Advanced Earth Observation Technologies

UrtheCast is developing advanced cameras and sensors flying on a constellation of 16 satellites orbiting the earth in tandem pairs. The unprecedented data set requires innovation in advanced earth observation algorithms and applications, which will require novel techniques for analysis, simulations and advanced “big data” processing. The objective of this project is to put this data to good use. Never before has the world been viewed with such detail and precision.

Regional predictive mapping of paludification black spruce forests in the north eastern Canada using remote sensing and statistical modeling

As researchers at the UQAT we are currently undertaking with our partner, Tembec, a project on the regional mapping of the extent of the organic layer accumulation over time on the forest floor of the boreal black spruce forests (paludification) in the Abitibi and North of Quebec regions. Gaps that this project will address include exploring for the first time new remote sensing imagery (i.e., Landsat-8 and Sentinel) and alternate image analysis statistical approaches.

Optimizing Natural Fibre Quality for Industrial Applications

Natural fibres are abundant in Canada and have the potential to be used in a wide variety of biocomposites and industrial bioproducts. In order to develop a thriving biomaterials sector, the quality and consistency of this vast resource must be continually assessed and monitored to ensure a quality product can be delivered to end-users on a consistent basis.

Enhancing water stress tolerance in soybean through phytoglobin manipulations - Year two

The purpose of the project is to generate soybean plants able to tolerate whole plant submergence and waterlogging (soil submergence). This will be achieved by inducing Pgb, a gene normally present in soybean and known to confer tolerance to excessive humidity, through genetic manipulations. Correlative studies between Pgb expression and performance under excessive water conditions will also be conducted in commercial varieties of soybean. Similar studies will be conducted to assess the effect of altered Pgb level to drought stress.

Measuring Canada’s Urban Forest Footprint

In recent years, with increased urbanization, the beneficial role of urban trees and forests has become critical for Canadian residents. Despite this recognition, there is little knowledge of the extent of urban forestry activities being performed across the country; one of the reasons for this is that urban foresry is happening under different labels. In addition, there is no federal or provincial support or records of work being done. Urban forestry is the responsibility of municipal governments.

Building Community Capacity on Local Energy: Extending the Community Energy Explorer Web-tool

(CEE) is a unique, interactive and visually compelling web-resource to build capacity of citizens, decision-makers, and local government staff on community energy and related land use issues. The objective of this 2-year project is to improve, expand and launch a public version of CEE in the Metro Vancouver region, and initiate a process to foster uptake and replication across BC.

Developing spatial and participatory resolutions for the Canadian Aboriginal housing crisis

The Aboriginal housing situation in Canada is in crisis with a lack of culturally and environmentally appropriate housing. A Participatory Approach towards Housing Solutions (PATHS) Framework has been developed that recognizes and visualizes the strengths and limitations of communities, and assesses pathways with which they may achieve their housing goals. Communities are actively engaged in order to identify their aspirations and translate them into measurable indicators and associated capitals.

The effect of fire cycle and fire severity on the presence of black spruce, jack pine, and trembling aspen in the boreal forest of Canada in the context of climate change

Projected climate change is expected to alter fire regimes across the boreal forest, which in turn will affect forest community structure, composition and diversity. The intern will examine the effects of changes in climate, and by extension, fire cycle, on the presence of three most common tree species in the boreal forest of Canada. Specifically, he will be tasked with developing a model capable of simulating the presence of black spruce, jack pine, and trembling aspen under varying fire cycles.

Minimizing crop stress with micronutrients: Agronomics

When plants are stressed they produce "reactive oxygen species" (ROS). Plants manage ROS with specific enzymes, many of which require micronutrients for activity. In the case of herbicide tolerant crops, the application of herbicide kills weeds in the crop but also stresses the crop for a time. The proposed work will test the hypothesis that crop plants will be better able to deal with stress resulting from herbicide application, when they are given additional micronutrients, in the form of Axter products spray-applied to crop leaves. The crops used in this work will be soybean and corn.

Developing Strategic Planning Tools to Support Forest Industry Transformation

Much of the management theory taught in today’s classrooms is focused on consumer-based, growth businesses rather than natural resource-based, cyclical industries. This study will examine how natural resource industries, such as forestry, recognize and adapt to structural (permanent) challenges in their market environment.

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