Quantifying the Volume and Biomass of Logging Residue Piles using Drones

This project aims to use drones and machine learning to measure the net volume of wood residue left in piles after harvesting. The dry content of these piles, known as BIOMASS, can be utilized and reduce the use of non-renewable energies and materials. Since this residue is usually burned, the utilization can also decrease the risk of wildfires, that are increasing in severity and frequency.

Structural controls and modification of the Big Bulk Cu-Au porphyry system, Stewart District (northwest BC): constraining the geologic environment during porphyry emplacement

Porphyry Cu-Au-Mo systems, especially those formed along continental active margins, are generally considered to have formed in contractional tectonic environments of crustal thickening, surface uplift and rapid exhumation (e.g., Sillitoe, 2010). The tectonic environment of porphyry systems formed in island arcs, such as those located within the Stikine terrane of northwestern BC, are not as well understood.

Assessment of Climate Change-induced Geohazards for Ice-clad Canadian Volcanoes and Mountains

In Canada’s mountains, climate change is leading to the retreat of glaciers, permafrost thawing and accelerated snowmelt. These factors contribute to a significant increase in slope stability hazards and the risk of landslides, placing numerous communities and critical infrastructure at risk. Volcanoes are particularly vulnerable as they are commonly hydrothermally altered and weakened, thereby compounding the effects of climate change and further increasing the associated risk of collapse.

A Snow Water Equivalence Estimation Prediction (SWEEP) System to Improve Hydrologic Forecasts in British Columbia

The mountains of British Columbia store vast, but varying, amounts of water in winter snowpacks. Accurate estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in these mountains are critical for hydroelectric power generation and flood forecasting, but the current observation network is often insufficient. Working with both industry and academic partners, Mitacs interns will use airborne laser measurements of snow depth, satellite-based observations of snow cover, and ground-based snowpack measurements to reduce errors in river forecasting.

Assessment of fire and Mountain-Pine Beetle-induced impacts to Chinook Salmon habitat in the Nicola and Bonaparte Watersheds

Recent severe forest fire activity and loss of vegetation from Mountain Pine Beetle has resulted in impacts to river channel stability and Chinook salmon habitat in several key sub-catchments of the Thompson River Watershed. Interest exists in conducting remedial work to improve and restore salmon habitat in several locations, but risk of ongoing channel instability from forest cover change continues.

Salmon Early Marine Survival Research Program: Phase 2

Salmon are inarguably one of the most culturally, ecologically, and economically important fish in British Columbia, however, their stocks have been declining since the 1990’s. The Cohen Commission of Enquiry expert panel emphasized that juvenile mortality during the first months at sea was the most likely cause of fishery declines. This Mitacs project represents Phase 2 of a research initiative addressing the role of ocean conditions in the early marine survival of juvenile salmon.

Regional Variation and Geologic Controls on the Porosity and Permeability of the Silurian Lockport Group, southwestern Ontario

The Lockport Group is a succession of carbonate rocks that subcrops in southwestern Ontario. It is of great interest as a source of potable water at shallow depths in Wiarton-Guelph-Hamilton area, of production of oil/natural gas and storage of natural gas and as a hydrochemical indicator interval for potential disposal of nuclear wastes in the deep subsurface. Recently, the Oil, Gas and Salt Resouces (OGSR) Library has published a database of over 28,000 analyses of porosity and vertical and horizontal permeability from 491 wells.

Stabilization of Mine Tailings with Inorganic Polymer Binder

The project aims to refine a process developed by Terra CO2 Technologies to use a small proportion of geopolymer cement made from mine tailings to solidify and stabilize a bulk volume of tailings against leaching and water contamination.

Conservation physiology to inform management of economic activity: using hormones to identify stressors to grizzly and black bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

Wildlife have remarkable adaptations for responding to environmental change; however rapid increases in the magnitude of environmental disturbances may compromise their ability to cope. Physiological measures, such as hormones, provide a window into the responses of wildlife to environmental change. We propose to identify and rank the relative importance of multiple potential stressors that could influence grizzly and black bear physiology on the

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central coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Sequence Stratigraphic Architecture of the Grand Rapids Formation and Equivalents, East-Central Alberta and West-Central Saskatchewan, Canada

Understanding of Earth history involves many approaches. In the case of this project, the focus is understanding the distribution (paleogeography) of ancient shallow-marine and coastal environments of Alberta and Saskatchewan during the Lower Cretaceous. The Grand Rapids Fm represents an important interval that occupies a crucial location for resolving the history of such environments, particularly those relevant to the oil sands-bearing McMurray Fm and the heavy oil-bearing Lloydminster area units.

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