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BGS Institute: Field Station Facilities


The Barrier Lake Station operates year-round providing research and teaching facilities consisting of the Main Lodge with a 26-person dormitory and kitchen/dining facilities, the Forestry lodge with a 32-person dormitory and kitchen/dining facilities, a laboratory building, five duplex units, two houses (2-4 bedrooms), three 3-bedroom mobile homes, one cabin, a garage and storage buildings. Both dormitories accommodate 2-3 people/room with bunk beds. There are separate washrooms for men and women with showers. Students generally provide their own linen/sleeping bags and towels. Laundry facilities (washers/dryers) are available on site but coined operated ($2 for washer and $1 for dryer). There is no store on site, with the nearest General Store located 15 km south at the Kananaskis Village and the nearest town of Canmore, 45 km west of the Field Station.

The laboratory contains four individual lab rooms, a lecture-classroom (capacity of 50), library, herbarium/zoology/collection room, computer room, GPS/Weather room and offices. The laboratories are equipped for studies in terrestrial and aquatic ecology, hydrology, microbiology and soil biology. There are two environmental growth chambers, a walk-in freezer and a walk-in cold room available for researchers. The GPS/Weather lab has a Trimble Pathfinder Community Base Station, one Trimble Pro-XL rover unit and one computer with Pathfinder Office software for post-processing differential correction. An Environment Canada weather station is operated at the Field Station and a Campbell Scientific data logger collects the data that is available for researchers. The computer room has 10 networked computers with internet access and printing is available on request. Researchers and students are expected to provide their own storage devices. Wireless access to the internet is available to University of Calgary UCID account holders and can be requested for non-UofC users.

The herbarium currently contains approximately 800 mounted specimens representing 470 local plant species. There is also a small insect collection and a small bird/mammal collection. The research library is maintained in cooperation with the University of Calgary libraries and a reprint collection of research carried out in the southern Canadian Rockies, which is a cooperative collection with Alberta Community Development-Kananaskis Country.



The R.B. Miller Field Station has a 2-bedroom cabin, cookhouse, bunkhouse, laboratory building, washhouse (with showers) and 3-bedroom trailer. It can accommodate up to 16 people and has electricity, running water during the summer months and outdoor biffies. Residents are responsible for their own meals and the general upkeep of the facility. The cabin, bunkhouse and trailer are heated with propane, and the other buildings are heated with small electrical heaters. There is no telephone at the R.B. Miller Field Station and the nearest public phone is approximately 10 km east of the Station. This station is extensively used for animal behaviour studies (Bighorn Sheep and Columbian ground squirrels) because of its isolated location and large nearby animal populations.

No pets are allowed at either Field Station.