Program ID: Innovation Anthology #381
Program Date: 03/03/2011
Program Category: Energy, Environment, Forests, Oil Sands, Water, Wildlife
CONRAD Part 5: Dr. Lee Foote and CFRAW
Research into oil sands reclamation has come a long ways in recent years.
Illustrating that point is a program called CFRAW. CFRAW is short for Carbon Dynamics, Food Web Structure and Reclamation Strategies in Athabasca Oil Sands Wetlands.
Wetland ecologist Dr. Lee Foote leads the CFRAW team at the University of Alberta. As he explained at a recent workshop, reclamation research now takes an ecosystem based approach.
DR. LEE FOOTE: We have to remember, the oil sands, one size does not fit all. And, there are unintended consequences. This is not a place for simple solutions. There are gradients that run from north to south and distance from the Athabasca River, for example, gradients of salinity, degree of bitumen remaining in the soil, the soil types, the permeability, the groundwater connections. It’s a very complex picture environmentally. And so we don’t want to reduce this down, to be overly reductionist and come up with a silver bullet approach. That’s not it. It’s got to be a much more integrated, multidisciplinary approach to things.
Dr. Lee Foote says CFRAWS is a consortium of four universities with four principle investigators and twenty graduate students. Their research is funded by the oil sands industry and NSERC.
Thanks today to Syncrude
FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY I’M CHERYL CROUCHER