Investigating contaminant-related health effects in killer whales (Orcinus orca) using omics

Resident killer whale populations in British Columbia (BC) are listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as “threatened” and “endangered” for the northern and southern populations, respectively. Common pollutants such as PCBs and PBDEs, are considered a significant impediment to the recovery of resident killer whales. These chemicals bioaccumulate throughout the food web and strongly affect apex predators in marine ecosystems.

HeliCat Canada Indigenous Relations Strategic Engagement Plan

In today’s landscape, it is important for businesses to acknowledge the complex histories of the land on which they operate and engage with truth and reconciliation within their policies and practices. The goal of this project is to support Helicat Canada (HCC) with its reconciliation efforts with local Indigenous Peoples by developing a strategic engagement plan to support mutually beneficial relations between HCC and its members and Indigenous Peoples.

Cities Adapt to Climate Change: Celebrating Local Leadership

The risks of natural hazards in Canada are increasing, and studies have shown many disaster risk reduction projects have benefits greater than their costs. However, municipal climate adaptation projects face limited resources that support implementation. This Project will research and write two books of case studies about successful municipal climate adaptation projects in Canada, extending ICLR’s “Cities Adapt” series.

Promoting economic development and vitality of rural communities in Ontario - Year two

Many rural regions do not have a sufficient labour force providing the skills that rural businesses need. Many job vacancies go unfilled or are filled by less than ideal candidates. This research looks at strategies to attract and retain the workers that Ontario rural communities need to generate economic development and vitality. By engaging local actors, the researcher will analyze the various dimensions influencing attraction and retention of an appropriate labour force such as affordable and attainable housing, transportation, access to health services, education/training services.

The Impacts of Roads and Farming on Raised Bog Hydrology

This project will investigate the impacts of historical land use on Langley Bog to better understand how these unique ecosystems are affected by cranberry farming and fill roads. Bogs require a high water table and high acidity to maintain conditions suitable for bog-specific vegetation to grow. To determine whether the site is moving away from bog habitat, water levels, water quality, and vegetation will be monitored for four months across twelve different locations using a series of ground wells.

Expanding chemical oxygen demand (COD) profiles to validate contaminant specific degradation in freshwater environments and indicators of ecosystem function

Environmental scientists examining large-scale ecosystem processes (e.g., climate change, contaminant effects) are increasingly charged with collecting high-quality data on a more rapid timeline and extending the application of that data spatially and temporally. IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is a field research station comprised of 58 pristine lakes and their watersheds. This area has been set aside exclusively for research to influence environmental policy and regulations in favour of protecting Canada’s freshwater resources.

Opportunities for and impacts of community-scale biomass and waste heat district energy systems in Canada

Solid biomass, of which Canada has plenty, is the lowest cost, and greatest employment generating, renewable heat source available but to date but is not often considered as a low carbon heating option for deployment on a large scale in Canadian cities. For solid biomass to reach a high market share, a key enabling infrastructure is required: district energy systems (DES). While there are existing DES in Canada, they provide less than 2% of all building heat in the country.

The Acquisition of Land for Community Benefit: Dynamics of Organizational Structure and Management

Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative (Union Co-operative) seeks to democratize city-building by empowering its members to collectively buy, upgrade, and manage commercial and residential properties to improve the environmental, social, and economic health of Waterloo Region. This project will support the evolution of the Co-operative’s model, the development of affordable housing for refugees, and create templates that can be implemented by other communities seeking to establish affordable rents and community control of property.

Equity in Rural Transit: Investigating the Feasibility of Permanent Public Transit in Wellington County, Ontario

The availability and reliability of public transit has been a long standing equity issue for residents living in rural communities. This issue significantly impacts those who have lower incomes, the elderly, children, and people with disabilities. Access to of consistent and secure funding has been the main factor challenging the sustainability of rural transit. This research focuses on understanding funding opportunities, challenges, and solutions for rural communities through a case-study of RIDE WELL in Wellington County, Ontario.

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