Serpentinites are a type of rock that are reactive with CO2 and convert it to solid minerals that are stable on geologic time scales; this process is known as carbon mineralization. These rocks are often associated with economic mineral deposits in Canada and elsewhere, and mines at these locations can offset, or even have a net-negative carbon output. The density and magnetic properties of these rocks vary depending on their reaction potential, meaning that geophysical measurements at the surface may be used to locate and estimate volumes of reactive rocks.
This proposed research seeks to better understand how people make decisions on purchasing consumer goods online. Due to COVID-19, we have seen a massive acceleration of online shopping, especially for essential items such as food. As such, consumers are increasingly relying on digital information to connect to food (and the places it grows). By studying single-origin chocolate, a packaged consumer good product deeply tied to land, we aim to better understand how ‘moral markets’ are using place-based cacao origins to market chocolate in digital spaces.
Climate change is leading to the retreat of glaciers and more extreme weather events that greatly increase landslide hazards on Canadian mountains as seen by the recent catastrophic events and fatalities in British Columbia. BC also hosts dormant volcanoes which are important areas for development of geothermal energy yet are vulnerable as they consist of hydrothermally altered and weakened rock.
This project will help determine the history and distribution of the volcanic rocks which hose important copper, gold and critical metal deposits in the so-called “Golden Triangle” of NW British Columbia. The interns involved will apply various methods to determine the age, chemical composition and distribution of the Jurassic age volcanic rocks of the Hazelton Group. The interns will spend time in the field with their partners, and spend time at the University of British Columbia generating key supporting data sets in the UBC laboratories in the Mineral Deposit Research Unit.
Compared to previous generations, Canadian children today are much more likely to be driven to school daily. This trend can be explained by various issues, including parents’ concerns about the hazards posed by traffic congestion in and around school sites. School Street initiatives are intended to make it easier for children to walk or roll to school safely on their own by closing the street to through-traffic at the beginning and the end of the school day.
Raman spectroscopy is used for analysis of minerals for two main reasons: 1) instrumentation sensitivity, and 2) “libraries” of spectra used as reference for a range of minerals. However, even the industry-best Raman libraries have 5000 approved mineral species, partially due to the fluorescence that obscures Raman measurements. Fluorescence and Raman effects have different lifetimes which can be used to shutter the fluorescence, and pass the photons emitted by the Raman effect to a detector.
Radium is a radioactive element often found in wastewater from uranium mining and oil and gas industries. One common approach to remove radium from wastewater is to add barium and sulfate to form the mineral barite. The barite traps the radium and can then be disposed of safely. However, chemicals released by decaying plants into the water may sometimes make this process less effective. This project in partnership with Ensero solutions will explore the possible impacts of these chemicals on effectiveness of radium removal with barite formation.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) recently developed a list of critical minerals that includes 31 minerals (chemical elements) deemed critical for Canada’s transition to greener energy. Critical elements are commodities that are geopolitically controlled, in low supply, or difficult to separate from other elements. Secure supplies of critical elements are essential for renewable energy and clean technology applications (e.g., batteries, permanent magnets, solar panels, and wind turbines).
Plants closely reflect the climate where they grow as they are immobile and must interact and adapt to the conditions of their environment. Given this relationship between plants and the environment, fossil plants can be used to reconstruct past environments, and groups of fossil plants more generally provide a valuable record of ancient climates and ecosystems. The proposed project will involve research on fossil plants of early Paleocene age (~60 million years ago), recovered from sites in northeast Calgary, Alberta.
Canada’s modern landscape has been strongly influenced by the formation and subsequent melting of glaciers during the last glaciation. Glaciers have a wide range of effects on near surface sediments including moving and reworking them to form new deposits. Understanding the actions of the glaciers and the shape, characteristics and variability of the resulting sediments is important to the work of scientists and engineers.