Did you know that Canadian mining companies need to plan for a mine closure even before the production starts? This process — called mine reclamation — involves outlining how land, water, and even cultural resources will be restored, and is the focus of the work of Mitacs Accelerate intern Krystal Isbister, a PhD candidate in the Department of Renewable Resources of the University of Alberta (U of A).
Long before hosting the second largest port in the Pacific, the territory around Prince Rupert, British Columbia, was home to the Metlakatla First Nation. Rich in resources and with a history of productive economic opportunities, this region has gone through many changes as a result of development projects and human activities, impacting not only the environment, but the wellbeing of the community.
As Executive Director of SmartICE Carolann Harding says, “We are a social enterprise first and foremost, and we take that very seriously. To us, maximizing a positive social impact with our community partners is our top priority.”
French Biological Engineering Master’s student, Marie Marbaix is spending her summer contributing to the global investigation into colony collapse disorder. For 12 weeks, she’s joined Professor Levon Abrahamyan at the Université de Montréal to study the co-infection of mites and viruses in honeybees through a Mitacs Globalink research internship. The researchers want to know if co-infection — being afflicted with more than one parasite or virus at once — could be contributing to honeybee deaths, and ultimately, colony collapse.
Winnipeg-based Cypher Environmental is determined to put an end to the choking dust clouds on unpaved roads seen every day across rural and Northern Manitoba.
Though the problem may seem a minor visual blight, the impact is great: heavy trucks barreling down unpaved roads are at greater risk of rollover from the unstable ground; and nearby lakes and streams can suffer nutrient depletion, killing the natural wildlife.
Now, a new local resource — college research interns — combined with modern technology, will help Anaconda drill into a new solution for developing the placer mine.
Supported by Mitacs, students from College of the North Atlantic are helping the company find a cost-effective mining process to extract gold from Deer Cove, while leaving the natural habitat largely intact. It’s the first Mitacs project in Newfoundland to pair college interns with industry.
Following its colonization of large areas of natural vegetation, Brazil is one of the largest soybean producers on the planet. Given the intense seasonal rains that Southern Amazonia receives between October and May, farmers can grow soybean without any irrigation; however, this may change given that climatic conditions and atmospheric feedback from deforestation could decrease regional rainfall.
Sina was beginning his program at the University of Northern BC’s Natural Resources and Environment Studies department when he was given the opportunity to apply his specialized knowledge of watershed management to an Accelerate project for lumber giant Canfor.
“We have a pulp mill in Prince George that draws water from the Nechako River,” says Mike Bradley, Director of Sustainability for Canfor Pulp. “That means the water level and its clarity are very important to us. We were concerned about how changes over time would affect our business.”
“I just knew that there was a better way,” he said. “There had to be a way to engage students using technology.”
Rowan created simulation and visualization tools and shared them with faculty at the university. Suitably impressed, several professors incorporated the new technology into the geology curriculum. Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Rowan revamped the tools after graduation and put them online. His tools are now used at universities worldwide to help educate and engage budding geologists.