Goose Creek Bog, Churchill, Manitoba

Gigapan: Amanda Quadrat

Arctic Ecology Field Course 2012 – Churchill Manitoba

Tundra Ponds by Alex Smith

Identifying tundra plants for the first time.

Student comments: Day two of the 2012 University of Guelph/Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology course in Arctic Ecology. This was our first visit to the tundra where we sampled the pond and terrestrial environment. Many caddisflies (Trichoptera) in the water and air, and ants (Formicidae) under hot flat stones. A beautiful warm day (25C) with just enough wind to keep the biting flies away!

Ramsay Creek by Hayley & Cassie

A spider that was likely included in Cassie Russel’s project on spider diversity, habitat and vertical sampling.

Student comments: Ramsay Creek is a fast moving creek with rocky bottom. Open area around creek with tall trees surrounding it. Area highly populated with dragonflies, butterflies, spiders, blackflies and ants. Large abundance of butterwort and bog rosemary in the short grass. Lots of blackfly larva in creek. A very warm day – a high of 28C! – Hayley Cahill and Cassie Russell

Twin Lakes Fen 2 by Kelsey

Carnivorous plants (Pinguicula vulgaris) and carnivorous plant searchers

Student comments: We arrived in the morning and the fog had just lifted however the clouds remained very low. This is the second fen site in my plant diversity project. Ideally I would have liked to go to a different fen to sample however due to time constraint this could not be accomplished. The quadrate was therefore placed further away from the road then the first quadrate. Sunken boot prints can be seen where twice I was forced to become one with the fen. The majority of the plant species were found on top of the hummocks. This quadrate appears to be fairly similar in diversity to the first quadrate with exceptions possibly due to the distance from the road and this area was more wet – Kelsey Desnoyers

Twin Lakes Moraine by Yurakby

Taking field photographs and recording notes.

Student comments: A coolish day (21C), overcast with a light breeze. The panorama is the right-most of a group of panoramas that were taken on the site. Pictures facing North East to North West, overlooking Twin Lakes Fen towards Hudson’s Bay Plants include blueberries, cranberries?, rosemary, Labrador tea (dwarf and normal), etc. – Jurak Yeong

Goose Creek Bog by Amanda Quadratby

A sampling vial black with spiders!

Student comments: -Sunny and warm (25°C) with minimal, thin, hazy clouds -Light breeze (branches moving) -This site was located just across and in ~ 10m from the footpath on the opposite side of the path from the previous bog site -Biting flies (particularly mosquitoes and blackflies) worse in the bog compared to the Welcome sign site visited this morning -Walking to the sites, many Lycosids were observed sitting on or running across the white reindeer lichen that blankets most of the area -This particular site had more trees (primarily Black Spruce) than the last and more woody debris to try and search around -The new “claw machine” method of catching spiders by using a sporting dish to find and forcep them was much more effective; only 11 Lycosids escaped -No Salticids were found while most of the Lycosids found were relatively small (<1.5cm in length) -While walking along the path in a particularly wet area my boot, and leg with it, disappeared disappeared into the bog...which came back to the research station in my boot no matter how many times I dumped it out – Amanda Boyd

Churchill Northern Studies Centre by Alex Smith

This is the third time that Dan was captured in the GigaPan – a quick mover!

Student comments: Group GigaPan of the members of the 2012 class in Arctic Ecology held at the CNSC. You can see that a rain storm rolled quickly in while we were shooting the small group panorama!

Cape Merry by Steve

One GigaPan caught another one in progress.

Student comments: Cape Merry is located at the estuary of the Churchill River where it meets Hudson Bay. Historically the region has been used importantly for activities ranging from the fur trade to rivalry to exploration to find the Northwest Passage. During the summer when the area is ice free, it is common to see many Beluga whales surfacing near shore. Here there appears to be some in the centre of the photo. The rippling water is an indicator that one either just surfaced or is about to. Also, the Lichen growing on the rocks can be a good indicator of when certain areas became isolated from the sea. Orange Star Lichen occur first as they are the youngest at about 500 years of age. The green Lichen are the next youngest at about 1500 years old – Steve James

Rock Bluffs A by Eric, Steve, and Darren

The bare shoreline described by current and historic actions of ice.

Student comments: The Churchill Rock Bluffs are located adjacent to Hudson Bay. There are depressions in the Rock Bluffs that collect water every spring and create a unique habitat for small aquatic life. These possess some very unique characteristics that enable zooplankton like Daphnia, which are tiny aquatic organisms, to populate the pools. There population is part of a much larger muchetacommunity. Metacommunities are ecological communities that are linked to each other through dispersing individuals. Since the Rock Bluffs contain hundreds of small rock pools teeming with zooplankton life, they are perfect to examine research topics such as how the environmental changes brought about by global warming might affect life in the Arctic. – Steve James and Darren Kelly.


We would like to thank LeeAnn Fishback and the staff of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre for their help and assistance in helping to make our course so enjoyable. This project would not be possible without support from the Fine Outreach for Science and the Fine Foundation, the Learning Enhancement Fund at the University of Guelph, Illah Nourbakhsh, Clara Phillips, Dror Yaron, Mary Jo Daines and the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, GigaPan Systems.

Guest Editors

Alex Smith is a professor of molecular ecology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. His interests include biodiversity, cryptic species and working in both field and laboratory to integrate field and molecular biology into questions of ecological and evolutionary importance to conservation.

Sarah J. Adamowicz, Assistant Professor, Integrative Biology & The Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph

19 Students of AE 2012 (Amanda Boyd, Chris Britton-Foster, Hayley Cahill, Kelsey Desnoyers, Natalie Duitshaever, Dan Gibson, Steve James, Yurak Jeong, Darren Kelly, Eli Levene, Hilary Lyttle, Talia Masse, Kate Pare, Kelsie Paris, Cassie Russell, Eric Scott, Debbie Silva, Megan Sparkes, Kami Valkova)

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