Increased Utilization of Forest Biomass for Energy Production: Greenhouse Gas Benefits and Ecosystem Impacts
In February 2009, the Ontario Government announced the Feed-In Tariff (FIT)Program which will play a premium for electricity that comes from renewable sources - wind, solar and biomass - to help curb fossil fuel emissions. The goal of this internship is to assess using unmerchantable wood - that which is not useful for traditional forest products such as paper and lumber - from Great Lakes - St. Lawrence forests to co-generate heat and electrical power in small gasification plants.
The proposed research is a collaboration between the Tree-Ring Lab at the University of British Columbia, Hinton Wood Products and the Foothills Research Institute Natural Disturbance Program to investigate the fire regimes of the mixed-conifer, mountain forests of the Rocky Mountain foothills of west-central Alberta. This pilot study will study the spatial and temporal variation of historical fires and reconstruct their impacts on forest structure and dynamics.
Forest roads can contribute significant amounts of sediment to nearby streams with subsequent impacts on aquatic ecology and water quality (including drinking water quality). This project will determine the triggers for sediment generation from forest roads in the Honna Watershed through controlled experiments using a large and small scale rainfall simulator and continuous turbidity monitoring.
This project targets a major research gap of the recently proposed Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), which is a North American green rating system for landscapes; scheduled to be released in 2011. Our research will focus on establishing the characteristics of urban trees that affect their ability to provision habitat to urban biodiversity (insects and birds)- which is a major objective of the SSI.
This project involves a technical evaluation of the use of electrokinetic (EK) technology to dewater sediments that built up behind the Orr Dam in Stratford, to facilitate their removal and the continuation of normal Dam activities. EK dewatering involves the use of an applied electric field to a mass of soil in order to facilitate the removal of water from the soil. When an electric field is applied, the water is moved from the anode (positively charged electrode) to the cathode (negatively charged electrode).
Testing for thresholds and defining targets – using bird habitat relationships to improve forest management on traditional lands of the West Moberly First Nations
Tree species composition – in particular the ratio of coniferous to deciduous trees – is likely a major evolutionary force shaping biodiversity in the boreal ‘mixedwood’ forest. There are concerns that logging practices are resulting in declines in the amount of old mixedwood stands in Canada’s western boreal forest, which may be having a negative impact on species adapted to mixedwood stands.
Population Estimation of the Western Conifer Seed Bug by Mark Release Recapture, and Calibration of a Visual Monitoring Technique
The western conifer seed bug is an important seed orchard pest in southern interior British Columbia, where it is responsible for significant seed loss, particularly in lodge pole pine and Douglas‐fir. In order to develop an economic damage threshold, i.e., when it would be economically justifiable to apply a pesticide treatment to protect the seed crop, it is critical that a monitoring technique is developed that will allow an accurate assessment of the numbers of seed bugs present, and hence an estimate of the damage this population can inflict.
Potential Tree Growth and Silvicultural Options for Maintaining Management Unit Productivity After Catastrophic Natural Disturbance
The central interior of British Columbia has experienced the largest mountain pine beetle epidemic in history and the government of BC is contemplating changes to silvicultural practices. As members of a collaborative group of government, industry and academia, the partner companies require research into two areas: forest productivity measures and economic performance measures.
Identifying and measuring the ecosystem and their economic value in a shade grown Mate Plantation/Atlantic rain forest restoration venture.
Guayaki is an American tea company looking for areas to showcase their environmental restoration and conservation initiatives and attract potential investors. By assessing the ecosystem services they have been working to conserve, ecosystem marketplaces will be able interpret the economic value of Guayaki‟s environmental initiatives. The Canadian owned resource management group Spectrum Resource Group would like to explore the opportunity of expanding into the ecosystem service assessment area.
Modeling transpiration deficits after disturbances and evaluating the sensitivity of southwest Yukon forest ecosystems to climate change
Climate models project that summers in the southwest Yukon will become increasingly warmer and drier, leading to more forest fires, a longer fire season and slower tree growth. This raises the question of how to manage forest resources sustainably so that they will continue to provide long-term benefits to local communities.