Scotty creek research station
A non-profit, Indigenous-led Research Station

Scotty Team

About us

If you are interested to join the Scotty Team, please contact William Quinton ( or Dieter Cazon (

Carter Sarson

Carter Is an Environmental Studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University examining Nitrogen and Phosphorus ratios in moats surrounding burnt and undisturbed areas. He is complementing his water quality analyses with high resolution (LiDAR) mapping to define runoff source areas that sustain moats and how such areas vary over time.

Katie Schill

Katie is an Environmental Studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University, taking the lead on developing burn severity maps for the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation following the 2022 wildfire at Scotty Creek. The maps will serve as foundations for monitoring and research by the LKFN, researchers and students in the coming years.

Will Bender

Will Bender is an undergraduate co-op student, researcher and mapper with the NWT Thermokarst Collective and the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost (DCoP). Will is based in Waterloo but also works at the NWT GeoScience office in Yellowknife.

Taylor Hayhurst

Taylor Hayhurst is an undergraduate student working with the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation and researchers from NASA/ABoVE, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Forestry Canada on burn severity maps for Scotty Creek and the surrounding region. Taylor developed this project as part of her 4-month student internship at the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation office in Fort Simpson in 2023.

Joshua Meyer

Joshua is an M.Sc. student examining the impact of fire on the hydraulic and thermo-physical properties of peat. He is using a combination of field measurements at Scotty Creek and laboratory analyses at the University of Waterloo. Joshua worked as an intern student at the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation in Fort Simpson for the summer (2023) term where he developed his project in close collaboration with LKFN community members.

Rachael Abulu

Rachael Abulu is a Master's student at York University focused on examining lake sediments as a potential sink for carbon and mercury accumulation released from permafrost degradation in discontinuous permafrost peatlands. She uses paleolimnological methods to quantify long-term carbon and mercury burial in the sediments of 14 small lakes at/near the Scotty Creek Research Station. Her research will contribute to our understanding of the role that abundant small lakes and ponds in warming high latitude regions play in global biogeochemical cycles.

William Alger

William is a Lead Guardian for the Scotty Creek Research Station. He plays a key role in maintaining both station and scientific infrastructure. He also makes important contributions to research and community engagement activities at Scotty Creek throughout the year. William often deploys to Scotty Creek on short notice to address any technical or scientific needs as they arise.

Amber Buston-White

Amber is an M.Sc. student examining how wetlands affect wildfire regimes in the Taiga Plains ecoregion, and how this might be changing with on-going permafrost thaw. Amber co-developed this project in collaboration with the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation while working at the LKFN office as a student intern for the summer term of 2023.

Allan Bonnetrouge

Allan started working at Scotty Creek in 2009 and has made many important contributions since, including geophysical surveys and other research activities, as well as building the station infrastructure. For example, in 2012, he took on a leadership role in moving the station operations from its former location at Next lake to its present site on Goose Lake. As a senior Guardian, he plays an important role in mentoring other Guardians as well as youth. Through the Furure Skills Centre, he is part of the Guardian team providing maintenance to the Eddy Flux station at Scotty Creek.

Wayne McKay

Wayne and Lynn McKay live at Checkpoint, about 20 km from the Scotty Creek Research Station on Goose Lake. Wayne plays a key role in providing year-round maintenance to the Station, including keeping the snowmobile trails open, laying/maintaining the ~5 km Georunner trail network, providing transportation of supplies and people to and from the station, and always making Checkpoint available (and welcoming) as a launching point for Scotty Creek during winter.

Edward Cholo

Edward is an Elder and a former Senior Guardian. He has a cabin on the Old Army (winter) Road about 4 km from the Scotty Creek Research Station site on Goose Lake. Edward is a Harvester and operates several trap lines nearby. Edward plays many important roles for the SCRS, including mentoring of Guardians, students/youth, and helping to maintain the station infrastructure, especially during winter.

Nicholas de Pelham

Nicholas is a Lead Guardian for the Scotty Creek Research Station. He plays a key role in maintaining the Station year-round. Aside from his leadership with the logistics and technical aspects of the Station, he also plays an important role in environmental monitoring and often takes a leading role in data collection.

