Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences:
the coordinated voice for Canadian Earth Sciences

The Mission of CFES is to be the coordinated voice of the Earth science community in Canada, ensuring that decision makers and the general public understand the contributions of Earth sciences to Canadian society and the Canadian economy

What is CFES - what does CFES do?

CFES/FCST was established in 2006 as the successor to the Canadian Geoscience Council (CGC). CFES is an umbrella organization of 12 Canadian member societies and 2 cooperative groups (the list of member organizations is here). Our constituency represents industry (minerals, hydrocarbons, environmental/geotechnical), government (Provincial/Territorial Geological Surveys) and Academia, in total, an estimated 20,000 Canadian earth scientists.  CFES/FCST also closely cooperates with 4 observer organizations.

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News & Events

Sep 19, 2014

The 2014 Fall Council Meeting and Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences will be held in Ottawa on Friday November 28th (5-9 pm) and Saturday November 29th (8 am -5 pm).

Meeting location: Gendron Hall, room 080 in the Biosciences Complex (30 Marie Curie) on the University of Ottawa campus.

Aug 31, 2014

A 560 million-year-old fossil from Newoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula may record the oldest evidence of muscle tissue, according to a new paper.

The fossil comes from a time known as the Ediacaran period, renowned for its preservation of the first large and complex organisms known. Most Ediacaran organisms were flat, sheet-like, or frond-like creatures whose relationships to modern organisms are hard to pin down. 

This particular fossil organism, Haootia quadriformis, contains symmetrical fibrous structures that the authors interpret as muscle tissue. The authors suggest that H. quadriformis could be an early member of Cnidaria, a group whose living members include jellyfish and sea anemones.

Original research paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B on August 26, 2014
Aug 16, 2014

A new paper helps quantify how much of the global loss of glaciers can be attributed to human activity as opposed to natural variation in earth’s temperature. The study uses a mathematical model to compare the amount of glacier melt that would have been expected based on natural and man-made forcings to the actual amount.

For the overall time period of 1851 to 2010, the human contribution is hard to quantify, and is reported as 25 ± 35 per cent. However, the availability of better data in more recent decades allows a more detailed analysis for the period 1991 to 2010; here the human contribution is reported at 69 ± 24 per cent.

The model complements similar results obtained for global temperatures and sea levels.

Original research paper published in the journal Science on August 14, 2014.

Jul 28, 2014

Well-preserved fossil footprints provide the first trackway evidence that Tyrannosaurs may have travelled in packs.

The footprints were found in rocks from northeastern British Columbia and show three Tyrannosaurs travelling in the same direction at the same time, relatively close together. Until now, the evidence for the pack-like nature of Tyrannosaurs relied on the proximity of their bones and trackways of related species.

The footprints also provide important information about the gait of Tyrannosaurs.

Original research paper published in the journal PLoS ONE on July 23, 2014.

Jul 8, 2014

New data from trees preserved in lakes in the Taiga of northern Quebec show that eastern Canada experienced much colder than usual summers following distant volcanic eruptions in the 13th century, and again in the 19th century.

The so-called ‘Little Ice Age’ is well-documented in the historical and tree ring records worldwide, but the strength and duration of cold episodes following the large volcanic eruptions has remained a topic of debate and until now there was little data from eastern North America.

The authors note the abruptness of the shift to colder summers and suggest that eastern Canada may be particularly sensitive to the effects of volcanic eruptions.

Original research paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) on June 30, 2014.

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