Radisson Ecological Research Station

The station is the property of the Radisson municipality. It is run and operated by the following three member institutions of CEN: Université Laval, UQAR and INRS-ETE. The station has a long-term lease with the municipality. The CEN secretariat based at Université Laval oversees the management of the station. This station is part of the CEN Network and is the most southerly station of the Network at 53°N. Researchers from the CEN have been working in this region since 1994, but the station was established in 1999 and was upgraded in 2010. The facility consists of three houses (3 bedrooms each), with a total capacity for 25 people, a laboratory building with a chemical hut, a meeting room, and a workshop.

Name Email Phone Number
Primary Contact Christine Barnard christine.barnard@cen.ulaval.ca or cen@cen.ulaval.ca (418) 656-2131, ext. 2503 or (418) 656-3340
Secondary Contact Dr. Dominique Arseneault dominique_arseneault@uqar.qc.ca (418) 723-1986, ext. 1519

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Centre d’études nordiques (CEN)/ Centre for Northern Studies

Regular Member




The station is in the centre of the village of Radisson, a small village of approximately 350 inhabitants situated on the margins of the Robert-Bourassa (LG2) hydroelectric dam, part of the La Grande River hydroelectric complex. The buildings comprising the station are at the following addresses: 32, 34 and 36 on Couture Street in Radisson, Quebec, Canada, J0Y 2X0.

Nearest Community

Territory/ Province

Aboriginal Government/ Homeland

Facility Type
Year-Round Research Station (no station manager)

Research Hinterland
Freshwater, Lake, Large River, Taiga / Boreal Forest, Terrestrial

Main Research Disciplines
Biochemistry, Climatology, Environmental Sciences, Geophysics, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Limnology, Mapping/GIS, Paleoecology, Terrestrial Biology/Ecology

Research History
Researchers from the CEN have been working in this region since 1994. Past research has focused on regional ecosystem dynamics, specifically on the response of the forest to disturbances such as fire and insect outbreaks, dendrochronology, riparian vegetation, snow, secular variations in water levels, hydrology, climate and reservoirs, greenhouse gas emission by reservoirs, and limnology. Research topics covered issues on wildlife (birds, caribou, small mammals, and fish) and vegetation (biodiversity).

Current Projects
Projects on forest dynamics continue and CEN operates three climate stations in the area, one is near the town, another in the centre of LG2 reservoir and a third 350km inland. Since 1996 CEN collected climate datasets available at www.cen.ulaval.ca/nordicanad or contact: cen@cen.ulaval.ca

Generator, Solar, External Electrical Grid


Local Transportation
ATVs, snowmobiles and pick-ups can be rented in town.

Equipment Storage
Yes, make arrangements prior to arrival.

Dormitory/Sleeping Facilities
Accommodates 25 people.

Dining/Kitchen Facilities
3 houses, each has a kitchen.

Laboratory Facilities
Wet and dry labs

Fuel Availability
Available in town.

Research Requirements
Local authorities must be informed of your work. No permitting and licensing required for work within the village, but please contact local authorities: www.gcc.ca and www.sdbj.gouv.qc.ca/en/home

Special Rules and Regulations
Must have first aid kits, satellite phones, safety training for work in remote regions.

Local External Resources

Nearest Medical Service
Health centre in Radisson and hospital in Chisasibi (100 km by road).

Safety Considerations
First aid kit; satellite phone; presence of black bears: weapon; pepper spray


Other Information
The town of Radisson is located on the south shore of the La Grande River which drains the water from the La Grande hydroelectric complex. It is the most northern French speaking community of Québec, of the Americas and of the world. It is also the only non-aboriginal community north of 53 degrees N. Despite its remoteness, Radisson offers a wide array of services: gas station, hotel, hardware and grocery store and a small hotel. Radisson is accessible by road. From Matagami, the James Bay route covers over 624 km. This route provides access to several Cree villages and trans-taiga ecosystems which border the hydroelectric reservoirs. It is a private road requiring user registration at the entry gate for security reasons given the low rate of use. Contact CEN (cen@cen.ulaval.ca) for more information.

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