Garret Isiah

Garret is a Lead Guardian for the Scotty Creek Research Station. He also plays a key role in preparing Guardian teams for leadership of Scotty Creek as an Indigenous-led entity. He also makes important contributions to research and community engagement activities at Scotty Creek throughout the year, and is part of the Guardian team providing maintenance to the Eddy Flux station at Scotty Creek through the Future Skills Centre.

Steve Meek

Steve is the Community Wellness Coordinator for the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation. He plays a key role in ensuring that Scotty Creek remains a healthy environment for all visitors and participants, and that it continues to contribute positively to wellness and mental health.

Shannon Cazon

Shannon is the Monitoring Coordinator for the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation. She coordinates the deployment of Guardians for the LKFN, including the Guardians dedicated to the Scotty Creek Research Station. Guardians play a key role in running the station, overseeing compliance with research licenses, collaborating on research projects, and contributing to educational and other community engagement initiatives at the station.

Jonathan Antoine

Jonathan is the Community Tourism Coordinator for the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation. He is leading efforts to incorporate Scotty Creek into LKFN's tourism planning. Jonathan has made important contributions to Scotty as an accomplished videographer, and he leads and hosts the "All Ages, All Voices" posdcast, a joint project of DCoP and the Dehcho First Nations.

Dieter Cazon

Dieter is the Lands/Resources Coordinator for the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation. He has played a key leadership role in the transition of the Scotty Creek Research Station into an Indigenous-led research station. He continues to play a leadership role in coordination of community events and activities at Scotty Creek, research licensing, governance and in many other key areas.

Seamus Daly

Seamus Daly is "Mapper" for the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost (DCoP) and he is based in Yellowknife. He is also the manager of the Northwest Territories Thermokarst Mapping Project. His activities include spatial data management and analysis, and coordination of training for "community Mappers" on mapping techniques. Seamus's work is helping to improve the spatial data record relating to climate driven permafrost processes. Project video

Iain Thomson

Iain's research examines the rates and patterns of permafrost thaw below seismic lines, and the impacts of such thaw on the hydrological interaction between seismic lines and the surrounding landscape. He is using a combination of archived geophysical, thermal and hydrological data along an intensively studied seismic line, as well as modelling approaches to simulate coupled thermal and mass transfer into and along the line. Project video

Michael McPhee

Michael's research contributes to the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost (DCoP). He works closely with the Dehcho First Nations to determine the best possible permafrost thaw adaptation and mitigation strategies based on the Dene language (Dene Zhatie) and traditional knowledge. He is also working with other DCoP community-based investigators toward the development of a research framework rooted in Dene values and traditional livelihoods. As part of this initiative, he is also co-developing with DFN partners, a regional podcast which aims to provide a forum for dialogue on climate change knowledge and adaptation, and to connect local communities with larger audiences. Project video

Nanar Hakobyan

Nanar is a researcher employed by the Western Arctic Centre for Geomatics (Government of the Northwest Territories) and is pursuing her PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her PhD research is focussed on developing and testing new remote sensing tools and monitoring programmes for the Northwest Territories using high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical remote sensing data for detection, monitoring, and analysis of permafrost thaw impacts with a focus on the Dehcho region.

Maude Auclair

Maude is examining how the microtopography of collapse scar bogs evolve as they slowly drain following the thaw of "permafrost dams" on their margins. Her preliminary work indicates that such bogs develop hummocky surfaces over periods of years to decades, and that the introduction of hummocks affect water flow and storage processes and pathways. Project Video

Mason Dominico

Mason is examining the mass and energy balances of a permafrost body using geophysical, thermal, micro-meteorological and a remote sensing measurements and archived data. He is also examining how changes to these balances arising from climate warming and direct human disturbance will affect water flux and storage processes. Project video

Gabriel Gosselin

Gabriel is a Research Technician based at the University of Montreal for the Changing Arctic Network (CANet). His expertise is on hydrometerological instrumentation, including eddy co-variance systems.

Alex MacLean

Alex MacLean is the full-time Research Technician in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at Laurier. He makes a very important contribution to the Scotty team by helping to prepare students for the field, and assisting with technical aspects of the project. Alex joins us in the field at Scotty whenever he can.

SCRS Alumni

Tyler Veness

At Scotty Creek, Tyler studied the influence of tree-canopy, shrub-canopy and ground surface properties on the rate and spatial pattern of seasonal active-layer thaw. His work helped to improve our understanding of and ability to predict areas of preferential permafrost thaw. Tyler is now a Senior Planning and Program Advisor with Alberta Environment.

