The relationship of biodiversity to trail density (e.g. meters of trail per hectare) will be the focus of this internship, an attempt to determine the carrying capacity of ecosystems for trail density.
This project targets a major research gap of the recently proposed Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), which is a North American green rating system for landscapes; scheduled to be released in 2011. Our research will focus on establishing the characteristics of urban trees that affect their ability to provision habitat to urban biodiversity (insects and birds)- which is a major objective of the SSI.
Many Canadian municipalities have targets for reducing their greenhouse (GHG emissions, but most are struggling to develop and implement strategies for substantially reducing GHGs. This research project develops an on-line, interactive software tool that municipalities can use to develop GHG reduction strategies.
In response to the continued loss of biodiversity and natural cover in the landscape the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has developed the Terrestrial Natural Heritage System Strategy (TNHSS), which has been implemented since 2007. The Strategy, based on contemporary ecological principles, developed a set of models and tools that allowed for the development of a targeted Terrestrial Natural Heritage System (TNHS).
Evapotranspiration is a fundamental component of the hydrologic cycle. According to Environment Canada, on average, as much as 40% of precipitation in Canada is evaporated or transpired. Since evaporation makes up a considerable portion of the water budget, its variability will therefore have proportionally larger impacts on all other related processes. For example, evaporation impacts flood prediction, irrigation, crop growth, hydroelectric production, water navigation, diseases, indigenous peoples’ health and food supply and the carbon budget (Bonan, 2002).
The project with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority , an agency that promotes the understanding, enjoyment and care of the natural environment, will entail the development of a robust data acquisition and monitoring system. This will be used for the long term performance evaluation of the various new and emerging green/sustainable/renewable housing technologies. The finished product will provide an impartial, robust hardware and software combination of monitoring and evaluation of the installed and future sustainable housing technologies in the two houses.