1. Canadian Digital Soil Mapping Workshop

This workshop that will focus on a range of topics related to digital soil mapping (DSM), including theory and hands-on exercises for preparation of environmental data, sample plan design, and the use of machine learning models for continuous and categorical soil variables. Here, attendees will be provided with resource materials and data, as well as R scripts that may be adapted for their own needs. The workshop is meant as an introduction to DSM, will consist of modules covering the major components of a DSM workflow, and no existing background in DSM is required.

Workshop organizersDaniel Saurette and Brandon Heung

Date and time of the workshopMay 27, 1:30-5:30 pm and May 28, 8:00 am-12:00 pm MDT

VenueAurora Room, Lister Conference Centre

2. Alberta Soil Information Viewer Presentation and Workshop

Provide a power point based introduction and background on the Alberta Soil Information Viewer and then move into a live demonstration of the Viewer. The demonstration would introduce the workshop participants to some of the important features of the viewer by walking through tasks for which it is commonly used:

  • - Getting started
  • - Finding a farm or locating land
  • - Selecting and unselecting areas of common soil information
  • - Knowing an areas Land Suitability Rating System (LSRS) rating and interpretation for growing spring seeded small grains (SSSG)
  • - Accessing imagery: historic aerial photography and recent true color and color infrared satellite imagery
  • - Knowing your soil details and getting further information
  • - Measuring and marking up
  • - Exporting, importing and printing soil information

Workshop organizerDavid Spiess

Date and time of the workshopMay 27, 1:30 - 3:30 pm MDT

VenuePrairie Room, Lister Conference Centre

3. Land Reclamation And Community Outreach - Educating Through Dungeons and Dragons

How do we teach the next generation to reclaim disturbed land? With ever growing environmental pressures, land reclamation and soil science need to be considered by everyone, not only those working in the profession, but the public including children and youth. Land reclamation is part of all of our communities, yet many people have never heard of it nor understand its complexity.

This workshop provides an opportunity to join members of the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) as they share their educational game, “Become An Earth Doctor”. This Dungeons and Dragons inspired game was developed by LRIGS to share the passion for land reclamation with wider audiences. The game allows participants to become land reclamation practitioners, walking them through steps like remediation, soil reclamation and revegetation. Guided game play encourages players to make decisions based on factors such as budget, timeline and community engagement. The game has been run successfully in communities across Canada for students grade 5 to 12, college and university and families.

In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the game and play it, while learning key ways to teach it to others. We will explore exercises that highlight communication skills to improve game play and science communication in general with the public. Participants will leave the session with access to the game to use in their own communities and the skills to share it successfully.

Workshop organizersValerie Miller and various members of LRIGS (Land Reclamation International Graduate School)

Date and time of the workshopMay 27, 3:00 - 5:00 pm MDT

VenueMaple Leaf Room, Lister Conference Centre

4. Trace elements analyses of soil, water, and plants: challenges and strategies

The successful and reliable quantification of elements at low concentrations (trace and ultra-trace levels) in diverse samples of soil, water and plants in environmental sciences relies on the use of specialized techniques in dedicated spaces known as «clean laboratories» that should be free of potential sources of contamination. The need for “clean” conditions in the lab refers to air, water, acids, reagents, containers and all surfaces that come into contact with the samples.

This course will focus on the analytical challenges of determining trace elements in samples such as snow, dust, plants, soils, sediments, and peat cores, by acid digestion and ICP-MS analysis. We will highlight novel devices designed for sampling collection in order to minimize sample contamination in the field. The importance of cleaning procedures to prepare any materials coming into contact with samples, as well as sample processing, will be discussed. A summary of the main parameters to be considered when processing and reporting data from the ICP-MS will be included. Finally, an in-person or virtual tour of the metal-free ultraclean SWAMP laboratory will be offered to the attendees.

Workshop organizersFiorella Barraza and William Shotyk

Date and time of the workshopMay 27, 1:30 - 5:00 pm MDT

VenueSAB 150 (South Academic Building Room 150, University of Alberta campus)

5. HOLOS V4 training

The workshop aims to familiarize potential model users with the Holos model. Holos is a whole-farm model that calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of Canadian farms, using the Canada-specific emission factors as implemented in the Canadian National GHG inventory. The model covers a vast array of crop and livestock species, and explores how changes in practices can influence the farm's GHG budget.

The training will focus on the model's interface, providing a step by step exercise to build a farm in the model interface, and to explore the whole-farm results. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion on how to improve the model further.

Workshop organizersRoland Kroebel, Aaron McPherson and Sarah J. Pogue

Date and time of the workshopMay 27, 1:30 - 4:30 pm MDT

VenueGlacier Room, Lister Conference Centre

CSSS-ASSW 2022 Mid-Conference One-Day Field Tour

A mid-conference field tour will be organized for May 26, 2022, to observe soils, agricultural production and native land cover near Edmonton, the capital of Alberta.

During this bus tour, participants will visit three sites showcasing three distinct types of landscapes, soils and land uses in the Edmonton vicinity. En-route lectures would allow participants to see landscapes from agricultural and soil perspectives, tracking changes in natural features and land uses. The tour will accommodate up to 100 participants but will be arranged in a way that allows small groups of people to easily examine each soil pit at a time. The three stops include:

St Albert Research Station (Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta)

This research station is located near the City of St. Albert, just north of Edmonton. Located on fertile plain left by the former Glacial Lake Edmonton, this area has been used for agriculture for about 150 years. The soil complex at the Station consists of Black Chernozems and a variety of Gleysolic soils in shallow depressions. Soils are developed on fine textured glaciolacustrine clays that feature some salinity. Presentation at the tour stop will review land use, surficial geology, and landforms. Tour participants will be able to examine two soil pits, one showing a Chernozemic soil and another a Gleysol.

