CEN Radisson Ecological Research Station

The CEN Radisson Ecological Research Station has a total capacity for 25 people and comprises of 3 buildings for accomodations, a laboratory building, a fully equipped meeting room, a garage and a workshop. Radisson is surrounded by the eastern Canadian Shield taiga with Boreal forest dominated by black spruce and grey pine. 

The CEN Radisson Ecological Research Station is run and operated by the following three member institutions of the Centre d’études nordiques (CEN): Université Laval, Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique. The station has a long term lease with the municipality. The CEN secretariat, based at Université Laval, oversees the management of the station. This station is part of the CEN Network, more precisely the Qaujisarvik Network of stations, and is the most southerly station of the Network at 53°N.

CEN researchers have been working in this region since the late 1980’s, but the station was established in 1999 and was upgraded in 2010. Lodging is available in three houses (3 bedrooms each), that are operated by the CEN researchers. With a total capacity for 25 people, this facility comprises a laboratory building with a fume hood, a fully equipped meeting room, a garage and a workshop. It can be used to work in the James Bay region and near the main hydroelectric reservoirs.

Radisson is surrounded by the eastern Canadian Shield taiga with Boreal dominated by black spruce and grey pine. The region is relatively poor in plant species diversity with about 350 vascular plant species, yet wildlife diversity is rich with 40 mammal species and 60 bird species.

Forest fires are a very dynamic element of the region, sculpting the landscape into natural mosaics nested between rocky hills which confine the lower wetlands (mainly lakes and bogs). From 1989 to 1996, forest fires within the town of Radisson considerably changed the landscape.

Radisson is situated in a postglacial marine invasion and drainage is limited due to the presence of clay in the lowlands. The region has been studied and monitored extensively since 1974 in the context of the development of the hydroelectric complex. Consequently, Hydro-Québec and the Société d’énergie de la baie de James have produced several syntheses on the area.


Climate and environmental data:  Since 1988, CEN has collected extensive climate datasets in the area. CEN also currently operates three climate stations of the CEN SILA Network (www.cen.ulaval.ca/sila) in the area, one of which is near the town of Radisson, another is in the centre of LG2 reservoir and a third is approximately 350 km inland on an island of the LaForge 1 reservoir. The station also host a magnetometer of the AUTUMNX network managed by Athabasca University.
Nordicana-D :  CEN's Nordicana-D series freely and openly give access to online climatic and environmental data reports archived at CEN, aiding the management of the wealth of environmental data sets produced by CEN's monitoring and research activities. Visit the Website www.cen.ulaval.ca/nordicanad/ to view the complete list of available data.


This station is part of the Canadian Network of Northern Research Operators (CNNRO, www.cnnro.ca) and the international network INTERACT (www.eu-interact.org).

Institution Université Laval
Country Canada
Infrastructure type Research station
Disciplines Biology and biochemistry
Environmental sciences
Earth sciences
forestry and fishery
Language of operation French
Keywords reservoirslakesborealaquatic systems


Radisson is accessible by road (from Matagami to Radisson). The James Bay route is asphalted throughout its 624 km and provides access to several Cree villages and to the trans-taiga ecosystems which border the hydroelectric reservoirs. It is a private road requiring user registration at the entry gate for security reasons given the low rate of use. Access is free. Fuel is available at km 381. Scheduled commercial air service is also available at the Radisson-Grande-Rivière airport, located 30 km from Radisson (via Air Inuit, Air CreeBec). Eastward from Radisson, the Trans-Taiga Road leads to the Caniapiscau Reservoir (gravel road).

Contact information

Contact the CEN station manager and secretariat by email : station@cen.ulaval.ca and cen@cen.ulaval.ca, or by telephone : +1-819-929-3319 or +1-418-656-3340.

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