Exploring a century of change through repeat photography on the Alsek River

Historical survey images of mountains, glaciers, vegetation, and river features captured during the 1906 Alaska Border Survey will be repeated on the Alsek River by PhD student Christopher Rhodes. The sites of the original images will be accessed by river rafting during expeditions with Canadian River Expeditions down the Alsek River. The goal is to track landscape and ecological changes using repeat photography. For the intern, this is a critical component of his PhD thesis.

Development and calibration of an acoustic telemetry transmitter for identifying predation events

Acoustic telemetry is a rapidly expanding technology to quantify the movement and behavior of aquatic animals; key for developing effective management for aquatic ecosystems. Acoustic telemetry uses transmitters affixed to aquatic animals that are detected by receivers placed in aquatic ecosystems. An important problem that limits telemetry is the assumption that the detected transmitter represents the originally tagged animal and not a predator that has eaten the tagged animal (i.e. tag is in the predator’s stomach).

The New Economy: Empowering Business Through Organizational Thinking

Due to consumer demand for social and environmental responsibility, accountability and transparency, businesses are looking to redefine stakeholder value as more than just financial returns. This paradigm shift in business allows for progressive organizational thinking and the adopting of alternative forms of business organization that embed principles of corporate social responsibility.

Strategic Planning for Cumulative Impact Assessment in Metlakatla Territory

The proposed research program is a planning process that will help to enable the Metlakatla Development Corporation to meaningfully participate in regional development. There are 29 major projects proposed in the traditional territory of the Metlakatla First Nation and these projects will have significant costs and benefits. The current project-based cumulative effects assessment as required in environmental assessment legislation is not able to adequately address potentially significant environmental and socioeconomic changes that accumulate from individual projects.

Soil Vapour Assessment and Ontario Regulation 153/04 Environmental Site Investigations in Ontario

Based on the evaluation of modelled soil vapour concentrations it is common for soil contaminants of concern (i.e., volatile contaminants) to pose a potential health risk to receptors via the soil-to-indoor air vapour migration pathway. However, it is understood that the approach used to model vapour concentrations in indoor air, though acceptable to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, is highly conservative based on the assumptions related to the maximum soil concentrations and potential for natural attenuation of soil vapours.

Evaluation of tools for assessing organic chemicals for human health and ecological exposure and risk assessment

Society uses thousands of chemicals and the potential risks to humans and the environment for the vast majority of these chemicals are largely unknown. It is not feasible to measure all of the chemicals and there are substantial data gaps; therefore, models are required to screen and evaluate chemicals for potential exposures and risks to humans and the environment and to address data gaps. ARC Arnot Research & Consulting develops models for screening-level exposure and risk assessment. There is a need to test these models.

Development of soil quality guidelines for use in health risk assessments of contaminated pipeline compressor station sites

Intrinsik has identified a number of key chemical-pathway combinations that are missing environmental quality guidelines but frequently required for evaluating risks at pipeline compressor stations. With support from senior scientific personnel at Intrinsik, the intern will used environmental risk assessments methods to develop risk-based environmental quality guidelines that are relevant to the land use scenario(s) typical of pipeline compressor stations.

Rainy Day Solutions: Enhancing Rain Gardens

With over 80% of the Canadian population dwelling in urban centers, design for sustainable urban environments is tantamount to the health and happiness of 21st century Canadians. The City of Victoria (CoV) would like to incorporate green infrastructure into their integrated storm water management plan. Over the past four years, nine rain gardens have been installed in the CoV as pilot projects. Their function as storm water catchment areas and supporting ecological communities needs to be determined.

Human well-being, ecosystem services and watershed management in the Credit River Valley: Web-distributed mechanisms and indicators for communication and awareness

The importance of ecosystem services to human well-being, and of management of water and other watershed resources in maintaining such services, is not commonly understood by the general public, and not well-enough articulated by environmental management and governance organizations. Beneficiaries of such services are often unaware of the nature of their dependence upon supporting ecosystems. This is particularly true in urbanized watersheds, to the point where researchers discuss “nature deficit disorder” as an aspect of this disconnection.