Hastings Creek (Beaver Hill Biosphere Reserve)

This portion of the Beaverhill Upland is a fine example of a hummocky (knob and kettle) disintegration moraine. Soils in this upland are predominantly Dark Gray Luvisols with a significant proportion of Gleysols and Organic soils in depressions. Tour participants will be able to examine a transect across the morainal knob exposed in a roadcut. Beaver Hills represent a mix of land uses from rural communities and acreages to farm fields, forested areas, wetlands, and small lakes. Active conservation within the Beaver Hills dates back to the end of the 19th century. In 2016, this area was recognized as a biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Bruderheim Dunes

Located in close proximity to the North Saskatchewan River valley, this site showcases stabilized sand dunes formed during deglaciation along a meltwater channel. Parent materials include eolian veneers and blankets over gently undulating glaciolacustrine clay sediments. Sandy Black Chernozems in this landscape are intermixed with Organic and Gleysolic soils in depressions. Tour participants will be able to examine a parabolic dune exposed in a roadcut and discuss salinity issues associated with agricultural use in the surrounding landscape.

Boxed lunches will be provided. Coffee, beverages, and snacks will be available at multiple locations throughout the day. The bus tour will start from the North Campus of the University of Alberta and will return to the same location after the 10-hour long journey.

CSSS-ASSW 2022 Post-Conference Three-Day Field Tour

A three-day post-conference field tour will be organized for May 28-30, 2022. This field trip will take participants to see soils, geology and landscapes across the Alberta Plains, Foothills and the Rocky Mountains west of Edmonton.

During this bus tour, participants will visit nine sites showcasing a variety of natural landscapes of central and western Alberta. En-route lectures will allow participants to see landscapes from agricultural and soil perspectives and will identify changes in natural features and land use. The tour will accommodate up to 45 participants but will be arranged in a way that allows small groups of people to easily examine each soil pit at a time. Grouped by days, the stops of the tour include:

Day 1: Edmonton to the Banff National Park

Participants will travel from the basin of former glacial lake Edmonton consisting of Black Chernozems into morainal landscapes featuring Gray Luvisols. Various agricultural practices observed supplemented by results of academic research on crop rotation and fertilizing systems will be showcased at sites previously shown to participants of the 11th ISSS Congress in 1978. Lunch will be provided at the second site visited. Leaving the Alberta Plains, the tour will travel through Rocky Mountains Foothills where a soil catena with bisequa Gray Luvisol paired with a nearby Terric Mesisol will be examined. Overnight stay at the Crossing Resort will provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy the Banff National Park setting firsthand. Dinner at the restaurant with a mountain view and the opportunity to further examine the surrounding landscape will complement the overnight stay.

Day 2: Banff and Jasper National Parks

The bus tour will travel through Banff and Jasper National Parks examining soils in proximity to the Athabasca Glacier (Columbia Icefield), then a stop at Athabasca Falls for lunch which will be provided and ending the day at two sites comparing Brunisols and bisequa Luvisols developed on a Cordilleran till. Participants will see changes between Subalpine and Montane natural regions with discussions on glacier dynamics, forestry topics and recreational activities in the area. Overnight stay at a hotel in Hinton will be accompanied by a fine dinner. Recognizing the tour will be travelling through Montane and Subalpine areas in the spring, please be aware that adverse weather conditions may be expected.

Day 3: Hinton to Edmonton

The tour will visit a reclaimed coal mine area in the subalpine area focusing on land reclamation practices, classification of human-made soils and comparing those to undisturbed Brunisols located near the disturbed area. Other stops of the day include a variety of Luvisols in the Foothills. A catena examined in the Upper Foothills will include a Brunisolic Gray Luvisol and a nearby Typic Mesisol. Lower Foothills will be presented by a Dark Gray Luvisol developed on shallow till over bedrock. Lunch will be provided in Hinton. The tour will return to the North Campus of the University of Alberta (Edmonton), the original starting point.

Important information for 3-day post conference tour participants:

The tour will start from the Jubilee Auditorium (U of A Campus) at 8:00 am on May 28, 2022. Registration will be open at 7:30 am. Please arrive in advance to have time for loading your luggage. Coffee will be served at the registration desk. The starting point is within walking distance of the Health Science/Jubilee LRT station. If you decide to drive to the Campus, you would need to park your car at one of the UofA parking lots. Please see the Parking Map and Rates for the location of parking lots and the starting point of the tour.

A hard copy of the Tour Guidebook will be provided to you at the registration on May 28. You will travel on a motorcoach bus. The tour will travel from Edmonton to Saskatchewan River Crossing, AB on the first day, continue to Hinton, AB on the second day and return to Edmonton on the third day. We prepared a mobile-device-friendly map that would allow you to follow the bus route using your mobile device (when cell service is available). The map also shows points of interest described in the road log available in the Guidebook. Please note that depending on your data plan some charges may apply.

The tour will be coming back to Edmonton around 6:00 pm on May 30, 2022. The bus will arrive at the Jubilee Auditorium (U of A Campus), the same point the tour started.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Konstantin Dlusskiy or Ed Karpuk directly.