Dr. Justin Adams

Justin played a leading role in the Consortium for Permafrost Ecosystems in Transition (CPET), which examines permafrost-thaw impacts on water resources and ecosystems in the southern Northwest Territories, northeastern British Columbia, and northern Ontario. Justin is now a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Guelph.

Michael Braverman

Michael's M.Sc. research focussed on the hydrological impacts of seismic lines in the wetland-dominated zone of discontinuous permafrost. Specifically, he examined permafrost degradation and regeneration processes along seismic lines, and the hydrological consequences of these processes. Michael is a Geophysicist with GHD Engineering and remains a very active member of the Scotty research team. Project video

Dr. Laura Chasmer

Dr. Laura Chasmer is a former PDF with the Scotty Creek Research Station. She is now at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, but remains an important member of our research team. She is interested in climate change; remote sensing; long-term ecosystem change; energy and mass (CO2, H2O) exchanges; discontinuous permafrost; forestry; scaling; ecosystem models. Her research is focused on the influence of canopy structure and ground surface topography on energy balance and scalar fluxes within northern boreal and discontinuous permafrost ecosystems. To do this, she uses a range of remote sensing technologies (including airborne and terrestrial lidar systems), hydrometeorological equipment, and in situ measurements. Project video

Dr. Ryan Connon

Ryan's Ph. D. research is focused on improving the understanding of and ability to model runoff from peat plateau-bog complexes. So far his research has identified major runoff pathways and how their importance changes with soil moisture conditions. He has also shown that recent increases in discharge from streams and rivers in the southern NWT is strongly influenced by permafrost thaw-induced land-cover change that has increased the extent of runoff contributing areas. Project video

John Gordon

John's M.Sc. research at Scotty focused on the influence of permafrost thaw on mercury methylation in wetlands and streams, a subject of growing concern with local communities in the NWT. John now works with SLR Consulting (Bradford on Avon, UK) as a Land Quality & Remediation Associate.

Emily Haughton

Emily's M.Sc. research focused on snowmelt runoff processes on a peat plateau-bog complex at Scotty Creek. Specifically, she examined the impact of permafrost thaw on snowmelt runoff generation. Her work with helped to improve the understanding and ability to simulate snowmelt runoff in wetland-dominated high-Boreal environments. Emily now works as a Researcher at the Hakai Institute in British Columbia, Canada.

Elyse Mathieu

Elyse examined the impact of fire on snow accumulation, melt and ground thermal regimes. She used a combination of detailed energy flux measurements above and below the ground surface, and aerial remote sensing provided by cameras mounted on UAV platforms. She is now a Fire Research Analyst with the Canadian Forest Service (Northern Forestry Centre) of Natural Resources Canada in Edmonton, Alberta.

Allison McManus

Allison's M.Sc. examined the energy balance implication of mite infestations on shrubs species at Scotty Creek. It was found that the transpiration rates from shrubs infested with gall-forming mites are greatly reduced. This reduction has the potential to alter the partitioning of energy at the scale of individual leaves and increase the soil moisture content below the shrubs. Allison is now the Strategic Research Initiatives Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada.

Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad

Fereidoun's PDF focussed on developing new analytical methods of measuring the physical and hydraulic properties of peat soils using X-ray computed tomography. This research led to improved algorithms for predicting mass and energy flows through organic soils. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Waterloo and remains an important member of our research team.

Lindsay Stone

Lindsay studied the hydrology of channel fens at Scotty Creek. She intensively instrumented a 700 m fen connecting Goose Lake and First Lake in the Scotty Creek basin to better understand the flux and storage of water within and from the fen. She also used the Cold Regions Hydrological Model (CRHM) to improve the understanding of the hydrological functioning of channel fens and how it can change in response to disturbance. Lindsay is now lives in California, USA where she works as a Data Analyst for Apple and Apex Systems.

Stacey VanOpstal

Stacey's research examined the role of black spruce root networks in the redistribution of energy into and from the active layer, and the relative importance of the root network and the soil matrix in providing energy into the ground to thaw the active layer and degrade the underlying permafrost. She now works with the City of Hamilton, in Hamilton, Ontario.

