Modelling excessive scour in river channels

Many engineering projects are undertaken on and around rivers, such as the construction of bridges and the placement of pipes under river beds. These engineering projects modify flow conditions away from those which occur naturally, inducing additional sedimentation and scour. This research will focus on a deep scour hole in the riverbed at the Alex Fraser bridge on the Fraser River in British Columbia. In this location a great deal of engineering work has been undertaken, leading to the development of the deep scour.

Soil Gas Field and Analytical Research at Tundra Sinclair Field

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can deliver needed substantial emission reductions as we transition to alternative fuels. However, it is important to verify that CO2 being injected into the subsurface is well contained within the geologic container. This student will construct soil gas wells, as well as conduct surface monitoring research to define normal fluctuations of soil gases in soil, and compare to situations of expected leakage.

Controlling microbial processes in fracing fluids

Unconventional gas reservoirs are a great energy resource in the province of BC and Alberta and thus for Canada in general. Extracting this resource is not as straight forward as conventional gas reservoirs and requires hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracing or fracking, which has recently become a controversial topic in the public eye. This research project will examine water and fluids used in and returning from frac operations with respect to its geochemistry and bacterial populations.

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.