Quantifying Erosional Processes to Inform Management Policy

Mistaken Point, Newfoundland, is not only a globally unique scientific resource for studying the rise of animal-life, but also a growing tourist destination. As the locality looks towards obtaining World Heritage status, it is essential that steps are taken to ensure that any development of the tourist industry does not adversely affect the long term conservation of the fossils. This project, using modern 3D modelling and experimental techniques will examine the historic effects of visitors to the rock outcrops, as well as test strategies for reducing footwear based abrasion of the specimens.

Passive optical remote sensing of channel bathymetry for monitoring of large river morphodynamics

Air photos and satellite images offer a comprehensive perspective on rivers that can be useful for the study and management of aquatic ecosystems. In particular, water depths can be determined remotely by relating image properties (color, brightness, etc.) to depths measured through fieldwork. However, this reliance on field data for calibration of the depth/image relationship requires costly, sometimes dangerous fieldwork and means the methods cannot be applied to data sources without associated field-measured depths.

Advanced mapping techniques applied to wetland drone base information

Wetlands are habitats for many fishes, aquatic invertebrates, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Wetlands are also important for people’s daily lives. They can renovate freshwater, store flood, and provide fishery resources. However, wetlands are being destroyed and polluted at alarming rates worldwide. This research tries to understand the current wetlands extent and states in mid-Alberta, Canada. We use an emergent Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and cutting-edge computer techniques to map wetland vegetation species and communities.

Feature extraction using 3D data acquired with a mobile scanning system designed for underground mining

The uGPS Rapid Mapper™ is a laser system mounted on a mining vehicle which acquires 3D images of tunnels in underground mines. Currently, engineers use the images for mine design and operations. This research project will create two new applications for the images acquired by the system: mapping of the geology of the tunnel walls (identifying different rock types, minerals veins and fractures) and making a tally of man-made objects (such as rock bolts, pipes and ventilation tubes).

Declassification and valorization of char materials from biofuels production

This research project is focused on char, a carbon compound which is similar to activated carbon found in water filters such as Brita. This char is produced as a by-product of a municipal waste treatment processes. The char currently produced has high levels of naphthalene, the volatile organic compound used as the principal ingredient in mothballs. Naphthalene is slow to break down, and thus we want to limit its leaching into soils and waterways. One method to do this, is to combine it with cement to prevent water from contacting the material.

Monitoring the Health of Vancouver’s Waterfront Over Time Using Indicators of Sustainability

Georgia Strait Alliance is seeking to undertake the creation of a framework and baseline analysis of indicators that reflect the current health and resilience of City of Vancouver’s waterfront over a broad cross-section of themes in order to further the objectives of their Waterfront Initiative (WI) project. Urban waterfronts globally are complex with multiple governing authorities, overlapping jurisdictions, and varying interests, all of which lead to a high degree of land-use conflict.

Exploring livelihood change in upland rural Hmong villages in Maguan County, Yunnan, China

My Master’s thesis will investigate how ethnic minority livelihoods, specifically those of ethnic minority Hmong (Miao) , have changed in rural Southwestern China over the last 20 years. Hmong communities have traditionally made their livelihoods around household based semi-subsistence agricultural production, based primarily on rice or maize. However, new state policies, technologies, and opportunities are changing the means by which Hmong individuals and households are making ends meet.

Review of Effectiveness of Investments in Renewable Energy for Social and Affordable Housing

This research will identify best practices for the design of renewable energy investment programs targeting the social housing sector. Involving mixed methods of research, including literature review, interjurisdictional scan, and strategic interviews with third party experts, the research will result in a set of actionable recommendations for provincial and federal governments, municipal social housing authorities, and other third party private sector actors involved in the renewable energy and social housing sectors.

Geologically-constrained geophysical inversions of a kimberlite pipe: A new approach to diamond exploration

Diamond-bearing kimberlites are enigmatic deposits due to their complex volcanic plumbing systems and variable preservation. Diamond concentrations will vary greatly with deposit-type, however, it is often difficult to effectively distinguish between types (without drilling) due to alteration or poor preservation. Furthermore, while geophysical methods are well established and effective techniques for kimberlite exploration, they require independent and costly constraints (e.g., drill hole data) to limit the number of geologically plausible targets.

Monitoring the genetic health and structure of Grizzly bear populations in British Columbia to inform ecotourism and resource management

Grizzly bears represent a valuable economic, ecological, cultural and symbolic resource for British Columbia. In order to preserve this resource the current population of brown bears needs to be monitored to ensure the health of the population. One marker of health is the genetic health of the population. Genetic monitoring can also tell us important information about how related different bear populations are and how well these populations are adapted to their ecosystem.