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.

Investigating the benefits of natural habitats and farmland heterogeneity for the diversity and abundance of insect pollinators in southern Ontario

To address the increasingly important problem of global insect pollinator declines, this project will investigate the relationship between three different natural habitat types (hedgerow, forest patch and restored prairie grass) and their impacts on wild pollinator biodiversity in Canada. This will be studied through the use of Malaise traps place on agricultural land adjacent to these key habitats to monitor for changes in abundance and diversity of native pollinators.

Understanding Coastal Ecosystem Response to Nature-Based Climate Adaptation Methods in a Cold Climate

The maritime provinces are currently facing questions around how to create more resilient coastal communities in the face of a changing climate, specifically due to impacts of sea level rise and increasing severity and frequency of storm events. One option for adapting to climate change is to move away from hard infrastructure towards softer/greener approaches, such as nature-base adaptation solutions, also known as “building with nature”.

Modeling the climatic impact of lakes in Tsay Keh Dene Nation and Carcross /Tagish First Nation territories of northwestern Canada

Lakes and reservoirs affect regional weather but their influence on the average environmental conditions in the remote, sparsely monitored, northwest of Canada has seldom been investigated. This study examines the climatic influences of lakes and reservoir impoundment on two First Nations territories in southern Yukon and northern British Columbia, using an atmospheric model alongside a lake model. Two 10-year meteorological simulations, corresponding to pre- and post-impoundment conditions, and for landscape with and without the lakes, respectively, will be used.

CASI Platform, Environment pillar: Benchmarking the environmental and climate performance of Canadian Agriculture

By 2050, agri-food systems must produce enough to feed 9 to billion people, while reversing trends of environmental degradation caused in part by agriculture production. This is no small task, and underscores why countless sustainable agriculture standards, certifications, initiatives and platforms have emerged to encourage and measure the impacts of sustainable agriculture practices.

Root associated microbiome of trees growing in a fractured bedrock toluene phytoremediation site - Year two

Phytoremediation is a promising in-situ technology that uses plants and its associated microorganisms (particularly bacteria and fungi) to clean up contaminated soils. The efficacy of these processes however, requires an in-depth knowledge on the diversity of microbial communities closely interacting with plant roots. Several studies have demonstrated that plants growing in contaminated soils select for competent microorganisms able to degrade these contaminants.

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