CABIN-Style short course: Laurentian SETAC partners with Environment and Climate Change Canada

Instructors: Tim Pascoe and Tana McDaniel, Environment and Climate Change Canada

The Stream Monitoring and Assessment short course organized by Laurentian SETAC was a fun introduction to the instruments and field techniques commonly used for assessing aquatic ecosystem condition. This course gave a brief overview of the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN), which was developed by Environment Canada as a standardized sampling protocol and recommended assessment approach for consistent, comparable and scientifically credible biological assessments of streams.

This chilly autumn morning started with beautiful, blue skies and the persistent splashing of salmon spawning in the shallow pools of Bronte Creek at Lowville Park in North Burlington, Ontario. The experience of watching these fish and being in the water with them as they torpedoed around us, gave a unique perspective of why these types of courses and a knowledge of stream and river health are so vital for ecosystems everywhere. The experienced and knowledgeable instructors, Tim Pascoe and Tana McDaniel from Environment and Climate Change Canada, were engaging and helped mentor students and young professionals alike with their own CABIN experiences, the purpose of this type of field work and how the data could be used to benefit aquatic systems.

Each participant learned to measure stream discharge, having ample instruction and time to utilize and familiarize themselves with the necessary equipment and data recording and analyses. Samples of stream water, sediment and the benthic invertebrate community were collected at various locations within Bronte Creek. Although the sampling locations varied, the assessment adhered to the CABIN protocol, ensuring consistency in sampling and comparable results. Apart from gaining valuable field experience, participants were able to engage with one another and network in a relaxed and fun environment. This opportunity is highly recommended to anyone interested in gaining more field experience, looking to network or looking to learn some new sampling techniques.

For those individuals interested in learning more about the CABIN protocol, participating in the instructional CABIN training course or obtaining official CABIN certification are encouraged to check the following link: http://canadianriversinstitute.com/training/cabin/

Submitted by Laura Tessier (tess5080@mylaurier.ca) and Scott Hepditch (hepd1780@mylaurier.ca)