A group of 10 researchers from 3 provinces and 6 universities (Queen's, McMaster, McGill, Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Québec à Montréal, British Columbia) were successful in the 2011-12 NSERC competition, receiving money to create a network of satellite-linked microclimate stations. The summary from their proposal is below:
Climate change is irrevocably altering the environment in ways detrimental to both humans and biodiversity. Despite this overwhelming evidence many significant knowledge deficits exist. One particular issue is that of matching the temporal and spatial scale of climate data to research questions focused on understanding how climate change might alter phenology of organisms, their ability to withstand environmental stress, the structure of biotic communities, ecosystem processes, and underlying factors implicated in expansion of range limits. Here we propose to create a network of eight climate stations at the Queen's University Biological Station that will collect an array of climate and micro-environmental data (air, soil, and water) within a single landscape encompassing approx. 25 square kilometers. Focal lakes will vary from < 2 hectares to > 750 hectares in surface area, and from depths of 6 to > 30 metres. These data will be recorded in real-time and transmitted via satellite for storage and access by any of the participating researchers (http://qubsdata.org). Climatic data will be used by 10 researchers from 6 universities and 3 provinces and over 40 research trainees to address a range of research questions related to biotic responses to climate change. All climate data will be freely available to all researchers worldwide and free of charge to foster other research.