Scotty creek research station

About us

About us

The Scotty Creek Research Station (SCRS) is 50 km south of Fort Simpson, in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Periodic Snow field measurements at Scotty Creek began in 1994. In 1996, the Water Survey of Canada installed a Stream gauging station at the Scotty Creek outlet, and in 1999 the first stations were installed in the basin headwaters for year-round data collection. A seasonal camp was established in 2001, and in 2003 was upgraded to an all-season camp. This dramatically increased the capacity for field studies at Scotty Creek. The “Old Camp” as this site is known, was replaced by the First Lake Camp (2007-2012) and then by the Goose Lake Camp (2012-present). Since 2003, the Scotty Creek station has operated each year between mid-March and early September, and based on person-days, it is one of the busiest research stations in Canada’s North, and offers a unique opportunity for high-quality training and community engagement involving world-class expertise and state-of-art research infrastructure. 


Scotty Creek drains a 152 km2 area of high Boreal forest containing discontinuous, permafrost, and a high concentration of wetlands. It is uniquely positioned in one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth, and because the its permafrost is relatively warm, thin and discontinuous, permafrost thaw is widespread and often leads to the transformation of forested permafrost terrains to permafrost-free, tree-less wetlands. There is an urgent need on the part of provincial, territorial and federal government agencies, NGOs, Aboriginal communities and industry to understand how this land-cover change affects their shared water resources now and in the future. In response to this need, SCRS researchers are working to 1) develop and mobilise new knowledge on the hydrological and ecological impacts of permafrost thaw, 2) develop new modelling tools to predict the rates and patterns of permafrost thaw and the hydrological and ecological consequences, and 3) provide interactive training on these tools to end-users. Scientific infrastructure at SCRS



The Director

Bill Quinton lives in Waterloo, Ontario with his wife Helen, and their three daughters. He is a co-Director of the Cold Regions Research Centre ( at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was appointed as a Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Hydrology in August 2005. He is also a founding member of the Laurier-GNWT Partnership Agreement (, Institute for Water Science, Centre for Cold Regions & Water Science (, and the Taiga Plains Research Network.

He is also a leading member of several national and international scientific associations. Quinton has worked in the Northwest Territories since 1987, and in the Fort Simpson region since 1999. He enjoys a long-standing working relationship with the Liidlii Kue First Nation and Jean Marie River First Nation (