ELA Hackathon 2023

Oct 23 2023 09:00 - Nov 06 2023 17:00

(GMT-06:00) Central Standard Time - Regina


2 - 5 Person Teams


Hacking the world's freshwater laboratory

Want to hack one of the longest unbroken environmental datasets in the world?

Sure, you do…!

IISD Experimental Lakes Area is inviting all students and young professionals (ages 18 to 30) with coding experience and an interest in freshwater science, data science, or web and software design, to join us in an exciting new hackathon.

You will work alongside like-minded peers, combining knowledge from your different disciplines, to build public and open-source solutions to real environmental issues — and help protect Canada’s precious freshwater habitats.

We will introduce you to datasets that have been tracking the health of Canada’s fresh water for over 50 years, and others spanning hundreds of lakes and rivers, from the arctic to the maritime provinces. You’ll learn how to build a data product from start to finish, collaborate with a team, and work with established experts in the field who spend their days tackling issues from pollution and biodiversity loss to climate change.

Accelerating Ecology:

With the help of the RBC Tech-for-Nature fund, IISD-ELA has been piloting innovative technologies to accelerate freshwater ecosystem science. Watch the video to learn more.


With your team, you will work for two weeks to complete one of the following design challenges:

  1. Freshwater Health Assessment App

  2. Water Sampler’s Targeting App

  3. Water Data Dashboard Builder

Plants in a lakebed


The winning teams will have their solutions shared online (with full attribution) as open-source code for public use.

Participants of the winning teams will also be offered one of the following:

  1. an expenses-paid trip to ELA or a participating water monitoring program of your choice

  2. a camera-equipped drone, or

  3. outdoor, camping, or science equipment.


Here are the dates you need to know:

  • The 2-week virtual hackathon event will run from October 23 to November 6, 2023.

  • In-person opening events will be held at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Winnipeg on October 23, 2023 (virtual attendance will be made available for participants in other parts of Canada).

  • The deadline for registration is October 8, 2023.

Capacity is limited, so be sure to register soon if you think you have what it takes to hack the world's freshwater laboratory!

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