Using stable isotope analysis to investigate a food web connection between coal waste contamination and a forest community

A coal mine operating on the Snuneymuxw First Nation reserve lands between 1913 and 1939 has left mine waste that has contaminated the soil, sediment, groundwater and surface water with metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Human health and ecological assessments are being conducted in the area to determine how best to deal with the contamination in the area.

Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. The two leading agents of mortality are hypothesised to be food availability for growth and pathogen / parasite infection. The Hakai Institute Juvenile Salmon Program is explicitly addressing these two hypotheses.

Fibre response to temperature and precipitation variation in natural and planted stands of spruce (Picea glauca x Engelmannii) in northern interior British Columbiaa

This goal of this research project is to understand how wood fibre characteristics within planted and natural stands of spruce behave with changes to temperature and precipitation. Several methods of wood analysis will be used to determine this relationship including dendrochronology, scientifically dating tree-rings and comparing to climate, and analysis of fibre qualities, or cellular wood qualities, within samples of both natural and planted stands of spruce.

Effects of Introduced Honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on Native Stem Nesting Bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in Temperate, Mixed-wood Forests

The present study investigates the impact of Eurasian honeybees on the functional diversity and reproductive ability of native stem-nesting bees. Honeybees have the potential to compete with native stem-nesting bees, however, currently no studies have examined this interaction in North American temperate forests. The main goal of this project is to develop a more mechanistic understanding of bee community composition and distribution, in particular, under the threat of exotic introduction.

Evaluating the potential of using a Canadian Sudangrass hybrid and ryegrass as companion crops for alfalfa establishment

Alfalfa is a legume forage crop that is intensively grown in Canada and represents a major feed source for livestock ruminants (i.e. dairy cows). When establishing pure stands of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) there are two primary options to minimize weed encroachment: the use of herbicides or the use of companion crops. Companion crops will minimize weed development during the establishment year, provide more harvestable forage biomass, and reduce risks of erosion.

Understanding historical forest landscape dynamics in the Alberta foothills

An emerging strategy for managing natural resources such as Canada's forests more sustainably and responsibly is to use knowledge of how Mother Nature has done it to help guide our hand. This so-called ‘ecosystem-based” approach has gained favour with provincial and federal governments, as well as national and international certification agencies.

Grazing patterns of bison vs. cattle in response to management strategies designed to improve habitat for Species at Risk

It is well established that livestock producers are effective land stewards and contribute to high productivity and wildlife habitat on grazed lands. The effectiveness of many management practices are established, but uncertainty remains, particularly in interactions between practices at large-scales. We propose to track grazing patterns of bison and cattle using GPS collars at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) Old Man on His Back Conservation Area (OMB) in response to various strategies (e.g. burning, fencing, weed control) over 3 years at multiple scales of observation (e.g.

Ecosystem Services and Food Security for the Lil’wat Nation

The Lil’wat Nation is working to foster community food security by restoring and activating Indigenous knowledge around traditional food systems. Our project examines ‘Ecosystem Services’ approaches as one way to support local food security while also protecting culturally-important environmental services. Led by a Lil’wat Food Committee, this project will engage community members in community planning and visioning exercises that evaluate what future paths for environmental stewardship are the highest priority.

Achieving quality control during veneer drying by using big data statistics

Veneer drying has traditionally been done using a qualitative approach. Although it is effective in assessing how any modification in parameters impacts veneer quality, it often yields a significant loss in quality due to delays involved in reaching the kiln's steady state following parameter modification. However, kilns are now being equipped with various sensors that allow the tracking of many parameters related to both the kiln and the veneers. The research objective is to link raw material characteristics with the veneer drying process.

Achieving aspirations of Canadian aboriginal communities through participatory cultural mapping and dynamic decision modelling

The aspirations of aboriginal communities are a critical part of decision making regarding land and resource use, policy and community development, and strategic planning. To help achieve aboriginal aspirations, this project aims to
develop, apply, and evaluate a novel approach to aid aboriginal community decision making and solution creation/implementation.

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