Workshop #1: Using R for Analysis of Ocean and Atmosphere Data

Sunday, May 29 | 13:00 – 16:30

Room: Devon

Cost: $10

The R software environment is a free and open source tool for statistical computing and graphics (see www.r-project.org). It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is rapidly gaining popularity within the scientific community. Through additional user contributed packages, the capabilities of R can be extended to cover almost any desired need. This workshop will introduce users to the R environment, with a focus on oceanographic and meteorological applications. In particular, the workshop will introduce the "oce" add-on package, which includes a wide range of specialized functions familiar to physical oceanographers (CTD and ADCP data, equation of state, TS diagrams, mapping, etc) who currently use other non-free analysis software, such as Matlab. No prior R experience is necessary, and participants are encouraged to bring a laptop to be able to work through examples.

Instructors: Clark Richards (clark.richards@rbr-global.com), Dan Kelley (dan.kelley@dal.ca)


Workshop #2: Using Heat as a Tracer for Hydrology and Groundwater Research (Cancelled)



Workshop #3: Young Hydrologic Society Workshop

Sunday, May 29 | 12:00 – 16:30

Room: Barkers Point A

Cost: $10

Challenges and opportunities in Canadian hydrology

Select speakers will give short, informal lectures on the current challenges and opportunities they see in Canadian Hydrology in the next 10-years. This will provide young hydrologists an avenue to discuss how their future careers might address these opportunities and make a greater impact with their research. 

Progression of one's scientific career  

A guest speaker will provide an engaging talk on how young scientists should plan for their future research career. This will span topics including publishing and growing a personal brand during grad-studies, things to look for when applying for a post-doc, and how to position one's self for a transition to a University or other research position.  

Facilitator: Chris Marsh chrismarsh.ca University of Saskatchewan



Workshop #4: Campbell Scientific Weather and Water Resource Monitoring Best Practices

Sunday, May 29 | 13:00 – 16:30

Room: Nashwaaksis A

Cost: $10

This interactive session will include a presentation on common weather and water monitoring best practices. Participants are encouraged to share their field work experiences (both challenges and successes) in order to tailor the content to practical applications. As this session is focused around field based experiences, we will provide hands on instructions on how to connect different sensors to dataloggers and how to write basic programs to generate and collect data for further analysis. There will be weather and water monitoring equipment on display to use and become familiar with.


Best practices of weather and water monitoring will include:

  • Hardware selection
  • Programming as it relates to getting the best quality data possible
  • Data management
  • System installation
  • Ongoing maintenance and calibration
  • Data QA/QC


Instructor:  DJ Snodgrass, Supervisor of Technical Support and Field Services, Campbell Scientific Canada


EarthsCAN Information Session 

Sunday, May 29 | 16:30 – 18:00

Room: Barkers Point A

Globally, climate change, population growth, natural hazards and the need for long term sustainability of resource supply (including materials, energy and food) demand new approaches to the Earth Sciences. Here we are intending to create new research networks that permit us to approach the challenges facing society with completely new ways of thinking. This initial EarthsCAN information session (preceding CGU/CMOS – companion to a second information session at GACMAC) will discuss this research initiative, brainstorm and design possible proof of concept projects, in preparation for upcoming workshops being coordinated for August 2016 in Ottawa (21, 22, 23) and Calgary (17, 18, 19); which now have >100 committed participants from Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment & Climate Change Canada, academia, Earthscope and emergency management agencies.

The purpose of the EarthsCAN research initiative is to develop a Canada-wide multi-disciplinary research initiative, expanding on the success of the US Earthscope program (http://www.earthscope.org) with the addition of atmospheric-oceanographic-climatic/weather modeling.  For example, in April 2016, discussions were started to ensure that the Meteorological Research Division at Environment & Climate Change Canada gains access to real time meteorological data that will result from the installation of 17 new Earthscope instrument sites in northwestern Canada during this upcoming summer. 

