Green Roofs as a Stormwater Management Tool

For the continuation of the MITACS internship, the intern will be analyzing the effect of variable liner dimension on separate green roof systems. The data collected from several design storms, in addition to, natural precipitation will be used to determine which system best reduces peak flows from green roofs. The intern will also be involved in working on an integrated stormwater management plan and low impact, sustainable development methods.

Assessing the suitability of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for data collection

The research project intends to test various aspects of data collection using a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in order to assess the suitability for small sites (~1 ha). Ideal conditions for UAV based mapping will be determined and compared to other traditional methods. To identify suitable conditions, the relationship between accuracy and several factors (the flying height, observational angle) will be assessed as well as limitations such as the effect of wind and distance to target. Various software will be utilized to address the accuracy of image stitching.

Space-borne water quality assessment

Understanding river water quality is critical for various purposes such as ensuring drinking water safety, protecting public health and aquatic habitat, monitoring pollution, and disease control. The traditional approach to investigating water quality is by acquiring water samples at fixed-locations, which is time and cost consuming and cannot discover spatial distribution of water quality over a large area. The goal of this proposal is using remote sensing imagery to provide a complementary method to map and monitor water quality in large areas at real time.

Methods to improve high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery in support ofurban waste heat mapping, monitoring and metrics

This proposal builds on 4 years of research in the award winning HEAT (Heat Energy Assessment Technologies) project. Every year, billions of GJ of wasted heat leave millions of buildings in thousands of cities world-wide. In an effort to support urban energy efficiency, this research proposes four novel image post-processing techniques to improve/ verify the geometry, radiometry and the processing of large volumes of high-resolution airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery. Results are expected to enable more accurate urban waste heat mapping and refined waste heat metrics.

Unpaved forest roads as a source of suspended sediment in the Honna River watershed

The Honna River is the drinking water source for the Village of Queen Charlotte (pop. 950), and is also important salmon habitat. Sediment from unpaved forest roads near the river may be entering the channel in significant quantities, reducing water quality. In two previous internships, intern David Reid implemented a channel reach-scale study of all sediment sources in the Honna River in an effort to collect data regarding the quantity of sediment contributed from the road, and also regarding how this quantity compares to natural sediment sources.

Education in the field; using behavioral wildlife research to inform the interpretive program of an eco-tourism operation

Knight Inlet Lodge is an eco-tourism resort specializing in grizzly bear viewing, and caters to both national and international clients. The business requires research to improve their interpretive program by informing guide naturalists on the function of observed bear behaviour. Research is required to: 1) assess the relatedness and movements patterns of regularly observed bears, 2) assess the use of bear scent marking trees in the surrounding estuary, 3) assess how local food availability (salmon) affects the social behaviour of bears.

Multiscale Data Assimilation and Modeling for Nowcasting and Beyond Year Two

Nowcasting encompasses a detailed description of the current weather along with forecasts during the next several hours. Most current nowcasting techniques, such as MAPLE (the McGill Algorithm for Prediction by Lagrangian Extrapolation) used in The Weather Network/Pelmorex Media Inc., are based on temporal extrapolation of radar and satellite imagery. Recent advances in observation networks, high-resolution numerical models, and in particular the data assimilation methods have great potentials to improve nowcasting accuracy.

Citizen data for cycling research: App development

Canadians are increasingly using cycling as a means of transportation. However, understanding the risks is problematic as data is limited. To address this, the Spatial Pattern Analysis and Research (SPAR) Lab has created a web-map,, to gather data from cyclists on crashes, near misses, hazards, and thefts. Cyclists around the world have enthusiastically begun to map points. However, requires a web-browser, which, in this day and age of mobile devices, limits its functionality.

Extraction, isolation and identification of activemolecules in Kisameet Clay

Initial studies on the Kisameet Bay Clay Deposit by Dr. Ernest Hauser of MIT in the early 1950's showed the unique properties of this clay deposit. To build on this early research and make clear a distinction between Kisolite and other clays on the market, we have chosen to invest in modern research. As such, a research intern from the University of British Columbia will use and evolve modern chemical characterization techniques to isolate and identify the biologically active (i.e. antimicrobial) organic components of Kisolite.

Research Consortium: Advanced Computational Methods for Geophysical Electromagnetics Modeling, Inversion and Integration

Electromagnetic (EM) methods are commonly used for geophysical exploration in various applications such as mineral exploration, hydrocarbon detection, management of fresh and salt water and CO2 and reservoir monitoring. While in the past, EM methods suffered from expensive data collection, new systems now collect massive amounts of data over space and time, and new instrumentation allows for higher quality and accuracy of the data.