Deputy Minister transition binder 2023: Science and Technology

Science and Technology Branch (STB) overview

Science and technology are essential to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) mandate

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Distribution of STB workforce by region (as of August 2022)
Region Percentage
National Capital Region (NCR) 39%
Ontario Region (ONT) 32%
Quebec Region (QUE) 10%
Atlantic Region (ATL) 5%
Prairies and Northern Region (PNR) 6%
Pacific and Yukon Region (PYR) 8%

STB offices/facilities across Canada

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A map of Canada with a text block titling the map “STB offices/facilities across Canada” shows multiple STB office locations across Canada.

STB vision and mission


Decisions are evidence-informed by the latest science that responds to environmental challenges facing Canadians


To provide holistic scientific knowledge, data and tools needed to enable ECCC’s policies, programs and services to provide a clean, safe and sustainable environment for Canadians

Equity, inclusion and diversity

STB’s diversity and inclusion working group aims to create a safe and positive space for open dialogue towards more positive behavioural, institutional, and policy change

Science principles

ECCC S&T organizational model compared to other science-based departments/agencies

Department/Agency S&T branch that does all or most of the science? Lead scientist or science advisor role? Notes
ECCC Yes ADM S&T, Departmental Science Advisor Most science done by STB, but also in other branches (CWS, MSC), at 34 environmental science centres across Canada
NRCan No Chief Scientist, Departmental Science Advisor Science conducted within six different department sectors (e.g., Lands and Minerals, Energy Efficiency and Technology, Strategic Policy and Innovation, Canadian Forest Service) at facilities across Canada
AAFC Yes ADM Science, Departmental Science Advisor Science focused in the S&T Branch, with work done at 20 R&D centres and 30 satellite locations across Canada
DFO No ADM Science, Departmental Science Advisor Strong regional structure to S&T; science conducted within department sectors (e.g., Ecosystems and Oceans Science, Aquatic Ecosystems) at 17 facilities across Canada
NRC No Chief Digital Research Officer, Chief Science Officer and Departmental Science Advisor (one position for all) Research is the core mandate of the organization; science is conducted throughout various NRC divisions (e.g., Digital Technologies, Life Sciences, Transportation and Manufacturing) at facilities across the country

Organizational structure

ECCC is the lead government organization for environmental science advice in Canada

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STB is under the responsibility of ADM Marc D'Ioro and consists of the following directorates: Atmospheric Science and Technology (ASTD), Science and Risk Assessment (SRAD), Science and Technology Strategies (STSD), Water Science and Technology Directorate (WSTD), Wildlife and Landscape Science (WLSD). Nathalie Morin, Jacqueline Gonçalves, Matthew Cloutier, Joanne Volk and Patrice Simon lead these directorates respectively.

STB funding overview

STB funding breakdown by departmental priority (ARLU January 2022)
Priority STB funding breakdown by departmental priority
A-Base B-Base VNR
Conserving Nature $9,854,238 $5,977,277 $260,000
Predicting Weather and Environment Conditions $10,182,177 $3,126,995 $153,585
Preventing and Managing Pollution $108,072,721 $13,880,225 $15,284,022
Taking Action on Clean Growth and Climate Change $28,213,687 $8,724,388 -

Science and advice to inform and support

(e.g., Canada’s Changing Climate Report informed and motivated domestic mitigation policy and the development of the National Adaptation Strategy)

(e.g., Under the Chemicals Management Plan, the Science Assessment of Plastics informed the potential ban of six single-use plastic items, including the development of regulations)

(e.g., Estimation of GHG emissions to produce Annual National Inventory Report on GHGs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; National Boreal Caribou Knowledge Consortium)

(e.g., Predictive tools to inform fire weather risk prediction, wildfire air quality smoke alerts, and emergency response)

The unique role of STB science

STB science priorities

Taking action on clean growth and climate change

Predicting weather and environmental conditions

Preventing and managing pollution

Conserving nature

STB science advice and services

STB offers a number of activities that serve foundational information needs, including but not limited to:

Science management and other supports

Regulation and enforcement

Risk assessment

Collection, integration and transmission of data and information

Research and modelling

STB science enables clients

STB science provides the critical foundations to inform and enable clients’ programs, services, operations, policy, regulatory, and enforcement deliverables, including but not limited to:

Program delivery

Operations and service


Regulation and enforcement

Spotlight: Indigenous science at STB

STB’s new Indigenous Science Division was created in January 2022 to advance reconciliation in ECCC’s S&T activities

Dr. Myrle Ballard

Dr. Myrle Ballard

Strategic planning for STB science and advice

Key takeaways and next steps


1. Additional information on STB structure and activities

Science to support the departmental results framework and other departments’ initiatives

Science and Technology Branch

Clean Growth and Climate Change

  • Natural Resources Canada: Canada’s national assessment on Climate Change, Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, Program of Energy Research and Development, Energy Innovation Program   
  • Infrastructure Canada, National Research Council: Climate Resilient Buildings and Core Public Infrastructure Initiative

Predicting Weather and Environmental Conditions

  • Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Coast Guard: Oceans Protection Plan
  • Transport Canada: Regulatory compliance for aviation safety
  • Canadian Space Agency: Space-based observations to advance weather and environmental forecasts
  • Department of National Defense, Canadian Coast Guard: Arctic marine navigation and safety

Preventing and Managing Pollution

  • Health Canada: Chemicals Management Plan, Climate Change and Air Pollution
  • Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Health Canada, Agriculture And Agri-Foods Canada: Pilot project related to pesticide impacts on environmental health
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Canadian Shellfish Sanitation
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada: Northern Contaminants Program & TMX/Salish Sea
  • Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Coast Guard: Oceans Protection Plan
  • National Research Council: Genomics Research & Development Initiative

Conserving Nature

  • Natural Resources Canada: Natural Climate Solutions, 2 billion trees
  • Natural Resources Canada, Parks Canada: Nature Legacy
  • Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canada Coast Guard: Oceans Protection Plan, TMX, Planning for Integrated Environmental Response
  • Impact Assessment Agency: Science to support Impact Assessments

2. STB business lines

Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate

Director General: Nathalie Morin

Activities focus on:

Science and Risk Assessment Directorate

Director General: Jacqueline Gonçalves

Activities focus on:

Science and Technology Strategies Directorate

Director General: Matthew Cloutier

Activities focus on:

Water Science and Technology Directorate

Director General: Joanne Volk

Activities focus on:

Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate

Director General: Patrice Simon

Activities focus on research and advice on:

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