environmental Design and Architecture student, Matt joined the WSRP as a Biogeochemistry Field Assistant for the 2015 summer field season before entering his fourth and final year at the University of Manitoba in Environmental Science. Matt found his true passion in Environmental Science and Hydrology after taking a 3rd year Hydrology course with Genevieve (Ali). It was after this course that Matt decided about to learn more about rivers, streams, watersheds and how water transports chemicals and solutes in subsurface flows and throughout streams. Matt is a critical thinker and found that working with the WSRP gave him an opportunity to learn about Hydrology through a more holistic lens. He quickly learned the challenges of field-based research and that “…you never know what mother nature’s going to do”, citing a major rainfall event in which many instruments were damaged or floated away downstream. Fitting with his critical thinking, Matt also “learned a lot about farming and what goes on beneath the surface”, such as the intricate process from field to table that is often overlooked when we sit down for a meal. Matt is appreciative of the fact that working for the WSRP has “drastically broadened [his] perspective of how important the soil and water beneath really is”. Another, rather humorous, ‘challenge’ of field-based research Matt cites specific to his work was the side effects of working with blue dye and the awkward looks he would receive when noticing his blue hands, despite his valiant efforts to clean them. The most enjoyable part of working for the WSRP is that every day and every week is a little different and there is no redundancy, according to Matt. He also enjoys the opportunity to get outside often, given his passion for the environment, staying active and appreciating nature.
Interview done and profile written by Jonathon Belanger
Figure 1 – Genevieve Ali’s 2013 Research Team completing a hike near Banff, Alberta.
By Amber Penner
The joint Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU) and Canadian Society of Soil Science (CSSS) annual scientific meeting was held in Banff, Alberta from May 4-7, 2014. Genevieve Ali and her 2013 Research Team had the privilege of attending and demonstrating the work that they have been doing on their respective projects (see photos and descriptions below). The students who attended the conference were (Figure 1): Amber Penner, Shelby Perreault, Halya Petzold, Cody Ross, Lauren Timlick, and Erin Untereiner.
It was exciting to participate in a Canadian conference with a strong hydrology section and a welcoming scientific community. Genevieve, Halya, and myself (Amber) had also attended the American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2013 conference, in San Francisco, California, in December. The AGU conference was a fascinating display of scientific diversity in the geophysical discipline, and many different nations were represented. In contrast with AGU, the CGU-CSSS annual meeting provided a more “intimate” forum for presenting, communicating, and networking.
Genevieve Ali was honoured at the Tuesday night conference banquet where she received the 2014 Young Scientist Award. This award is given in recognition of outstanding research contributions by an individual within 10 years of obtaining their first Ph.D; Genevieve was nominated and selected by a committee. As two of her Master’s students, Halya and myself are increasingly honoured to have her as our mentor. Attending this conference furthered our realization that Genevieve is not only incredibly gifted in the study of hydrology, but her hard work is greatly appreciated by her peers and the hydrological community.
Banff offered a perfect backdrop, rich in geophysical beauty, for this conference to occur. We spent a week encircled by mountains, walking along the Bow River, and hiking through the national park. Although we were sad to leave, it is nice to return to the work in our respective watersheds; the vast difference in scenery between Alberta and Manitoba cannot diminish the unique beauty characteristic in the prairies.
The following images are from Genevieve’s seminar presentation and her student’s poster presentations:
Figure 2 – Genevieve Ali during her Monday afternoon presentation “Water-Table-Connectivity in a Low-Gradient Prairie Watershed”.
Figure 3 – Shelby Perreault at her poster “Investigating the potential of electromagnetic induction for mapping multi-depth soil moisture variations in Southern Manitoba”.
Figure 4 – Halya Petzold at her poster “Hydrologic dynamics of a large Prairie watershed: Looking for runoff controls in an engineered, mixed use landscape”.
Figure 5 – Cody Ross at his poster “Comparison of sampling strategies to monitor water quality in Prairie watersheds”.
Figure 6 – Lauren Timlick at her poster “Visualizing the variability of a small scale subsurface water flow in the South Tobacco Creek watershed”.
Figure 7 – Erin Untereiner at her poster “Spatiotemporal variability of water quality and stable water isotopes in an intensively managed Prairie watershed”.