What we’re looking for in the field
Our environmental field program focuses on fisheries and aquatics, wildlife, soil, vegetation, wetlands, archaeology, hydrology and terrain. These studies are conducted by scientists and trained field workers, collecting information to support the environmental assessment and to develop effective protection measures. The timing of each field program depends on seasonal factors, such as migration and nesting periods for wildlife, water levels and ground conditions. Field crews also work with indigenous community members to facilitate the collection of traditional ecological knowledge.
Areas of study during field work may include:
Fisheries and aquatics
Fisheries biologists and field technicians collect information related to species composition and their habitats. Baseline conditions help determine the corridor design and layout, as well as best crossing locations, crossing method and timing for construction.
Wildlife biologists conduct surveys of wildlife found in the vicinity of the project, including species at risk and wildlife habitat. Data is collected about nesting birds, fur bearers, mammals, waterfowl areas, reptiles and amphibians.
Surveys are conducted on agricultural lands to document baseline soil conditions and to help set soil-handling measures. Crews collect data on characteristics such as salt content, particle size and organic matter. Soils are categorized according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification.
Vegetation and wetlands
Vegetation and wetland specialists conduct surveys to identify wetland areas, vegetation types, rare plant populations and ecological communities. Forestry specialists undertake a timber assessment to estimate the amount of total and merchantable timber.
Hydrology and hydrogeology
Hydrologists collect detailed data on all bodies of water, such as channel geometry, flow rates, temperatures, turbidity and pH levels. Hydrogeology is the study of the movement or flow distribution and quality of groundwater.
Terrain types, terrain features, geological features and ecosystem types are identified. Preliminary surveys are conducted from the air, followed by detailed studies by ground crews.
We’ve worked with experts to identify and map crab movement, also developing a plan to reduce impacts to crab movement during and after construction.