Pollinator Steward Certification Program

The role of the intern will be assisting with the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Pollinator Steward Certification program in the Province of Ontario. In addition, research undertaken by the intern will seek to assess alignment of stewardship training with expected certification outcomes and current evidence of good practice as well as develop a ‘report card’ that brings together existing measures of socio-ecological well-being to assist conservationists and stewards to benchmark and assess their conservation efforts.

The nexus of high frequency, big, and long-term data – catalysing new opportunities to support drinking water treatment

Within the prairies, water treatment brings unique challenges. Source waters are often nutrient rich, and within lakes, this can lead to enhanced cyanobacterial bloom risk, and elevated dissolved organic matter leading to production of disinfection by-products. There are myriad challenges, which can be supported by improved understanding of source waters, and improved technology supporting decisions for water treatment, and water resource management.

Automotive detection of urban features from multi-scale imagery using Deep Learning

Mobility is an essential component of routine life for everyone. Walking and biking are two major transportation modes that help residents meet most or all of their daily needs. However, several mobility-related challenges occur as a result of weak maintenance of urban infrastructure such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails, which can decrease the safety of residents and may lead them to opt for vehicle-based transportation instead. One of the main reasons behind poor infrastructure maintenance is inefficiency of traditional inspection methods.

Indigenous Co-Led Reclamation Research Project

This project will assist Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) and Fort Mckay First Nation bring a Suncor mine site back to its original ecological state and environmental functions. To best achieve this, Fort Mckay First Nation and Suncor will work together to ensure the new restored site will support the traditional practices of Fort Mckay First Nation. The research team will analyze how Suncor and Fort Mckay First Nation work together, best utilizing both Scientific and intergenerational Indigenous Knowledge to restore this mine site.

Disentangling Effects of Multiple Stressors on Nuisance Benthic Algae (Cladophora) in Nearshore Regions of the Great Lakes

We will analyze long-term monitoring data that were sampled over ten years from nearshore regions of the Great Lakes to find out key factors that cause the proliferation of nuisance benthic algae and fouling of shorelines of Lake Ontario in the Toronto–Durham region and throughout the Great Lakes. Additionally, we will test whether environmental DNA in water and sediment samples can be used to track the dispersal of nuisance benthic algae. Our project will contribute directly to the ongoing monitoring programs in the Great Lakes and will be relevant for management of nuisance benthic algae.

Sustainability Analysis of the VOCs Abatement Solution Proposed by SunHub Inc. for Small and Medium Enterprises in the Furniture Industry in China

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are major contributors to smog, causing harm to both the environment and human health. However, VOCs control faces tremendous challenges. The aggregation of low VOCs concentration emitted by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have significant environmental and social impacts. However, SMEs find the current “on the market” technologies impractical and too expensive in initial investments and operational maintenance costs. To help alleviate the problem, SunHub Inc.

Development of a novel IPM strategy for brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) using RNA interference (RNAi) technology - Year two

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys (Stål)) is an invasive pest with a large host range that includes many economically important fruits, vegetables, and row crops. Native to Asia, BMSB was first detected in North America in 1998 and since has become established in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario; and 44 American states. In order to develop efficient BMSB focused integrated pest management program (IPM), it is critical that novel alternative control tactics are investigated primarily because there are no effective insecticides available.

Effectiveness of vegetation and habitat characteristics as predictors of insect parasitoid populations - Year two

Climate change, land development, invasive species, and other disturbances can alter the composition, structure, and functions of native vegetation across landscapes. These disturbances also impact insect parasitoids, which are a key, and often overlooked, component of biodiversity. By their ability to control other insect populations, they are integral for fostering resilient and functional forests.

Geosynthetic drainage for improved stability of fine-grained materials in slopes & embankments

Innovative geosynthetic drainage products have been developed that have the potential to significantly benefit the stability of constructed embankments or reconstructed slopes especially where these are constructed from soil (or soil-like materials such as tailings) that are finer and less permeable (and thus weaker) then free-draining coarse-grained granular fills. Applications include reconstruction and stabilisation of natural slopes, embankments or dams constructed of (or at least partly from) mine tailings or other finer-grained materials.

Investigation of the relationship between firefighting water additive formulation and environmental fate and toxicity

Firefighting water additives are a mixture of chemicals that are mixed with water to more effectively extinguish fires (i.e., residential, industrial, forest fires). The use of these additives is likely to increase in fighting forest fires due to the projected increase in forest fire occurrence and intensity due to climate change. Ingredients of firefighting water additives used in the past were found to be persistent and detrimental to the environment.

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