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Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and the University of Calgary celebrate groundbreaking research into wetland reclamation

Calgary, AB, March 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and the University of Calgary (U of C) today celebrated a landmark program that saw Dr. Jan Ciborowski has been named Natural Scientific and Technical Research Council of Canada (NSERC) / COSIA Chair in Industrial Research in Oil Sands Wetland Reclamation.

COSIA has committed $ 1.25 million to the five-year partnership between COSIA, NSERC and the University of Calgary. The program will develop measures to assess the success of oil sands wetland reclamation.

“Wetlands play a key role in the ecosystem in Northern Alberta and around the world in terms of water filtration and management, and the capture and storage of large amounts of greenhouse gases,” said Wes Jickling, chief executive of COSIA. “Oil sands companies have become leaders in wetland reclamation, and this chairmanship is the next big step. Not only will this research help sustainably reclaim wetlands in the Canadian oil sands, but findings can also be applied in a national or global context. “

Dr. Ciborowski, who has been researching reclaimed and natural wetlands in the oil sands region for over 20 years, says, “We have learned enough to enable companies to begin building wetlands to the full on disrupted land at mining sites. Now the wetlands are four or five years old, they look really good, they are lush, green, and full of wildlife, but there is no framework or set of standard measures we use to evaluate young built wetlands and their future success predict, that is what these efforts are trying to establish. “

Dr. Ciborowski consists of specialized experts, postdocs, undergraduate and postgraduate students. The work includes sampling over 100 different wetlands in successive summers to study functionality, water quality, and environmental features of newly and sometimes naturally forming wetlands in the post-mining landscape. They also measure the ecological health of various wetlands by, among other things, sampling aquatic organisms, examining developing vegetation, and observing bird species.

The chair program was celebrated today at a virtual event jointly hosted by COSIA and U of C. It is one of many partnerships COSIA has entered into with government and academia to enable environmental innovation and research in oil sands.

Visit COSIA at www.cosia.ca. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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About COSIA:

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the environmental performance of Canada’s oil sands. COSIA enables collaboration and innovation between industry, government, academia and the general public to improve measurement, accountability and performance in oil sands in our environmental priority areas of greenhouse gases, land, water and residues. COSIA members seek solutions to our most difficult problems around the world. And we have some of the best minds in the world working on technology to enable further responsible and sustainable development.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is a global intellectual center in Canada’s most entrepreneurial city. In our spirited, high-quality learning environment, students thrive in programs rich in research, hands-on experience, and entrepreneurship. Our strategy drives us to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities and to involve the communities we serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High and is inspired by the university’s Gaelic motto, which translates as “I will lift my eyes”. For more information, see ucalgary.ca/eyeshigh.

More information is available at ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with the University of Calgary headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts, visit our media center at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre.

  • Suncor employees monitor wetlands_ Courtesy of Suncor Energy Inc.

  • Syncrude has reclaimed wetlands_Base Mine Lake_Courtesy Syncrude

Helen Nguyen Tran Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) 403 617 3650 helen.nguyentran@cosia.ca Erin Guiltenane Faculty of Science, University of Calgary 403 606 9913 eguilten@ucalgary.ca

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