Quebec environmental science centres
Biosphère (Montréal, QC)
© Environment Canada, 2008
An architectural symbol since Expo 67, the Biosphère is a unique and spectacular structure in the heart of Jean Drapeau Park on St. Helen Island.
The interpretation centre is open to the public and houses permanent and temporary exhibits and scientific animations, all enlivened with a healthy dose of fun. Through them, visitors gain a better understanding of major environmental issues - climate change, water and air quality, energy, extreme weather and sustainable development - and find practical everyday solutions to protect the environment.
Canadian Meteorological Centre (Dorval, QC)
© Environment Canada, 2008
The Canadian Meteorological Centre is home to environmental programs in weather, climate, and air quality, and expertise during environmental emergencies. It consolidates modeling and environmental prediction capability and professional development capacity at the national level, in order to foster effective science and technology transfer, greater innovation, and workforce training and development.
Facility highlights include:
- The Canadian Meteorological Centre Operations, which is responsible for the 24/7 operations of the Meteorological Service of Canada’s automated analysis, prediction systems, the response to nuclear and technological releases of toxic material, volcanic ash and other health and safety operational response systems.
- Data from Canada and the rest of the world, including space-based observations, are acquired in real time, processed and quality controlled and ingested at the Canadian Meteorological Centre.
- Meteorologists, computer and physical scientists and engineers at the Centre work with researchers to develop and effectively operationalize new knowledge in the field to continuously improve Canada’s weather and environmental prediction systems. New technologies are transferred to internal systems and products, as well as external partners and end users (e.g., Nav Canada).
- Training and career development to ensure the end-to-end provision of a competent and sustainable workforce, from national recruitment and training, career development, on-going learning and certification of employees.
- The information generated at the Canadian Meteorological Centre provides the basis for dedicated forecasts serving the public, marine and aviation communities. Specialized data and products are also delivered to support operations for agencies, such as provincial governments, the Department of National Defence, and commercial end users.
- Work related to weather forecasting and environmental prediction is dependent on the supercomputing capacity managed by Shared Services Canada.
Centre St-Laurent (Montréal, QC)
© Environment Canada, 2008
Located in downtown Montréal, Québec, the Centre St-Laurent’s (CSL) administrative and specialized laboratory facilities are home to several federal government departments including Environment Canada.
Aquatic Contaminant and Water Hydrology and Ecology research and technical staff at CSL undertake laboratory and field activities which generate scientific data and related information aimed to improve knowledge of large river ecosystems. Studies on the impacts of human activities and climate variability on organisms, plant diversity and productivity inform regulatory decisions related to water discharge levels to the St. Lawrence, “species at risk” (Species at Risk Act) and the commercial fishing industry. The fate, bioavailability and stability of new and existing contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials) in large river ecosystems are investigated using analytical tools and methods (e.g., genomics, biomarkers) which have been developed and evaluated by CSL staff. These studies enable an increased awareness of the multiple stress factors impacting large fluvial ecosystems.
Water quality monitoring surveys assessing the suitability of shellfish growing areas along Quebec’s north shore of the St. Lawrence River are coordinated and undertaken by CSL’s Marine Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance unit. These activities fulfill EC’s obligations under the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program. Fresh Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance scientists report on water quality and aquatic ecosystem health in the St. Lawrence River based on regular monitoring of water, sediments, wetlands and benthic organisms. Focused studies inform and address environmental issues such as eutrophication of water bodies, and the presence of other toxic substances (e.g., metals, pesticides, and polychlorinated diphenylethers).
Accredited to ISO 17025 international standards, Environment Canada’s Quebec Laboratory for Environmental Testing, provides chemical and toxicological analysis, scientific expertise and technical support to EC research and monitoring programs including the St. Lawrence Action Plan, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Index, Environmental and Wildlife Enforcement, Clean Air Regulatory Agenda and emerging priorities such as EC’s Chemical Management Plan.
National Laboratory for Severe Weather Meteorology (Montréal, QC)
The National Laboratory for Severe Weather Meteorology was formed in 2004. The lab’s mission is to provide improved scientific understanding and prediction of high-impact weather, primarily focussing on application of numerical weather prediction models for forecasting severe weather phenomena. The lab is co-located with the Environment Canada Storm Prediction Centre in Montreal. Outputs include applied research to address forecasting issues identified in the Department and facilitation of technology transfer of science results into the operational weather forecasting program.
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