New Brunswick environmental science centres

Canadian Wildlife Service Office (Sackville, NB)

Environment Canada’s office in Sackville, New Brunswick, is beside the Tantramar Marshes and close to many productive wildlife habitats such as freshwater and coastal marshes, tidal mudflats, lakes and Acadian Forest woodlands. The region is an important stopover for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway, nestled between the Bay of Fundy and Northumberland Strait. Many waterbirds and shorebirds concentrate in EC’s nearby National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, and gather in the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site in the upper reaches of the Bay of Fundy.

The office is adjacent to the educational Sackville Waterfowl Park and serves as a hub for wildlife research and monitoring by EC staff, and partners from Bird Studies Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada and nearby universities. Ongoing field studies throughout this area include research and monitoring of resident shorebird and northern sandpiper migrants, seabird monitoring at Bay of Fundy colonies and at sea, science support for  habitat wetland conservation at nearby protected areas, waterfowl banding programs using airboats and bait stations, and landbird monitoring and research with a focus on declining populations of swallows and other aerial insectivorous birds.

Learn more about Wildlife and Landscape Science.

Atlantic Environmental Science Centre (Moncton, NB)

Atlantic Environmental Science Centre

© Environment Canada, 2008

The Atlantic Environmental Science Centre (AESC), situated at the Université de Moncton in Moncton, New Brunswick, accommodates 35 Environment Canada (EC) scientific, technical and administrative staff. 

AESC has specialized laboratory facilities which are occupied by EC’s Atlantic Laboratory for Environmental Testing (ALET) which provides ISO 17025 chemical and toxicological analysis to help EC meet its obligations under the Canada Water Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the Fisheries Act and the Migratory Bird Convention Act.

The Laboratory provides analysis of metals, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and oil matching/identification for environmental research and monitoring, as well as for EC Enforcement Officers conducting forensic investigations. ALET supports research into the toxic effects and environmental fate of pesticides used in agriculture, forestry and aquacultures. ALET also measures the harmful effects resulting from exposures to chemical substances for freshwater, estuarine and salt water organisms. Specialized equipment enables studies on the genetic effects of toxicants.

Freshwater quality monitoring and surveillance in Atlantic rivers and lakes are undertaken in cooperation with multiple federal and provincial partners in support of the Canada Water Act.  Real-time automated monitoring instruments and logistical field equipment are deployed to enable collection of water and invertebrate samples primarily in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. 

Scientific data collected provides critical information in the development of Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators and to studies in support of the Government of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan and the Atlantic coastal biomonitoring program based on EC’s Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN).   

AESC is home to one of three EC Marine Water Quality Monitoring ISO 17025 accredited microbiology laboratories in the Atlantic region. The laboratory’s primary role is to support EC’s mandate under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP), delivered jointly with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. EC’s key role in the CSSP is to assess the suitability of shellfish growing areas.

Watershed Science Bioassessment Centre (Fredericton, NB)

Watershed Science Bioassessment Centre

© Environment Canada, 2014

Environment Canada’s Watershed Science Bioassessment Centre (WSBC), located at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick, has developed an interdisciplinary aquatic research team in association with the Canadian Rivers Institute. Five EC staff scientists, 15 post-doctoral research fellows and students focus on the development of analytical tools and predictive models for the assessment of cumulative impacts and risks to aquatic ecosystems, and to improve biomonitoring and ecological risk assessment approaches.

WSBC’s specialized facilities include controlled-environment experimental chambers and an outdoor artificial stream mesocosm system that enable the development of biodiversity monitoring programs for the Canadian Artic, boreal forest wetlands and oil sands regions. State-of-the-art invertebrate and trait-based analytical laboratories provide science support to the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN). DNA “Biomonitoring 2.0” sample processing capabilities have enabled the development of new biomonitoring tools for the Alberta Oils Sands regions as well as cumulative effects approaches for agricultural landscapes including the Lake Winnipeg Basin Initiative.

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