Dr. Wenjun Chen, Ph.D

Research Scientist

Northern environmental monitoring and assessment

Current research and/or projects

My main research interests include national forest carbon budget, estimation of greenhouse gases emissions from land use changes over Canada’s Arctic, forest cover indicator, ecological indicators of national parks, caribou habitats monitoring, and assessment of the cumulative impacts of climate change and resource development on caribou in the Arctic.

Research and/or project statements

As a part of Northwest Territories Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, I am leading a project entitled “Satellite Monitoring for Assessing Resource Development’s Impact on Bathurst Caribou (SMART)”. Project partners include Natural Resources Canada, Environment and Natural Resources of the Government of Northwest Territories, Tlicho Government, Wek'èezhìi Renewable Resources Board, CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment Network (CARMA), Integrated Ecological Research Ltd., ERM-RESCAN, and the Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation. One of the goals of the project is to improve the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the zone of influence of resource developments in the Bathurst caribou habitat, and their relationships with caribou habitat use and productivity, by integrating traditional knowledge, field surveys, and remote sensing technology.

Education and awards



Ph.D., Biometeorology & Soil Physics, University of British Columbia, Canada, March 1997.



  • Nobel Peace Prize (2007), as an author contributing to the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shared the 2007 Noble Peace Prize with Mr. Al Gore
  • Public Service Award of Excellence (2009), Government of Canada, Innovation category for “Permafrost Thaw Impact Assessment Team”
  • NRCan Departmental Merit Awards
    • 2005 for “Canadian Council of Forest Minister’s Framework of Criteria and Indicator Review Team”
    • 2008 for “A Tool for Assessing Permafrost Thaw Impact on Land and Infrastructure”
  • Sector Merit Awards
    • 2003 (Earth Sciences Sector) for “CCRS team on Environment and Sustainable Development Indicators (Forest Cover Indicator and Extent of Wetland Indicator)”
    • 2004 (Canadian Forest Service) for “Canadian Council of Forest Minister’s Framework of Criteria and Indicators Review Team”
    • 2006 (Earth Sciences Sector) for “Land Use Change and Greenhouse Gases inventory over Canada’s North”
    • 2007 (Earth Sciences Sector) for “A Tool for Assessing Permafrost Thaw Impact on Land and Infrastructure”
    • 2008 (Earth Sciences Sector) for “Monitoring Ecological Integrity of National Parks Using Satellite Remote Sensing”
    • 2012 (Earth Sciences Sector) for “ParkSPACE”
  • Certificate of Appreciation (2004), Chair of Canadian Council of Forest Minister (CCFM) Archie Lang, for “CCFM’s Framework of Criteria and Indicators of Sustainable Forest Management”
  • Tu Zhangwang Meteorological Science and Technology Award (1990), the one and only first class, Chinese Meteorological Society, China, for “Simulating the Growth and Development Dynamics of Winter Wheat Based on the Cybernetic Theory”


Key publications

  • Chen, W., Chen, J.M., Liu, J., and Cihlar, J. Approaches for reducing uncertainties in regional forest carbon balance. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 14: 827-838.
  • Chen, W., Blain D., Li J., Keohler K., Fraser R., Zhang Y., Leblanc S., Olthof I., Wang J., McGovern M. 2009. Estimating carbon release caused by land use changes over Canada’s north during 1985–1990 and 1990–2000 using satellite Earth observation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, G01017, doi:10.1029/2007JG000631.
  • Chen, W., Zorn, P., Chen, Z., Latifovic, R., Zhang, Y., Li, J., Quirouette, J., Olthof, I., Fraser, R., Mclennan, D., Poitevin, J., Stewart, H.M., & Sharma, R. 2013. Propagation of errors associated with scaling foliage biomass from field measurements to remote sensing data over a Canada’s northern national park. Remote Sensing of Environment, 130, 205-218.
  • Chen, W., Russell, D.E., Gunn, A., Croft, B., Chen, W.R. , Fernandes, R., Zhao, H., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Koehler, K., Olthof, I., Fraser, R.H., Leblanc, S.G., Henry, G.R., White, R.G., & Finstad, G.L. 2013. Monitoring habitat condition changes during winter and pre-calving migration for Bathurst Caribou in northern Canada. Biodiversity, DOI:10.1080/14888386.2012.705110, 14: 36-44.
  • Chen, W., L. White, J.Z. Adamczewski, B. Croft, K. Garner, J.S. Pellissey, K. Clark, I. Olthof, R. Latifovic, and G.L. Finstad, 2014. Assessing the impacts of summer range on Bathurst caribou’s productivity and abundance since 1985. Natural Resources, 5: 130-145.