Alberta Soil Science

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19th to 21st, 2019

Soil Resilience and Extreme Events


Delta Calgary South
Calgary, Alberta

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To book, please email Sody Hernandez or phone 403.225.8627


The program is now available with agenda and summaries of presentations.

Abstract Submission

Please apply to present via the Abstract Submission Template. The final deadline to submit is Febuary 1st, 2019.

Travel Assistance

Student travel assistance is available: To apply, please download the request form.


Plenary Speakers

Dr. David Sauchyn (University of Regina)

Maintaining soil resilience as a climate adaptation strategy

Dr. Sauchyn will speak about past and future climatic variability, and drought and flood impacts on the various landscapes in the South Saskatchewan River Basin. He will also speak about the importance of maintaining soil resilience as a climate adaptation strategy.
Dr. Frank Larney (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

Soil resilience in the face of wind erosion

The widespread adoption of conservation tillage on the Canadian prairies has pushed wind erosion into the background. However, it can still be an issue on irrigated land where more intensive tillage is used, and following wildfires when surface cover is burned off leaving the soil exposed. This presentation will address historical wind erosion in Alberta as well as ways of managing soils to increase their resilience against wind erosion.
Dr. Tariq Siddique (University of Alberta)

Response of tailings sediment microorganisms to petroleum hydrocarbons and their role in tailings management

Petroleum hydrocarbons alter sediment microbial community structure by enriching the taxa capable of degrading hydrocarbons. This talk will encompass microbial pathway of hydrocarbon degradation in oil sands tailings under methanogenic conditions, the conditions that also prevail in wetlands/submerged soils; greenhouse gas emissions and their modeling based on hydrocarbon biodegradation; and biogeochemical processes driven by methanogenesis, which have significance in tailings management.
Dr. Uldis Silins (University of Alberta)

Watershed resistance and resilience to extreme events: Insights from wildfire and flooding in Alberta

While severe wildfire or flooding may represent end-member of watershed disturbance, broad generations on the scope of watershed impacts are difficult because these can vary strongly across hydro-climatic regions. The scope and longevity of impacts from both recent flooding and several particularly severe wildfires in Alberta will be discussed in the context of effects observed in other regions worldwide along with implications and challenges for provincial watershed protection.

Pre-Workshop Session

Elaine Lee-Ho (Senior Technical Lead - Conservation and Reclamation with Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting Inc)

The Alberta Energy Regulator released the Specified Enactment Direction 001 (SED001) Direction for Conservation and Reclamation Submissions Under an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act Approval for Enhanced Recovery In Situ Oil Sands and Heavy Oil Processing Plants and Oil Production Sites in February 2016 (AER 2016). SED001 is a guideline for predisturbance assessments (PDAs), conservation and construction plans (CCPs), annual conservation and reclamation (C&R) report and the Project Level Conservation, Reclamation and Closure Plan (PLCRCP). SED001 replaced the 2014 Manual 010: Guidelines for the Submission of Predisturbance Assessment and Conservation and Reclamation Plan and the Guidelines for Submission of an Annual Conservation and Reclamation Report (AER 2014). SED001 provides guidance for a relatively new EPEA approval requirement for the PLCRCP. Elaine will describe the requirements in SED001 and highlight the differences between SED001 and previous guidelines.

Professional Development for Soil Scientists and Students

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Oral and poster presentations include: keynote papers focussed on the workshop theme, technical papers within four distinct fields, and volunteer papers. Currently the five technical groups are: Land Use, Soil Fertility, Land Reclamation, Forest, Riparian and Wetland Soils and Pedogenesis and Soil Inventory.


Regional Interaction

The Alberta Soil Science Workshop is held to facilitate regional interaction among professionals in soil science. Typically 100 to 150 participants gather for a 1 to 2 day program.



Workshop participants include a diversity of professionals from private industry (e.g. consultants in agronomy, pedology, reclamation, remediation, and environmental services; chemists from commercial analytical laboratories), government (federal, provincial, municipal) and academia (universities and colleges).


Student Support

The workshop is graduate student-friendly, providing an excellent opportunity to enhance presentation skills in a supportive setting (travel bursaries are available for out-of-town students; awards are made for the best student presentations).

Alberta's Soil Science Symposium since 1962

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