In 1994 and 1996 Canadian and US government agencies headed up the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere study (BOREAS). BOREAS was a large-scale international interdisciplinary experiment in the northern boreal forests of Canada. The BOREAS program was completed in November 1996, however, several sites continued, including the sites in Saskatchewan, under the new study heading of the Boreal Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Sites (BERMs). There currently are three main study sites in the southern boreal forest of Saskatchewan, each representing a different forest type. The BERMS sites are also part of the Fluxnet-Canada network comprised of seven flux stations in Canada.
In June 2002, continuous measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, N2O and SF6 begun at the BERMs old black spruce (OBS) forest site, to compliment the ongoing CO2 and water flux measurments. A weekly flask-sampling program for isotopic analysis of 13C and 18O in CO2 was also added. The OBS site is located approximately 100km NE of Prince Albert within the Prince Albert national park. The vegetation is mostly black spruce, but approximately 15% of the forest consists of deciduous-type larch.