LeeAnn Fishback on weather

Wapusk National Park

Research, monitoring and data collection isn’t always glamourous. Parks Canada Resource Conservation Manager LeeAnn Fishback is well aware of that. Read on as LeeAnn describes a less-than-pleasant trip into Wapusk National Park that was worth it in the end.

Wapusk National Park
A view of Wapusk National Park.

"We were more or less in the centre of the park, performing maintenance on a fenced-in weather station near Roberge Lake that's been recording weather data for over 10 years. We try to visit it and record data and snowpack measurements once a year.

“This particular time, we had to do a refit on the station to upgrade and recalibrate the equipment. Steve Mammock, an external researcher from the University of Saskatchewan, and I went out there and did an overnight to refit the weather station in June before the bugs came out.

“You get flown in by helicopter and dropped off in the middle of seemingly nowhere to be able to keep a station running and spend some time in the peace and quiet of Wapusk. We tented just inside the bit of barbed-wire fence and slept lightly. In classic fashion, we knew the weather wouldn't be great, and sure enough, we were hit by a sideways rain. We had to stick a couple umbrellas in the station to continue working, but that's what it takes to keep up with long-term monitoring in a remote park.

“It was a really special moment for me because it wasn't just a personal experience; you knew you were contributing to the collection of all this data. Most arctic parks don't keep long records, so to maintain that work for over a decade and have weather data in a park we don't often visit is pretty spectacular."

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