Élise Devoie

Élise is pursuing her PhD at the University of Waterloo in hydrological and thermal modelling and plans to apply her skills to improve the understanding of the rate and pattern of permafrost thaw at Scotty Creek. She is a modeller, but also loves to be in the field. That makes her an even better modeller. Project video

Bhaleka Persaud

Bhaleka is studying how climate in the Fort Simpson (NWT) region has changed over the last half century. Her work on how the changing climatic conditions have influenced stream flows is an important complement to other work within the team that is focussed on how permafrost thaw has affected steam flows.

Caren Ackley

Caren is studying how forest fires alter the physical and hydraulic properties of peat and how these changes affect both the quantity and quality of runoff.

Joelle Langford

Joelle is pursuing her M.Sc. at Western University. She is generating a permafrost plateau model using FEFLOW to simulate thaw and its interactions with groundwater.

Dr. Julie Mai

Julie received her Ph.D. in 2011 at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany. After a first PostDoc at that institute, she moved to University of Waterloo in September 2016 and joined our research programme. Her expertise is in modelling and computational analyses like parameter estimation, sensitivity analysis and uncertainty analysis. She is further strongly interested in the development of robust and widely applicable computer codes.

Olivia Carpino

Olivia is a PhD student researching permafrost distribution in northwestern Canada. Her work focuses on the impacts of climate change on permafrost and predicting the resultant changes to the overlying landscape. She plans to use these insights and those gained at Scotty Creek to develop a comprehensive permafrost mapping effort in the NWT. Project video

Dr. Nicole Wright

Nicole is the first student of the SCRS, which makes her a "Scotty Pioneer". Her PhD research shed new light on coupled runoff and thaw processes which led to important advances in understanding and modelling the hydrology of the study region. Nicole is now a Senior Hydrologist with Ecofish Research, Campbell River, Bristish Columbia.

Angela Elgie

Angela's is a Master's of Science Geography student focusing on the effects of a 1986 seismic line on the peatland wetland area at Scotty Creek. Currently 3 bogs have been selected for their variability for her study of these effects. Through measurements of water levels, moisture, biodiversity, temperature, snow melt, water movement, and others the differences in values will outline the effects of the line.

Mikhail Mack

Mikhail is a PhD student researching the impacts of permafrost thaw on runoff processes and hydrologic connectivity in the Hudson Bay Lowlands (HBL) in Ontario’s Far North. By comparing thaw impacts in discontinuous and continuous permafrost portions of the HBL, Mikhail hopes to improve our understanding of permafrost thaw in world’s third largest contiguous wetland complex.

Brenden Disher

Brenden is an MSc student researching permafrost presence beneath treed bogs at Scotty Creek. He will be combining ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to determine permafrost extent and will be examining the hydrological characteristics of these features. Brenden hopes to improve the understanding of permafrost formation and degradation in zones of discontinuous permafrost.

Kristine Haynes

Kristine Haynes, as a Postdoctoral Fellow, has joined the Scotty Research Team synthesizing the long-term water level data with the aim of constructing a water balance for the site. She is examining potential differences in long-term water storage across the variations in landscape of the Scotty Creek watershed. A future goal is to broaden her mercury cycling research to investigate the influence of permafrost thaw and subsequent landscape and hydrological changes. Project video

John Coughlin

John Coughlin joined the Scotty Creek research team in December, 2017 and brings a wide range of technical and research skills. When not at Scotty Creek he is at our new office in Yellowknife where he lives. Welcome John!

Tyler Williams

Tyler completed him M.Sc. in the fall of 2012. His research on seismic lines at Scotty Creek provided important new insights on the hydrological impact of these widely-occurring features in the North. Tyler's work culminated in two journal articles, one of which was highlighted by Environmental Research Letters in their journal commentaries. Tyler continues his hydrological in his employment with the Yukon Territorial Government in Whitehorse.

Jessica Smart

Jessica is a fourth year student at Wilfrid Laurier University, working towards completing her undergraduate thesis at Scotty Creek. Her research focuses on the relationship between black spruce canopy cover and permafrost thaw rates and patterns. This research aims to further understand how northern landscapes are transitioning in response to a warming climate. Jessica hopes to combine disciplines of ecology and hydrology to predict future trajectories of northern forests.

Elzbieta Mastej

Ela is developing and testing new ground freezing systems along a seismic line where permafrost has thawed preferentially. Her designs include various types of passive and active thermosyphon systems, as well as innovative designs that enhance ground cooling. The coldest ground at Scotty Creek is the ground below Ela's ground freezing systems!

