2018 Branch Conference

 In Archived AB

Thank you for making our conference a success! 

Presentations are now available thanks to our speakers. 

Click here to view presentations in PDF.

Data is becoming increasingly important in our efforts to manage our water resources, to provide robust and risk based infrastructure designs that integrate climate change considerations, and to forecast flood and drought events with the most reasonable accuracy possible. The Alberta Branch conferences seek to advance existing common ground between scientists, practitioners and decision-makers. The 2018 conference will address a wide range of resource management and environmental sciences topics within three main themes: 

Theme A: Data Gathering and Analysis

Theme B: Data Management

Theme C: Data Applications

Conference Date and Location

March 25-27, 2018

Red Deer, Alberta

Black Knight Inn

Hotel Registration:

Please phone the hotel to book your room directly 403-343-6666 and make sure to tell them you are booking for the CWRA Alberta Branch Conference.

Rooms are still available for attendees at a conference group rate.  However, you must call the hotel. These rooms cannot be booked online.

Room rates are as follows:

Conference Booking Rate: $119.00+taxes/night

Please note that the Black Knight Inn has given us a room release date of February 25, 2018. After this date, any rooms in our conference room block will be released to general bookings again.

Conference Registration:

The conference rate schedule is below. Early Bird registration closed on February 28, 2018.

Regular Registration
Non-Member Member Member Savings
Full Registration $ 520 $ 400 $120
Single Day $ 370 $ 250 $120
Student $ 200 $ 175 $ 25
Single Day Student $ 125 $ 100 $ 25

Non-member conference rates include CWRA Membership. Current members in good standing will receive a member discount as indicated above.

Conference Program and Presentations

Keynote Speakers:

Scott Heckbert

Scott Heckbert Chief Environmental Scientist at the AER

Scott Heckbert is Chief Environmental Scientist at the Alberta Energy Regulator, Canada, focusing on integrated environmental modelling for planning and regulation of energy sector activities. Scott is formerly Senior Researcher with Alberta Innovates, and worked at CSIRO Australia as an environmental economist, as well as university appointments. Scott develops simulation models estimating environmental indicators to advise decision makers. Research is focused on energy sector development modelling related to landscape ecology and hydrology. Scott uses 3D technology to build interactive virtual laboratories where scientists, decision makers and stakeholder interact with simulation models for improved understanding of complex human-environment systems. Scott will be discussing Current and Future Frontiers in Water Research for Alberta on Monday, March 26, 2018.

Uldis Silins


Uldis Silins is a professor of forest hydrologist in the Dept. of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta. His research focuses on impacts of climate associated natural disturbances by wildfire and Mountain Pine Beetle, along with those of forest management activities on water resources in forested source water regions. Major elements of his research focus on the impact of forest land disturbance on snowpack and evaporative controls on streamflow dynamics, surface water/groundwater interactions, stream water quality, and linkages to aquatic ecology across spatial scales from headwater streams to larger river basins. Since 2003, he has led (now co-leads) a large trans-disciplinary, pan-Canadian / international water research team focused on linking the diverse science, engineering and economic domains underpinning source water projection from “Source to Tap” (Southern Rockies Watershed Project).  Uldis will be discussing Mine the Data – Mind the Resource: Déjà Vu or Grand Challenge for Alberta’s Water Managers?


Where will your Hydrology network be in five years? Ten years?

Since the advent of reliable telemetry, our consumption of environmental data has continued to grow. Most networks are no longer challenged by insufficient hardware or availability of appropriate sensors, but rather need assistance with designing the “network” infrastructure which can handle the growing demands in data.

In this workshop you will learn about the various trends around telemetry, new networking technologies and new sensor technologies that could change how you look at developing your networks life and enabling other partner organizations to leverage your existing infrastructure in the field.

Session Length : 2 hours

Presenter Bio : Sheldon Foisy is a Senior Technical Consultant with Campbell Scientific Canada. He has been working in environmental monitoring groups for the past 10 years, helping to develop monitoring programs and products for organizations like Water Survey Canada, Ontario Ministry of Environment, BC Ministry of Environment and more.

Wetland Workshop: Alberta Wetland Policy 2018 Update

The Alberta Wetland Policy was enacted by the Alberta Government in 2013 but continues to be updated with new Directives on a regular basis. Green zone tools have been fully enabled. Most recently, a short-form WAIR called a WAIF was introduced to expedite approvals for small scale or temporary impacts to wetlands and ABWRET-D will be released shortly to allow assessments to be performed as a desktop exercise. The Alberta Energy Regulator held workshops in the fall of 2017 to clarify their role within the policy. The latest update (at the time of printing) was on December 22, 2017. The rules around compensation and banking continue to evolve and the release of the Alberta Wetland Construction Directive and Construction Guides are due soon.

Session Length: 3 hours

Presenter Bio: Jay White is a Professional Biologist and owner of Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd. in Edmonton. Jay has considerable experience in water and wetland policy, environmental regulations, law, consultation, project management and consensus decision making. He is an entrepreneur, author, speaker and leader. He manages an amazing team of professional biologists who guide and support a variety of development activities. He is currently the Vice-President of the Alberta Water Council, past-president of the Alberta Lake Management Society and is currently active on the Provincial Whirling Disease Committee.

Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors

Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsor


Matrix Solutions




Canada Culvert

Hoskin Scientific