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12TuesdayJune112013EnvironmentWildlifeFishstudyreturnstoSlave-AthabascacommunitiesResearchbroadenedtoincorporateotheraspectsofriverhealthByMEAGANWOHLBERGUniversityofSaskatch-ewanscientistsinvolvedinanongoingshhealthstudywerebackinFortSmithonSaturdaytolaunchanotheryearoftheirprojectwhichhasseenthemcollectingshfromFortResolutionNWTdowntoFortMcKayAlta.forthepasttwosummerslookingforabnormalitiesandhopingtoanswerresidentsquestionsaboutwhetherornotthesharesafetoeat.ThisyearthegroupledbyDr.PaulJonesisincorporat-ingmorethanjustshintoitsmonitoringpurview.Theteamnowincludesaben-thicsriverinvertebratesorshfoodandsedimentsresearcherawildlifeandecosystemsspecialistapub-lichealthadvisortoleadthetraditionalknowledgecom-ponentandahydrologisttolookatthechangesinowandiceintheriversystemthankstoasignicantgrantfromtheCanadianWaterNetwork.CalledSWEEPortheSlaveWatershedEnviron-mentalEffectsProgramtheuniversity-ledstudywillofecosystemcomponentssaidDr.LorneDoigthetoxi-cologistfocusingonbenthicsandsediments.Sedimentsbynaturecanaccumulatecontaminantsandthenactasasourcetoanimalsassoci-atedtothosesedimentsforexamplethesesmallinsectsWeneedtobuildcapacitysothatwhenwehandovertheprogramanddelivertheprotocolsforthecommunitythentheresthecapacitytohandleallthesamplingonthelocallevel.Thatsreallywhatitsabout.Afterthegroupisdoneguringoutthetechnicalspecicsonwhatsitesandissuestofocusonthissum-mertheywillbemovingforwardonatimeline.DoignotedthatthoughtheshstudyrunsrightdownintoAlbertatherestofSWEEPwilllikelyfocusmostlyontheSlaveRiverandDeltaintheNWT.Doigsaidtheprojectisgoingtofocusheavilyonhowtoincorporatetradi-tionalknowledgewithWest-ernscienceinausableformatthroughexistingsoftwarethatshowsthelinkagesbetweendifferentareasofmonitoringsowhenonethingchangesintheriversystemitwillbepossibletopredictwhatelsewillchangeinresponse.Theressomuchinfor-mationbeingcollectedsomuchmonitoringgoingonthatweneedawaytobringthatalltogetherinawaythatsveryuserfriendlyveryvisualhesaid.Soal-thoughthesoftwaremightbecomplicatedtheinputsandoutputswillbeveryeasytounderstandandisaccessibletoeverybodyforwhateverpurposeforthemselvesortodoresearch.Howtointegrateevery-thingbecausethingsgetdoneitgetsputintoareportandthenitgetsshelvedandforgottenaboutornotevenmakeitthatfarinadatabase.Sohowdowecreatesomethingwhereevery-thingcomestogethertobuildthismorecompleteunderstand-ingThatsthetrickhesaid.contributetotheoverarch-ingcommunity-basedmoni-toringprogrambeingledbytheSlaveRiverandDeltaPartnership.Itsabigthingforusbe-causeitgivesusthechancetoleavealegacyinthecommunitiessaidJoneswhowaspresentforSlaveRiverDaycelebrationsattheNorthernLifeMuseum.Wereonlygoingtobeherefortwoyearsbutwhatwewanttodoisleavealegacyprogramthatthecommuni-tieswillhaveinperpetuity.Andthoughwesaywereonlygoingtobeherefortwoyearswewillbeintheback-groundandwillbekeepinganeyeonwhatsgoingonuphereandwehopetodootherprojectsaswell.Re-allywellbelookingattheworkthecommunitiesaredoingkeepingtrackofthisveryvaluablelandscapeandvaluableriver.Werereallylookingatacommunitymonitoringpro-gramthatsmoreholisticandreallyconsidersanumbertheseinvertebratesthatliveintheriverandthedelta.Aswellhesaidbenthiccommunitiesserveasanex-cellentindicatorofthehealthofariversystemasawhole.Thediversityofthesecommunitiestellsussome-thingaboutthestatusoftheenvironmentandwhenwemonitorthesecantellussomethingaboutthelong-termtrendshesaid.Currentlythescientistsareheadingfromtowntotownmeetingwithleadersandresidentstondoutwhatconcernstheyhaveandwhatresearchareastheywantfo-cusedonoverthenexttwoyears.DuringthattimetheSWEEPteamhopestore-cruitandtraincommunitymemberstoleadtheirownmonitoringeffortsintheregion.Ultimatelythecom-munitywillbetakingoverthismonitoringprogramsowehavetomakesurethingsareparticularlyrelevanttotheirinterestsandconcernsDoigsaid.Wereonlygoingtobeherefortwoyearsbutwhatwewanttodoisleavealegacyprogramthatthecommunitieswillhaveinperpetuity.Dr.PaulJonesUniversityofSaskatchewanToxicologiststudentBrettTendlerdemonstratesashdissectionforthepublicshowingwhatkindsofsamplesaretaken.RedbumpsresemblingtumoursareactuallylikelyasymptomoflymphocytosisaviraldiseasethatbeganappearingonSlaveRivershin2010whenwaterlevelswereverylow.Scientistsbelievetheappearanceofnewinfectionscouldhavetodowithcompromisedimmunesystems.Thisshwascaughtatthe2013FortSmithshingderbyatJackshLake.PhotosMeaganWohlbergWESCLEANNORTHERNSALESLTD.Thereisnothingdarkaboutthiscat.Softasacloudtherearenorainydayswhenyoutakethisonehome.Stayoncloud9andadopthertoday.Pleaseleaveamessageat872-5543fordetails.FirstChoiceinGraphicDesignPhotocopyingDocumentprintingFaxserviceScanningPhotoprintingBusinesscardsStationaryResumesBrochurespostersPromotionalmaterialFast.Professional.FriendlyWeddinginvitationsLaminationCerloxbindingPersonalgreetingcardsFACphotosCertifedadvertisingagency207McDougalRd.FortSmithNWT-867872-3000-graphicsnorj.ca