Who We Are

MAD Lab                                                                        

The words mistik and askîwin come from the Cree language and mean tree, and time respectively. Therefore, the Mistik Askîwin Dendrochronology Laboratory (MAD Lab) is concerned with looking back in time using trees and the valuable information they hold to understand how the trees’ environment has changed over time. The MAD Lab was launched in the spring of 2014 after moving to Saskatoon from Mount Allison University. The lab formed to investigate tree-ring related research questions in many areas of Canada and now through the tree-ring chronologies they have created, the MAD Lab is able to understand the climate history of various locations, date historical artifacts, and investigate how environmental contamination from humans has changed over time. 

The CLS is proud to be working in partnership with the MAD Lab to help deliver the TREE program. Visit the MAD Lab website for more information!

Dr. Colin Laroque, Director of MAD Lab and University of Saskatchewan Professor

Project Lead: Dr. Colin Laroque

Synchrotrons and trees both involve rings and contain a wealth of knowledge…and when you add Dr. Colin Laroque to the mix, you get some interesting stories! Colin is the Director of the MAD Lab at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S), a professor in Soil Science and School of Environment and Sustainability at the U of S, and has led many student-inquiry classes on campus. Colin has been involved with the Canadian Light Source Education programs since 2016 from being a science mentor for student groups to partnering with CLS to design and deliver the TREE program. Colin is registered SK Métis and shares his knowledge of trees through his ongoing research and conversations with trees. Check out his interview with the Climate Atlas of Canada where he speaks more on his unique perspective as a Métis scholar. 

Team Members

Chloe Canning, PhD Student

Past members:

Zach Person, Masters Student

Teagan Lubiniecki, Undergrad Research Assistant


The Canadian Light Source (CLS) is Canada’s only synchrotron and is located at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. The CLS is a world-class, state-of-the-art facility that advances Canadian science, enhances the competitiveness of Canadian industry, and contributes to the quality of science around the world. The CLS produces light that is millions of times brighter than the sun which researchers from all over the world use to study the physical, chemical and electronic properties of various materials and specimens. The four main areas of research at the CLS are agriculture, environment, health, and advanced materials but the facility is open to a wide variety of research. The CLS’s Education Team creates opportunities for educators, and students, to engage and learn from hands-on science research.

To learn more about CLS research, visit the CLS website! 

Tracy Walker, Canadian Light Source Education Programs Lead

Project Lead: Tracy Walker

Tracy is the Education Programs Lead at the Canadian Light Source. She has been involved in education with pre-kindergarten learners through the elementary, high school, and university levels of formal education in addition to the informal science education programs at the CLS. Following her passion, experiential transformative learning was the subject of research in achieving a Master’s degree in Education, Curriculum Studies. These experiences and learning intersect in developing programs at the CLS for professional development for fellow educators, high school students, post-secondary students, and colleagues at synchrotrons in Canada and around the world.

Team Members

Indigenous Language and Traditional Knowledge Contributors                           

**We are currently reviewing our Indigenous content and have taken it down. We aim to create more meaningful and appropriate content. We have developed an Indigenous Engagement Starting Points Resource for teachers/students looking to connect to Indigenous Groups as a starting point.**

Throughout the TREE program, there was reference to various Indigenous languages and Indigenous Knowledge across present-day Canada. We appreciate the initial work of Cooper Skjeie when this project began. We acknowledge Indigenous language support from Kato Carriere (Cree-Métis) of Cumberland House, SK and Theresa Toulejour (Dene-Métis) of La Loche, SK. We are grateful to Elder Stewart Prosper of One Arrow First Nation for sharing his experiences and advice with us.