Simple proxies for risk analysis and natural hazard estimation

This research is aimed at better characterizing the exposure associated with three particular natural hazards – earthquake, flood and wind. The work represents an unprecedented collaboration between three leaders in the field of natural hazards at Western University and the insurance industry through the efforts of individual interns and the associated projects aimed at evaluating risk and the resulting exposure from a practical and relatively simplified perspective.

Recipient Perspectives on Private Aid in Tanzania

My research examines the role of private funding as it increasingly shapes international aid. Despite trillions of dollars spent worldwide on government funded official aid, poverty is anything but a thing of the past. From a recipient perspective, is private aid any better? More Canadians are setting up private family foundations, and globally more private funding is flowing to poorer countries annually. Little is known about the work of private development aid in general and even less is known about the recipient’s experience.

Investigating the potential of a Vancouver Island Model Forest – A qualitative stakeholder analysis

This research project aims to investigate the potential of a Vancouver Island Model Forest. A model forest is a partnership-based process for working towards sustainable development of a forested landscape. We will arrange a stakeholder meeting to establish a common understanding of the concept and see if there is commitment from stakeholder groups to procees with development. By interviewing key forest stakeholders we will try to identify the common needs and possible areas of collaboration on the Island.

Development of Innovative Tools for Conducting Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment

All new infrastructure and natural resource projects being developed in Canada are required to undergo an Environmental Assessment. A key aspect of this regulatory process is the need to demonstrate that the activity will not adversely affect human or ecosystem health. It is through the science of human health and ecological risk assessment (HHERA) that these predictions are made. The science and toxicology of making these risk predictions more accurate continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

Evaluation of Solid-Phase Micro Extraction Technology for Environmental Monitoring

Volatile organic Compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) belong to the group of anthropogenic chemicals, meaning their effects are a result of human activity. VOCs are commonly found in the manufacturing process of paints, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants. Additionally VOCs can be used as gasoline additives, solvents and dry-cleaning agents. SVOCs are common to indoor environments and are often used in the production of plastics, detergents, furniture, and other household and consumer products.

Monitoring & Assessment of Vegetation Management Techniques in BC and Alberta

This project will involve the monitoring and assessment of newly implemented vegetation management processes at Spectrum Resource Group. The efficacy and consistency of herbicide application in forestry and industrially-related environments will be observed, and notes and recommendations will be made on how new procedures compare to traditional methods.

Accelerating Cycling Uptake Through Community based Social Marketing

Through the use of a community-based social marketing strategy that focuses on perceived benefits and barriers to urban cycling for transportation, the research project will serve to expand the services and usage of BikeChain: the University of Toronto’s not for profit bicycle repair shop. The work will increase the reach of BikeChain’s services within the campus population and provide a social platform to engage and support the uptake of cycling behavior.

Performance of cavity nesting birds breeding on reclaimed mine tailings

This study will assess the behaviour, physiology and reproduction of individual birds breeding on reclaimed mine tailings, and will provide a robust measure of the effectiveness of reclamation efforts on the Highland Valley Copper operating area.

Development of an isobar separator for anions for accelerator mass spectrometry

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry is a highly sensitive technique for measuring the concentration of certain long-lived isotopes, such as carbon-14. Recently, the use of an ion-gas reaction cell before the accelerator has been shown to enhance this sensitivity, particularly for smaller accelerators, and to extend the application of this technique to more isotopes. Isobarex Corporation has been formed to develop a commercial instrument embodying this technology and is currently designing such an instrument.