Alberta High Resolution Wetland Inventory Methodology Development

This project aims to operationalize innovative methods for developing cost effective wetland inventories across Alberta by use of numerous sources of remote sensing data, namely light detection and ranging (LiDAR), synthetic aperture Radar (SAR), and optical imagery.

Magnetic surveying with a new high-precision fluxgate magnetometer on a rotary-wing unmanned aircraft system

Balch Exploration Consulting Inc. (BECI) develops low cost geophysical survey solutions to the natural resources sector. They are investing in the development of a rotary-wing unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with a new high-precision fluxgate magnetometer. The general objective of this internship is to develop a rotary-wing UAS for aeromagnetic surveying.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for quantifying natural disaster damages in crops of Alberta

The agriculture sector is one of the major pillars in the Canadian economy based in cereal, pastureland for cattle, and biofuel (wheat, canola and barley), and was estimated to be a $7 billion industry in 2015 in Alberta. It is also one of the most economically risky activities since the value of the yield is affected by market fluctuations and it is often affected by extreme weather episodes, especially hail storms in the summer, that provoke important yield losses.

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).