The need to research our freshwater supplies does not take a break, and neither does the world’s largest freshwater laboratory.


Whether it be to keep our long-term datasets up to date, sample the snow or test the frozen sediment of a lake, many of our scientists head out to the site during the freezing winter months.


Around this time last year, our Biologist–Field Coordinator, Ken Sandilands, took over our Instagram feed to show a day in the life of a researcher our at IISD-ELA in the winter.


Relive the magic, once again, below.


“Morning everyone! I’m Ken Sandilands and I work as a Biologist–Field Coordinator here at IISD-ELA. Now, not many people know that the site is open throughout the year. Even in the winter! We need to keep our sampling going to make sure our datasets are complete. Seeing as photography is one of my hobbies, I am taking over this Instagram feed today to give you an idea of what happens in a typical day during the winter at IISD-ELA.”



“We start our day bright and early with breakfast in Hungry Hall. We don’t have a cook during the winter months, so we make our own breakfasts.”



“Every morning, even in the winter, we head to the Meteorological Site to measure precipitation and other aspects of the weather for the Canadian government’s weather database and so we can keep track of how the local ‘climate’ affects our research lakes. Here’s Paul Fafard checking the precipitation collector.”



“Now we have headed out on the lakes to get the sampling underway. Here we are pulling our sampling gear out with one of our Polaris snowmobiles.”



“Out on Lake 224 we drill through the ice to start the sampling of the water beneath. We also measure the thickness of the ice and track that data too.”



“We are still out on Lake 224. Here, Paul and Lee Hrenchuk are measuring the temperature and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.”



“We can still track the movement of fish under the ice, even in the winter. Here is Lee downloading a datalogger that tracks tagged lake trout in Lake 224. (In case you’re wondering how she keeps the computer warm, she uses a cooler and hot water bottles to keep the temperature stable).”



“After a long day, winter at IISD-ELA provides some pretty impressive vistas as the sun sets. Thanks for following our second Instagram takeover. We hope it gave you good insight into what happens here during the winter!”