Information Session Goals

  • Discuss science goals that can be addressed using EarthsCAN data
  • Capitalize on momentum from the EarthScope 2010-2020 Science Plan (http://www.earthscope.org/information/publications/science-plan)
  • Outline possible pilot project(s) for EarthsCAN, and discuss general recommendations for possible deployment of USArray Transportable Array sites in western Canada
  • Explore the breadth of community providing input to EarthsCAN
  • Provide an opportunity to develop cross-disciplinary personal contacts and stimulate future scientific collaborations
  • Provide recommendations for planning the August (Calgary-Ottawa) workshops

Information Session Format and Agenda (draft agenda to follow)

This information session will feature invited, cross-disciplinary talks and breakout discussion sessions. We are soliciting white papers, discussing either research results or hypotheses that could be tested using EarthsCAN data. We will select several speakers to give short (5 minute) mini-talks to complement the invited speakers. These whitepapers will be available to breakout groups at the August (Ottawa-Calgary) workshops and incorporated into a final workshop report. Everyone is encouraged to submit whitepapers, regardless of whether you are able to attend this EarthsCAN information session.

Format for white papers: 2-3 powerpoint/PDF slides (with 1-2 pages word background)

Deadline for white papers:  May 16, 2016

Interested?  Please contact Katherine Boggs (kboggs@mtroyal.ca)



Special Session: Arctic SIG Panel 2016  

Tuesday, May 31 | 13:30 – 15:00

Room: Nashwaaksis B

Session Title: Two Ways of Knowing Northern Science – A Case Study on Ice

Ice has traditionally been, and continues to be, very important to Inuit communities and hunters as it represents a major means of transportation, a route to hunting grounds, as well as habitat for keystone species (e.g. polar bears, seals, and whales).  With increasing environmental change and variations in ice conditions, it is becoming increasingly important that strong and meaningful dialogue takes place between Inuit and northern knowledge holders with scientists who often work in southern Canada.  This Panel will examine new and innovative ways of addressing communications and community needs by examining lessons learned and opportunities for scientists and Inuit knowledge holders to work better together in Arctic science, with a focus on the changing ice conditions in the Arctic.   

Each panelist will have approximately ten-fifteen minutes for opening comments, followed by discussion and interaction amongst the panelists.  The session will then open for questions and discussion with audience members.

We hope that we can conclude on some recommendations on how to work more closely together in the future – which the Arctic Special Interest Group can take for action. 

The creation of the Arctic Special Interest Group within CMOS will enable these efforts and interest to be sustained from this session into future work within CMOS on Arctic oceanographic and meteorological sciences.

Convenor: Helen C Joseph HCJ Consulting Helen@hcjconsulting.ca


Special Session: Engaging with the Private Sector 

Monday, May 30 | 10:30 – 12:00

Room: Marysville B

While CMOS continues to grow and find relevance in society, the important transfer of knowledge and science into the private sector becomes an important vehicle to operationalise or support Canadian science. This Special Session of the CMOS Congress is intended to showcase members and companies of the CMOS Private Sector. Contributors are invited to make their pitch about their companies, on the relevance of their work and science as it relates to CMOS in meteorology, oceanography with scientific applications that results in a commercial product or service.  

Chair: Martin Taillefer, CMOS Vice President & President of Maritime Way Scientific Ltd.


Special Session: Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games (TO2015 Games)

Wednesday, June 1 | 15:30 – 17:00

Room: Marysville A

Environment Canada and the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games (TO2015 Games). The collaboration between Science and Technology and the Meteorological Service of Canada to showcase Environment Canada science and operational capabilities through the provision of enhanced weather monitoring, world-class research, and venue specific weather alerts to ensure the safety and protection of athletes, staff, essential federal services, volunteers and spectators. The proposal is to have an introductory 30 minute presentation by Dr. David Sills
1. David Sills - Science in support of the TO2015 Games. The following four presentations will be 12 minutes each (with 3 for questions)
2. John MacPhee - Planning, deployment, commissioning, and decommissioning of the mesonet.
3. Martin Elie - Datalogger programing Design, coding, implementation and issues
4. Joan Klaassen - Data analysis and inter-comparison from the mesonet compact stations.
5. The Ontario Storm Prediction Centre - Forecast and alerting in support of the TO2015 Games.

