Strengthening Urban Forest Management in Halifax Regional Municipality

Urban-forest management is a complex enterprise in the 21st century. It is plagued by numerous diverse uncertainties. With this set of projects, as part of our larger program of urban-forest research, we aim to address key uncertainties as identified by HRM’s urban-forestry staff. One project will examine how urban-forest NGOs in Canada can support municipal tree programming. Another aims to develop guidance on conserving urban treenesting songbirds during the breeding season. The third seeks to strengthen the attention to climate change in the next iteration of urban-forest planning in HRM.

Investment Readiness Program Evaluation, Mapping & Peer Learning

The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) operates at the nexus of many social economy organizations in Canada and is leading the development of a platform for people to conduct social financing in Canada. Social finance involves investments which seek a measurable social or environmental impact in addition to generating a financial return for the investor. The social finance sector and the social economy it supports are growing rapidly in Canada, in particular in response to the Government of Canada’s commitment of $755 million through their Social Finance Fund.

Measuring the fate of naphthenic acids in wetlands using Polar Organic Chemical Integrative Samplers and Solid-Phase Microextraction - Year two

Treatment wetlands have emerged as a potential treatment option for oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) produced from bitumen extraction by the oil sands industry. Of particular interest is the removal of naphthenic acids (NAs), which are widely acknowledged as the primary constituents of toxicity in OSPW. Studies have demonstrated the capacity for NA removal in wetland environments; however, the specific mechanisms of removal for NAs in wetlands is not well understood.

Socially and physically based surf warning system to improve beach safety

Surf-related drowning fatalities represent a significant economic burden to the Province of Ontario but many public beaches in Ontario do not have lifeguard programs and there is also a lack of active monitoring of surf conditions to provide real-time warnings. Improving beach safety is complicated by the fact that rescues and drowning fatalities do not depend on the wave and current conditions alone, but also depend on the behavior of the beach user individually and as part of a group.

Climate Policies to Accelerate Soil Carbon Capture and Farm Health

Climate change is affecting BC farmers, with associated impacts to food security, community economic development, business risk management programs, and trade and innovation. With some of the oldest farmers in Canada, BC’s farmers also experience some of the lowest incomes in Canada.

Developing an educational module for multi-stakeholder facilitation linking nature-based climate solutions and IPCAs

Six million people in rural and Indigenous communities in Canada face water insecurity and associated risks to ecosystem functioning and biodiversity loss. Many of these communities could benefit from the implementation of nature-based solutions (NBCS). One challenge in the widespread implementation of these solutions is appropriate knowledge-sharing pathways, particularly in rural and Indigenous communities. This project will use the principles of reconciliation to develop strategies for knowledge dissemination in local communities.

Observation-based evaluation of cold-region land surface simulations under climate change

Canada depends on seasonal snowfalls for much of its freshwater supply, and climate change is expected to have a major impact on the quantity, and quality, of available freshwater. However, the models that scientists use to make
future projections of water availability are not perfect, which creates uncertainty in the exact future scenario that will unfold over the next 80-100 years.

Advancing Fisheries Adaptation to Climate Change in Canada

Climate change is rearranging the distribution of ocean life and threatening the viability of world-wild fisheries that people depend on for food, income and well-being. While ample evidence shows the impacts of climate change on fisheries, Canada is lagging behind in developing the science and solutions needed to help Canadian fisheries be more responsive and resilient. This Mitacs intern will develop and pilot-test a scientifically rigorous qualitative framework to assess the degree to which Canada’s commercial fisheries management is responsive and resilient to climate change.

Point-of-Purchase Barriers Impacting Canadian Consumers’ Decision to Purchase Sustainably Packaged Food

Nearly three quarters of Canadian consumers support banning single-use plastic food packaging in favour of more sustainable packaging options according (Walker et al., 2021). Barriers at the point-of-purchase, including a lack of availability, limit the purchase of sustainably packaged food in Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian consumers are facing additional barriers to purchasing sustainably packaged food products, including increased price sensitivity and safety fears (Scaraboto et al., 2020; Walker et al., 2021).

Leveraging native species restoration and remote sensing techniques for large-scale dust mitigation enhancement

This proposal aims to advance large-scale dust mitigation strategies in hydroelectric reservoir sites through improved revegetation outcomes, and through leveraging revegetation efforts to additionally enhance local biodiversity and cultural values. Our team has developed a strategic partnership between university researchers, BC Hydro, environmental industry partners, and the local First Nations community to provide an interdisciplinary and stakeholder-informed approach for decision-making that builds on existing reservoir mitigation programs and knowledge.

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