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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA's Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment


Natural Resources Canada - Canadian Forest Service

Catherine Ste-Marie
Climate Change Research Coordinator
Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa, ON

The Canadian Forest Service (CFS) is part of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), one of Canada’s federal government departments.  The CFS is centrally administered from Ottawa and includes five regional forestry centres where a wide range of research and monitoring activities are conducted across Canada’s forests, including in boreal and subarctic regions, with the objectives of enhancing the vitality of Canada’s forest industry and its provision of goods and employment, while managing forests and woodlands for long term sustainability. The CFS is the national and international voice for the Canadian forest sector and provides science and policy expertise and advice on forest- and forestry-related issues, working in close collaboration with the provinces and territories. 

The climate in Canada’s high-latitude regions is warming rapidly, posing several challenges to forest management objectives at scales that transcend national boundaries. CFS science activities deliver on a range of national projects, including: the National Forest Inventory (NFI), the Forest Change initiative (which aims to put scientific knowledge of climate change impacts and adaptation into the hands of forest managers and policy makers), the National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System (NFC-MARS), as well as contributions to national-scale mapping of Canada’s natural resources (e.g., the Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EOSD) project and others).  The CFS also leads in research and national reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting in Canada’s forests and forest sector.

The collective expertise of CFS scientists ranges from detailed aspects of boreal and subarctic ecosystem structure and function, to landscape and regional scale meta-analyses of greenhouse gas fluxes and climate feedbacks, to large-scale prognostic modelling, and to community-scale assessments of human vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. CFS areas of research include the following:

  • Large-scale (regional to continental) science
  • Forest productivity and health
  • Forest carbon cycling
  • Forest insect and diseases
  • Forest fire dynamics
  • Remote sensing
  • Database construction (national to global)
  • Process modelling
  • Integrated modelling
  • Human dimensions

CFS research activities and interests support a common focus on the likely impacts of global change on Canada’s forest and peatland ecosystems, and how these impacts will affect the human communities that depend on them. Linking Canadian and US efforts in these research areas within the ABoVE project can represent relevant and efficient collaboration opportunities.