Chair: John MacPhee, Environment Canada Toronto


Special Session: Agroclimatic Extremes- Past, Present and Future 

Wednesday, June 1 | 15:30 – 17:00

Room: Barkers Point A

This session focuses on understanding how extreme weather & climatic events (including disasters) affect the agriculture sector. The objective of this session is to expand our knowledge of how we can use past, present and future events to better identify and assess risks, adapt and reduce the impacts and costs associated with extreme events. Some aspects of extreme events, such as abnormal timing of precipitation or abnormal onset of frost are unique to agriculture. For example, it is documented that between 2008 and 2012, federal-provincial disaster relief payouts for climate-related extreme events totaled more than $785 million. Additionally, more than $16.7 billion in crop insurance was paid out during the same period. This session will focus on:
1. Defining. How do we quantify and define extreme weather and climate in agriculture? Do appropriate extreme weather and climatic indices exist for agriculture?
2. Monitoring and assessing. What is the baseline? How do we monitor and assess extreme weather and climate in agriculture? What is the trend? Are extreme weather and climatic events occurring with unprecedented frequency, duration and magnitude?
3. Forecasting. Are the extreme weather and climatic indices predictable with a sufficient lead time and skill to allow affected users and decision-makers to make informed choices?
4. Modeling. To what extent are extreme weather and climatic events represented in the Global Climate Models?
5. Communicating. Are extreme weather and climatic events communicated in ways that allow effective and timely use in decision support tools? and
6. Gaps. What are the uncertainties and gaps in our understanding and knowledge of extreme weather and climate that are preventing us from moving forward?
Researchers and practitioners from the following sciences and fields are encouraged to submit papers: hydrology, climatology, geography, forestry, insurance, transportation, energy, actuary and media. In addition to the aspects outlined above, paper topics on how to integrate climate extremes in biophysical ecosystem models, and gap analysis which identifies future research work on impacts of extreme weather on resources sectors, and forecasts of opportunity that show sufficient skill in climate extremes representation are also welcome.

Chair: Aston Chipanshi, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada



Special Session: CMOS Panel Discussion 

Tuesday, May 31 | 13:30 – 15:00

Room: Marysville A

Future Considerations for CMOS Congresses

As this is the 50th Congress of CMOS, the society executive is hosting this session to give the membership and Congress participants an opportunity to discuss the format of this CMOS annual event, and provide ideas on changes and improvements. The 2014 member survey showed that the CMOS Congress is the most important function that CMOS provides to members. The 50th Congress is an appropriate time to reflect on any modernization, adjustments or revisions that may be needed.  New ideas from other conferences will be welcomed.  Major changes will be considered by the CMOS Council, and minor adjustments will be passed to future congress organizers for consideration.The panel members will present a few ideas for discussion, such as:

-        having an app to download, for easier access to congress program material

-        having the congress less frequently (maybe every 2 years), and instead run a series of more focused workshops in the intervening years.


If you have a great idea or an irritant large or small in our usual programming, come let us know!


Panel Members;

Martha Anderson – Outgoing President

Marty Taillefer – Incoming President

Gordon Griffith – Executive Director

Facilitator: Martha Anderson


Special Session: WOO Lecture  

Wednesday, June 1 | 15:30 – 17:00

Room: Pointe Sainte-Anne A

Recent advances in river temperature research and modeling

Daniel Caissie

Fisheries and Oceans Canada



The thermal regime of rivers plays an important role in the overall health of aquatic ecosystems. For instance, river water temperature is important when conducting environmental impact assessments as well as for the management of fisheries and aquatic resources.  As such, it is important to understand and properly characterize fundamental controls influencing the thermal behaviour of rivers, the spatial and temporal heterogeneity in river temperatures as well as relevant river heat exchange processes. This study will present information related to these aspects both from a descriptive and modeling perspective.  Notably, when modeling river temperatures, heat exchange processes (surface and streambed heat fluxes) need to be quantified.  Quantifying these different surface heat fluxes can be a challenge, particularly in small streams where instream microclimate conditions are very different than land-based meteorological data.  Therefore, data collection methods to quantify most relevant surface heat fluxes will be presented as well as the role of important parameters (e.g., solar radiation, river evaporation, etc.).  The streambed heat flux plays a significant role in the overall heat budget, and this flux is particularly important in small streams.  New and innovative techniques have been used to estimate this flux using streambed temperatures as a tracer.  Information pertaining to the estimation of this flux will be presented when both conduction and advection (groundwater flow) components are present.  Finally, the implication of using water temperature models as a tool to better understand and protect important fisheries resources under current climate as well as under future climate conditions will be discussed.

Facilitator: Daniel Peters