Pre-conference Workshops Field Trips Student Event

Pre-conference Workshops
Digital Soil Mapping
Chair: Daniel Saurette

The CSSS 2020 Digital Soil Mapping (DSM) Workshop will be a 1-day technical workshop that will focus on a range of topics related to DSM, including theory of DSM and hands-on exercises for preparation of environmental covariates, sample plan design, use of machine learning models for continuous and categorical covariates and techniques for quantifying prediction uncertainty. A detailed agenda will follow closer to the event. This is a free workshop, the cost for registration is collected to provide lunch for all participants. Cost will be $15 per participant with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 25.

Greenhouse Gas measurement workshop
Chair: Louis-Pierre Comeau

The morning session will involve making a brief introduction followed by presentations on ex-situ and in- situ sampling protocols. After coffee break, we will discuss about different measurement products and procedures (company representatives will be present and explain the characteristic of the GHG measurement machines). After lunch, we will go out to a field site nearby where chamber-based systems system in use. Discussion about different chamber types and the practical issues involved in sampling them will be made. People will be free to wander around to examine the different systems and talk to the people involved in the research. Cost will be $25 per participant with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 25.

Microbiome workshop
Chair: Aria Hahn

Chair: Aria Hahn Email: Microbiome research involves teeming multitudes of microbes – especially in soils. Molecular approaches have transformed our perception of the complex communities of microorganisms mediating global fluxes of matter and energy. Still, despite the power and promise of this new perception, the natural complexity of soil systems means it is incredibly challenging to process, organize and interact with the data. While analysis efforts to date have excelled at answering "who is there", much more remains to be done to answer "what are they doing" – and even more efforts are required to answer “whose doing what?”. Within soils, interactions among microorganisms and processes performed by communities can be especially vexing – but important, to predict and understand. This workshop will teach participants about standard pipelines for answering “whose there” and then discuss the current state of mining soil microbiome data for functional genes and metabolic pathways. Topics covered will amplicon sequence processing and analysis and provide an introduction to whole genome shotgun

  • (WGS) data. We will use the DaDa2 pipeline (taxonomic identification), PICRUSt2 (function inference from taxonomic data), and MetaPathways (a pipeline for end to end processing of environmental WGS data). Cost will be $200 per participant with a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 45.
  • Because the places are limited to attend each seminar, interested people need to contact the workshop chair to express their interest. Accepted people will be notified and will be then invited to pay their registration via E-transfer at: For any related question, please contact Louis-Pierre Comeau, the workshop chair

  • Field Trips

    2020 CSSS meeting in Charlottetown, PEI

    Field tour

    Agronomy tour
    9:00 a.m. - Bus departs from Charlottetown, PE at UPEI
    • Stop 1
      Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Harrington Research Farm – Field Plot Tour (Harrington, PE)
    • Stop 2
      Soil Conservation Construction Project Site- PEI Department of Agriculture and Land (Central PEI site)
    • Stop 3
      Cavendish Farms- Production Plant and Field Tour New Annan, PE
    4:30 p.m.- Buses return to Charlottetown, PE *Picnic Lunch will be provided.

    Coastline Tour

    9:00 a.m.- Bus departs from Charlottetown, PE at UPEI

    The Changing Coastline Tour will be held at the Greenwich National Park. This park features the largest sand dunes on Prince Edward Island where Mi’kmaq and Acadian culture is infused in the rhythms of the wind and waves which shape this dynamic landscape. In addition to the opportunity to explore the trails, beaches and interpretive centre at the park, the UPEI Climate lab will be featured discussing their research and science on climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation in this evolving landscape. After a beach-side brown bagged picnic we’ll be digging deeper, examining island soil pedology with Kevin Keys, Ph.D., senior research and planning forester with the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry as he guides us though describing soil profiles. Finally the day will end with a discussion about dune formation and the protection of this changing coastal ecosystem.

    • 5.00 p.m.- Buses return to Charlottetown, PE
    • *Picnic Lunch will be provided.
    • The Cost to attend each tour is $40 per participant. Because the places are limited to attend each tour, if interested please send an email to Kyra Stiles ( Please specify if you are interested in coastline or agronomic tour. Accepted people will be notified and will be invited to pay their registration via E-transfer at:

    Student Events

    Graduate Student Event

    Organizer: Gazali Issah, University of Saskatchewan Email:

    Co-organizer: Hannah Arseneault, Dalhousie University/AAFC

    The event will be two-fold: 1) career guidance/professional development panel discussion and 2) trivia night. The panel discussion will feature four speakers representing different backgrounds including Professor David Burton (Dalhousie University) representing Academia, Steve Howatt, President & GM, Atlantic AgriTech Inc. representing Industry, Mary Finch (Watershed Ecologist, PEI Watershed Alliance) representing NGO, and Dr Claudia Goyer (Molecular Bacteriologist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada/Government of Canada) representing Government Institution. The panel discussion will commence with prepared questions to the panel members, followed by an open floor for questions and comments from graduate students. Details of the trivia (venue, time etc.) will follow soon.