OSRIN funds a variety of studies through grants or contracts. OSRIN may fund the work entirely on its own or may seek partners for OSRIN-led work, or may provide funding to partner-led work. Occasionally OSRIN staff may undertake projects and produce reports. A list of current and completed OSRIN projects is available.
A key OSRIN function is to identify gaps in our knowledge or work at undertaking a comprehensive review of the knowledge we already have. We certainly do not want to duplicate existing work or support research which unintentionally goes over ground already studied.
OSRIN will therefore, from time to time, commission what we call “scoping studies” – studies which look at the potential technologies and approaches which offer solutions to challenges in oil sands environmental management. Scoping studies may include workshops.
A scoping study provides an overview of the key information relating to an issue or research need. The information collected will allow OSRIN to make informed decisions about strategic research directions through:
Identifying best practice examples from a variety of sources
Providing an analysis of known knowledge in relation to a particular topic, so we don’t reinvent the wheel
Providing a source of new ideas that can support oil sands environmental management
OSRIN will also direct funds to commission or support new work that will expand the knowledge base and fill in knowledge gaps.
OSRIN funds work in six program areas:
Tailings Reclamation, which seeks to identify challenges that must be addressed in accelerating the reclamation of tailings ponds and disposal areas and to catalyze necessary R&D efforts to resolve them.
Regional Landscape Reclamation, which focuses on providing the knowledge necessary to support development of regional reclamation targets as well as site- and mine-level objectives.
Monitoring Ecosystem Impacts, which focuses on components of a comprehensive, robust system in Alberta to monitor the effects of oil sands mining operations on ecosystem health – a system that is scientifically sound and has the confidence of the general public.
Increasing Awareness, which aims increase awareness of OSRIN and oil sands issues through an active website presence, sponsoring oil sands related conferences, digitizing historical information and publication of OSRIN research results.
Social, Economic and Regulatory, which seeks to identify social, economic and regulatory issues that may affect environmental management of the oil sands reclamation and to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental management in addressing social, economic and regulatory issues.
Strategic Design, which focuses on the development and refinement of OSRIN’s strategic intent and program delivery.
Reports of completed work are available under the OSRIN Publications link.