Whitebark Pine and Grizzly Bear Research and Recovery in Southwest BC

Whitebark pine is an important high elevation species in BC’s coastal mountains, but it is vulnerable to extinction due to threats such as pest outbreaks and climate change. The species is therefore in dire need of restoration and research to both sustain future populations, and improve scientific knowledge of its ecological functions. The internship involves assisting in an enhancement and research program being conducted by Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. and the Lillooet Tribal Council.

Beating a Dead Horse Creek: Enhanced removal of nutrients, organic pollutants, and toxicity from sewage lagoons and receiving waters by manipulative constructed wetland microcosms at Dead Horse Creek, Manitoba

Our overall project objective is to determine factors to optimize removal of nutrients and organic micropollutants (e.g., pesticides, and pharmaceuticals and personal care products aka “drugs”) in rural municipal sewage lagoons, through manipulative experiments with bench-scale and field-scale constructed wetlands.  This work will provide sound science on how best to remove such contaminants from wastewaters prior to release to receiving waters, and would enhance the quality and sustainability of water for the people of Manitoba.

Evaluation of the remedial actions in the Toronto and Region Area of concern

The Toronto and Region Area of Concern (TRAOC) has been one of the most polluted sites in the Great Lakes posing health risks to millions of people. The Remedial Action Plan (RAP) has made significant progress towards restoring the system and meeting the delisting targets. Yet, several critical questions still need to be addressed, such as: How close is the Toronto ecosystem currently to meeting the TRAOC RAP delisting criteria? What additional research and assessment will be required to guide remedial actions? Which attributes best reflect the integrity and health of the ecosystem?

Development of an agent-based model to assess the industry-induced impacts on woodland caribou habitat selection and use in Alberta.

The objective of this project is to develop a computational simulation model designed to determine how the resource-extraction industries of oil, gas and forestry influence woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) habitat selection and use in west central Alberta. Specifically, an agent-based model will simulate caribou as individual agents that 1) are capable of making trade-off decisions to maximize their reproductive success and survival, 2) are spatially aware of their surrounding environment, and 3) can learn where to forage, while concurrently avoiding predators and habitat disturbance.

An Evaluation of Extinction-Risk Criteria for Pacific Salmon Conservation Units

The objective of this research project is to improve the definition of extinction-risk for Pacific salmon species by determining which extinction-risk criteria best reflect the chance of quasi-extinction (extremely low abundance) for the individual conservation units (CUs), which are spatially-defined management units. Two sets of evaluation criteria will be used; those developed for Canadian biota by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and another set developed by the intern.

Application of a Computational Fluid Dynamics and Experimental Approach to Fuel Cell Humidifier Optimization

The operation of a fuel cell to produce electricity requires a number of components outside the fuel cell stack itself. One key component is the humidifier. Proper operation of a Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell requires a certain humidity level to be maintained in the membrane(s) present in the stack; the humidifier fulfills this requirement by transferring moisture from the exhaust gas stream to the inbound fuel, as well as increasing efficiency by preheating the fuel with waste heat in the exhaust.