Carbon cycling, transport, and fate in Canada’s forests under a rapidly changing climate: Scale matters in systems with short biogeochemical attention spans

In order to better understand the role of Canada’s vast forested area in our country’s carbon budget, further work is needed to monitor ‘hot spots’ of carbon activity – the boundaries between land and lake, and how these landscape positions will react to a changing climate. Further, less is known about the timing around the activation of these hot spots outside of regularly spaced traditional monitoring practices.

Building the capacity of mainstream services to support newcomers to Alberta

Canada welcomes approximately 300,000 immigrants and refugees each year. In order for these newcomers to be successful in Canada, it is important that service providers are able to support the unique needs and contributions of this diverse population. This research is aimed at understanding how specific service providers support immigrant and refugee clients. This includes focusing on sectors that are not traditionally viewed as immigrant-serving organizations, such as the health care, criminal justice, child welfare and family violence sectors.

Sequence Stratigraphic Mapping of point bar deposits in the MU2 and MU3 units of the McMurrayFormation, Sunrise Lease, Athabasca Oil Sands

This project will map the sandstone and shale deposits in the McMurray Formation to improve resource extraction and recovery efficiency. The detail that this study will provide can help lower our energy sector’s carbon footprint in the future, and answer questions regarding changes in coastal river environments. It examines the interaction between rivers and the open seaway and the effects that has on the upstream reach of those rivers, potentially affecting over 60% of the world’s population who live within 100km of the coastline, at an elevation of less than 10 m above sea level.

Micro- and Nanofluidics to Measure Fluid Performance in Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction

Oil recovery from underground reservoirs with small pore-scales can have environmental impacts that can be minimized with prior knowledge of the physics behind fluids/fluids and fluids/rock interaction and the type of fluid to employ for oil extraction. Currently, these analyses can be performed in laboratories at reservoir conditions with rock samples in large pressurized vessels capable high pressure (~15 MPa) and temperature (~150 C). However, these measurements take weeks to complete and there is a test-to-test variation due to the lack of repeatability in the rock sample.

Plant community responses to climate change in the northern boreal mountains

Globally, mountain regions (especially those at high latitudes) are undergoing rapid environmental change and plant communities are expected to respond by changing their locations or timing of flowering. Exactly how future plant communities in these regions will look and function is unknown but has important implications for local animals and human communities. Through this project, we will focus on understanding the response of high-latitude plant communities to ongoing warming and predict how these communities will continue to change.

Evaluate and improve crop yield estimation models by assimilating UAV and satellite remote sensing data - Year two

It has been widely recognized that satellite remote sensing data have a great potential in retrieval of crop biophysical variable such as Leaf Area Index (LAI), vegetation canopy cover and fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR), that are indicative of crop growth condition and yield formation. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data are popular in precision agriculture applications, due to their advantage of flexibility, low cost and high spatial resolution.

Fluvial Geomorphology Experiments in support of the Lynn Creek Flood Risk Assessment and Reduction Plan

Lynn Creek poses flood and erosion risks in North Vancouver, BC. The surrounding urban areas are not protected by structural flood protection measures, and flood mitigation has historically been conducted through gravel removals, which increase the depth of the channel. Recent analysis has shown that gravel removals are relatively ineffective at reducing the flood risk, which will continue to increase alongside climate change. In addition, Lynn Creek is a fish-bearing watercourse and gravel removals pose potential impacts to habitat.

Modeling Dune Roughness in a Large Sand-bedded River - Year two

Dunes are common bed features in large sand-bedded rivers and are significant sources of in-channel roughness. Reliably estimating roughness is crucial for the prediction of flood flows, but roughness is crudely represented in hydraulic models widely used by environmental consultants and engineers. Roughness is treated as a calibration knob in these models, adjusted to force predicted water levels to match observations. This makes water level predictions during floods difficult, especially for flows beyond the range of previous observations.

Exploring Small Vessel Interactions with Cetaceans in the Salish Sea

Small vessel interactions with cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in the Salish Sea is poorly understood. This is of concern as vessel impacts, such as acoustic impacts and behavioural disturbances, have been categorized as a key threat to the recovery of various cetacean species. To minimize vessel impacts on cetacean species, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have drafted and updated over the years mandatory marine mammal viewing distance regulations around cetaceans.

Investigation and development of strategies for performing constrained inversions of geophysical data for mineral exploration

Geophysical inversion is the process of determining a 3D computer model of the Earth’s subsurface from measurements made in a geophysical survey. Geophysical data are sensitive to the presence, location and size of certain rock types including ore bodies. However, many different rock types can give similar measurements, and the measurements are usually sensitive to only large-scale variations in the subsurface. To mitigate these shortcomings, it is possible to incorporate additional information into the inversion process.