A huge thank you from Campbell Scientific Canada to everybody who entered this year’s photo contest. We had a lot of incredible entries and it was extremely difficult to choose a winner. Keep your eyes on CSC’s website and social media channels to see many of the photos featured in the future.
Jodie Chadbourn wins the 2018 calendar photo contest for this photo featuring a hydrometric gauging station at Pushup Lake, Alberta.
- Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future (1985)
Doc Brown’s iconic quote from 1985’s time travel blockbuster, Back to the Future, was in reference to his new flying time machine, but he just as easily could have been talking about the hydrometric gauging station in Jodie Chadbourn’s winning photo.
The station, with its shiny new enclosure installed the day this photo was taken, measures water level and water temperature year-round near Pushup Lake in Northern Alberta. The site is in Wood Buffalo National Park, about 100 kilometres south of the border between Alberta and Northwest Territories, and has no access by all-weather roads. When the winter roads melt away each year, air and water are the only way to access the region. Once there, getting to the site requires a ride on an all-terrain vehicle through the muskeg, essentially a bog of water and partly dead vegetation covered by a layer of moss.
Though this travel adventure was a bit extreme, it was necessary to replace the enclosure on the station and ensure it could continue to transmit valuable data. But why did the station need a new enclosure in the first place? It turns out the reason was very typically Canadian. You guessed it: a moose.
The previously installed enclosure had been knocked off its post by a galloping, possibly clumsy moose. Impressively, the equipment itself wasn’t damaged, but the lock nuts on the enclosure had been broken off by the hooved jogger. This necessitated the installation of the new enclosure, and allowed Jodie to snap the winning photo with great composition and an impressive backdrop. No roads and no time machines were necessary, but Jodie can thank a mischievous moose for her win in our 2018 calendar photo contest.
Sean Marshall McDermott earns honourable mention for this photo of a weather station on an iceberg off the coast of Greenland.
This year’s photo contest had an unexpected animal theme, as the station in Sean Marshall McDermott’s honourable mention photo also had an unexpected furry visitor.
The Campbell Scientific weather station with GPS and telemetry was installed on a vast tabular iceberg, affectionately called “Dirty Berg,” just off the northeast coast of Greenland. Combined with the orange ice tracking buoy, the system monitored the rotation of Dirty Berg, as well as the speed and direction of the winds that drive the iceberg. Delivering the personnel and equipment to the remote iceberg was the Finnish icebreaker, Otso, and an ice reconnaissance helicopter.
Just 10 days after this photograph was taken, a curious bear decided to test the durability of the equipment the only way a bear knows how: by smashing it. Though she managed to stop the station from transmitting, she couldn’t stop the dedication of the team who bravely returned a few days after the rampage to collect the parts for redeployment. Luckily the bear couldn’t smash the quality of this photo, which was good enough to earn Sean honourable mention in our 2018 calendar photo contest.