Photo Essays | Nov 27, 2019 | By Sumeep Bath, Communications Manager

The World’s Freshwater Laboratory From the Air

It’s no secret that IISD Experimental Lakes Area—the world’s freshwater laboratory—is pretty unique.

And we can’t hide the fact that it’s pretty stunning. (Just check out our Instagram page for some superlative glamour shots of our lakes.)

But have you ever wanted to see us from a different angle? Thanks to the power of drone technology, you can now see us in a completely different light.

Take a look at the images and short videos below, and rediscover the world’s freshwater laboratory.

Let’s start off with a quick intro to the world’s freshwater laboratory, as we take you over the entry road, the camp and two of the major lakes at the site.
Aerial shot of morning mist over a freshwater lake bordered by forests
By the looks of the morning mist, it looks like Lake 240—one of our reference lakes—is still sleeping.
Aerial shot of a series of white buildings and cabins surrounded by green trees and lakes
In case you missed it in the video, here is a shot of the camp where we live, work and play for spring, summer, fall and some of the winter.
Aerial shot of an island of green trees within a blue freshwater lake.
In case IISD Experimental Lakes Area isn’t remote enough for you, can we tempt you with a remote island within our remote series of lakes (in a remote part of the country)?
Man stands on dock of freshwater lake next to two boats, a lake and some trees.
Although, you can never really escape humanity at IISD Experimental Lakes Area.
Here’s our Research Scientist Scott Higgins taking one of his patented mildly extreme selfies.
Drone shot of a the dock of a lake with two boats and green and yellow trees in the distance.
And here is that very same dock at Lake 239 without the extreme selfie-taking.
Aerial shot of two blue freshwater lakes joined by an inflow bordered by green trees
We have talked a lot about Lakes 239 and 240.
Here is what they look like standing together in an awkward sibling photo we made them take.
Lake 240 is at the back and Lake 239 appears in the foreground.
And here is what the birds must see as they soar over Lake 240, experiencing it in all its majesty.
Aerial shot of the shoreline of a lake dotted with yellow, rectangular enclosures.
Have you heard we are doing research on the impact of oil spills on fresh water?
All in safe enclosures, of course. And this is what they look like.
Learn more here.
Aerial shot of a small lake (with a tiny island) bordered by green trees in the dark
Let’s not forget some of the lesser known lakes. Here is Lake 225 in all its concave glory.
Aerial shot of the shoreline of a lake with blue and purple tinges, and green trees.
Aerial shot of a freshwater lake shoreline with green and yellow trees and misty water
Although, summer is definitely turning to fall is turning to winter…
Aerial shot of a BBQ and dinner tables with a black van with its back door open.
All that travelling across the world’s freshwater laboratory got you hungry?
No worries; it looks as though our cooks are firing up the BBQ…

You know that ground-breaking freshwater research you just read about? Well, that’s actually down to you.

It’s only thanks to our generous donors that the world’s freshwater laboratory—an independent not-for-profit—can continue to do what we do. And that means everything from explore what happens when cannabis flushes and oil spills into a lake, to how we can reduce mercury in fish and algal blooms in fresh water—all to keep our water clean around the world for generations to come.

We know that these are difficult times, but the knowledge to act on scientific evidence has never been more important. Neither has your support.

If you believe in whole ecosystem science and using it to bring about real change to fresh water around the globe, please support us in any way you are able to.