Public voting is open for the 2020 Science Exposed People’s Choice Award. Tyler Black has completed his master’s degree from the Clayton H Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources and is set to graduate this year. He also has a photo in the contest and needs your votes.
Tyler’s photo (number 18) shows an oil slick on a test lake. As Canada faces critical decisions on the use and distribution of energy resources, the need for strong scientific evidence is becoming clearer. We need to understand the impacts of oil spills and how to best clean them up. Whole ecosystem research on oil spills can help us understand how complex substances such as diluted bitumen, an unrefined crude oil from the Alberta oil sands, behaves in freshwater environments. We can also learn the risk bitumen poses to the fish and other organisms that live there. By adding oil to complex natural systems, like those at the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario, we can test various methods of oil spill remediation under realistic conditions, to help efforts to respond to spills. Reflected in the water in this photo is the forest that surrounds the test lake. An oil sheen covers the surface as a result of the oil added experimentally.