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IBEC's field research station located on the Indian Bay watershed, located outside the town of Indian Bay.
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By Rebecca Cohoe
The Indian Bay watershed covers more than 700 square kilometres, including fourteen large ponds and a number of smaller ones. The area is managed by a not-for-profit organization, the Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation (IBEC). In the past, the group has successfully worked to clean up the watershed and improve trout populations in the region. Now, with increased development in the area, as well as some forestry activity, maintaining water quality is becoming a pressing concern.
According to Johann Pickett, executive director of IBEC, there's very little baseline data about water quality in the region.
"If we had a baseline we could monitor changes over time," she explained.
It's of particular interest now because of an influx of cottagers in the region. One potential issue is that most of the cabins don't have sewage systems.
"There are outhouses being used for cottages," said Ms. Pickett. "The whole water system drains down through the watershed, and it's actually the water source for some communities, so not only is getting a sense of impact important for local tourism and trout fisheries, but also for community health."
Ms. Pickett is looking for someone at Memorial to help design a water quality sampling program to provide baseline information on water quality throughout the watershed.
"We would probably be looking at someone with some experience to help develop the context, but at the same time, students may be able to carry out the collection and analysis."
The ideal candidate or candidates would have a scientific background, possibly in biology or environmental science. Ms. Pickett expects that while some of the testing could be done remotely, there is also the opportunity to work in the region. As IBEC has constructed chalets and a research station in the watershed, accommodations and facilities could be part and package of the project. There is also the possibility that some funding may be available for the project.
Interested in learning more about this project? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.