Westcastle Field Station Research Facility
The Westcastle Field Station is built on the traditional timber territory of the Piikani Nation, a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Nestled in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, it is less than 90 minutes from the University of Lethbridge and situated within the newly-expanded Castle Provincial Park. The area sports an impressive biodiversity with terrestrial habitats including forests, meadows, sub-alpine, and alpine habitats. Aquatic habitats include wetlands, the tributaries of the Castle River, creeks and high altitude lakes.
The Westcastle Field Station (WFS) is a University of Lethbridge facility that was established by the Department of Biological Sciences in 1968 to enable field research in the Rocky Mountains and foothills. In 2014, oversight was assumed by the Faculty of Arts & Science Dean’s Office, and in 2015 there was substantial upgrading and expansion of the facility, which has allowed for increased use, primarily for field research but also for related, University-level teaching. The upgrade of the facility expanded the number of beds available to 18 and significantly improved the washroom, kitchen and internet facilities/capabilities at the Station.
The Field Station grants the ability to conduct field work in Alberta’s Castle region, providing overnight accommodations in the heart of this provincial park. It is essential to University of Lethbridge students and faculty who study topics such as: mountain snowpacks, changing tree lines and the cognition, behaviour and ecology of wild hummingbirds.