Development of a quantitative framework for methane emissions from soil gas migration issues in the oil and gas sector

The proposed research project will develop quantitative gas migration testing techniques and regulatory thresholds that address the complex nature of the multiple interacting variables that can confuse gas migration investigations. The study will focus on the development of in-situ field measurement technologies and instrumentation to characterize the variables that impact soil gas and isotope signatures for different environmental conditions.

Assessing COVID-19 Impacts on Urban Travel and Activity Patterns Employing Cellphone Travel Data

COVID-19 impacts on travel are unprecedented, affecting virus-spread, transportation services delivery, and how people will eventually safely participate in economic, educational and social activities. These impacts vary substantially across neighbourhoods, often worsening existing inequities in Canadian cities. This project will accelerate research for deriving insights about COVID-19 from TELUS network location data. Specifically, it will develop new methods to use cellphone traces to measure, model, and evaluate our response to COVID-19’s disruption of daily activity/travel participation.

Learning from extreme weather: Developing the capacity of social science researchers to conduct quick response research

Quick Response Research has long allowed social, behavioural and economic science researchers to collect and integrate valuable first-response data in time-sensitive environments. This type of research is conducted during or shortly after an extreme event and allows social science researchers to collect perishable data that wouldn't be accessible otherwise. While quick response research has been used as an approach for collecting data for decades, important gaps remain in educating and training researchers in this particular form of research.

Synthetic Aperture Sonar as a tool for fine-scale geological characterization

Climate-induced changes to the range and distribution patterns of benthic habitats are predicted to occur in many parts of the world’s oceans. Our ability to survey the seafloor at the resolution and spatial scale necessary to identify habitats and habitat changes is a major technical challenge that requires development and application of new mapping technologies that can produce higher resolution data, faster than before, and at lower overall costs.

Early Warning Potential of Ambient Seismic Noise: Monitoring Tailings Dams

Recent tailings dam failures occurring in past years have highlighted a need for innovative approaches to monitoring these structures. This research proposes to explore advances in the development of a novel type of distributed fiber-optic sensing technology known as Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS), and evaluate its performance in monitoring a tailings dam. Ambient noise interferometry will be applied to the collected data to measure changes in the shear wave velocity of the tailings dam structure.

Exploring the Impacts of a Community-Based Post-Secondary Education Award

Canadian community foundations significantly support post-secondary institutions and students in their provision of merit and needs based awards and bursaries. Yet little is known about the impacts of these investments for students. The Edmonton Community Foundation has partnered with UAlberta (Community Service-Learning) and the Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) to explore the impacts of a specific ECF Awards program for low-income and civically engaged students.

Community Energy Profiles and the CASES Toolkit

The Community Energy Profiles and the CASES Toolkit project is part of a larger partnership involving 15 communities and 16+ private and public sector partner organizations in 4 countries. Co-led by Drs. Greg Poelzer and Bram Noble, the project includes 7 interns with interest in the areas of energy policy, impact assessment, economics, energy systems modeling, social innovation, and capacity building with Indigenous communities, industries, and governments. The benefits of the internships to our Canadian partner organizations are multiple and extend beyond the internships.

Assessing temporal and spatial patterns of bowhead whale presence and underwater noise in the western Canadian Arctic

Understanding when and where bowhead whales occur is ecologically, culturally and politically important in the context of a rapidly changing climate, with some of the greatest impacts happening in the Arctic. Decreases in sea ice allow for increased shipping and its associated underwater noise in one of the last acoustically pristine habitats in the world. Bowheads, the only endemic Arctic mysticete and a cultural keystone species for the Inuit, are vocal, their survival depends on sound, thus vulnerable to increasing noise.

Automatic Mapping of Residential Rooftops using High-Resolution Thermal Imagery and Machine Learning

MyHEAT Inc. (industry partner) provides on-line tools/services to reduce urban waste energy. Currently, the company relies on sourced municipal, private, or publicly available GIS roof polygons which it combines with its proprietary high-resolution (H-Res) airborne thermal infrared (TIR) imagery to generate personalized rooftop heat-loss maps/metrics. Unfortunately, these GIS polygons are often incomplete, inaccurate and out-of-date.

Investigation of supportive policy for Active School Travel: Evidence-based recommendations for policies to promote active transportation for school journeys

Walking and wheeling to/from school represents an important source of physical activity for children. As policy decisions about how we build our neighbourhoods, schools, and transportation systems have changed, we have seen a worrisome decrease in the number of children who use active modes of travel to get to/from school. We have limited research mapping existing policies related to school travel planning across and within school, municipal, and regional districts.