Igor Egorov

Igor's research develops advanced permafrost restoration and thaw mitigation systems, and evaluates the effectiveness of such systems for a wide range of applications. Such applications include protection of infrastructure and stabilisation of permafrost to increase slope stability. Much of the new knowledge, tools and methods developed in this project is targeted for the protection of transportation infrastructure in the NWT and elsewhere in the circum-polar region. Scotty Creek serves as the main "out door laboratory" for the development and testing of these ground-freezing systems. Project video

Michelle Liu

Permafrost has long been considered to be a stable subgrade in the design and construction of roads in high latitude/altitude regions. However, as permafrost thaws, it loses its bearing capacity, and as a result, the overlying road surface to cracks, ruts, or even collapses. Michelle's study aims to quantify the thermo-physical properties of selected road surface types widely used in the NWT and evaluate their capacity to insulate and protect the underlying permafrost. Her project will also include recommendations for reducing damage to road surfaces due to permafrost thaw for a wide range of conditions.

Shaghayegh (Shae) Akbarpour

Shae is a PhD student of water resources engineering based at the University of Waterloo. Her research is focused on modelling the climate warming induced evolution of land covers in discontinuous permafrost regions of northwestern Canada. She uses these modelling outcomes to investigate the effects of the land cover changes on the hydrological functioning of the drainage basins in these regions. Shae is also devising a land cover change model from different machine learning methodologies which can be used to predict the future evolution of land covers throughout the circum-polar region. Project video

Mackenzie Bell

Mack is a Master’s student from Wilfrid Laurier University researching indigenous epistemology, methodology and traditional ecological knowledges and how they can be used to better understand climatic change in the North. Mack is working with Dene communities in the Dehcho region of the Northwest Territories on community-led research to gain a better understanding of the cultural and socio-ecological implications of permafrost thaw.

Ian Frederick

Ian is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Geography and Geomatics at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is assisting in research examining permafrost thaw induced landscape and hydrological changes in the discontinuous permafrost zone. He will be combining a range of GIS and remote sensing techniques to identify characteristics of permafrost distribution, microtopography, and wetland flow. Ian hopes this research will further the understanding of the impacts of ongoing permafrost thaw in the region.

Stephanie Wright

Stephanie is a Postdoctoral Fellow researching how deeper groundwater systems are being impacted by permafrost thaw. Through spatiotemporal sampling and analysis of stable isotopes across the Scotty Creek basin, she aims to understand how thaw-induced landcover change is altering local- and basin-scale hydrologic connectivity and groundwater resources. Project video

Lauren Nolan

Lauren Nolan is the "Coder" for the Dehcho Collaborative on Permafrost (DCoP) and she is based in Yellowknife. She has also taken on a leadership position in the development and organisation of the on-line data archive for the Scotty Creek Research Station. She also develops code so that the archive can be queried efficiently and works with researchers and community members to customise the data archive to meet their diverse data needs.

Tristan Gingrass-Hill

Tristan provides technical support for DCoP students and Dehcho community mappers on remote sensing methods. He also helps coordinate the remote sensing activities of DCoP and Northwest Territories Thermokarst Mapping Project.

Kristen Coleman

Kristen Coleman is a PhD candidate at York University researching how accelerated permafrost thaw is impacting thermokarst lakes near the southern extent of permafrost thaw. Her main focus is on a phenomenon known as “lake browning” which is caused by increased concentrations of highly-coloured dissolved organic carbon. This work will increase our understanding of how aquatic ecosystems may be altered as the permafrost boundary moves northward. Project video

Eric Leonard

Eric is a MSc student at Wilfrid Laurier University studying how thawing permafrost could lead to increased connectivity between and within hydrologic response units (HRUs) via new or reactivated groundwater pathways. He will be identifying and characterizing major HRUs based on physical, hydrologic, and hydrogeologic properties, as well as compare how they may change in varying permafrost settings.

Simaran Kaur

Simaran is an undergraduate student who is using a combination of archived data from Scotty Creek and her own field measurements to examine the impacts of wildfire on active layer development and permafrost thaw. Simaran worked as an intern student at the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation in Fort Simpson for the summer (2023) term where she developed her project in close collaboration with LKFN community members.