Who:

Keyano College, with funding support from Environment Canada

Objective(s):

  • To address concerns about the potential impacts of industrial development, including oil sands mining activities, in the Peace-Athabasca Delta and elsewhere in northern Alberta and the NWT.
  • To assess the health of frog populations at varying distances from disturbances including oil sands operations. The health of frogs can serve as an indication of the larger ecosystem.
  • To monitor the level of contaminants such as mercury in frog tissues and pond water because contaminants may enter the food chain through frogs

How:

  • We are examining relationships between the health of frog populations and distance to different kinds of disturbance, especially oil sands mining and upgrading activities.
  • Wood frogs are a good species to study because they are widely distributed in the boreal forest and are sensitive to changes in the environment.
  • Tissue samples are collected from frogs to test for disease, and to test for levels of contaminants. Frogs are examined for physical deformities and other indications of poor health.
  • Water samples are collected to test for general water quality, and to test for the presence of contaminants.

Where:

Numerous study sites in northeastern Alberta and southeast Northwest Territories.

When:

Ongoing fieldwork is planned, including annual visits to the Peace-Athabasca Delta / Wood Buffalo National Park area.

Project Lead:

Danna Schock
Keyano College
8115 Franklin Avenue
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2H7

Phone: 780-791-4816
E-mail: danna.schock@keyano.ca
Website: dannaschock.blogspot.ca