Photons to Fish (PHISH): Ecosystem indicators of fish productivity

Recreational fisheries in Canada are estimated to provide over $2.5 billion dollars to local economies each year. There is a growing concern that industrial activities, climate change, and other factors may negatively impact the productivity of these fisheries and the freshwater ecosystems that support them. However, direct estimates of fish productivity are extremely challenging to undertake, especially in remote locations like Canada’s north.

Assessing the risk of abrupt climate changes resulting from cumulative emissions and their effect on the occurrence of extreme events - Year two

The rate of the current climate change strongly modifies the frequency, the duration and the intensity of extreme events, such as droughts, heat waves or extreme precipitation. Strong rates of greenhouse gases emissions can cause a destabilization of a component of the climate system (e.g. the sudden melt of the Arctic sea ice). Such a phenomenon is called an abrupt change. The aim of this internship is to create a catalogue of changes in the characteristics of climate events (mainly climate and weather extremes) due to an abrupt change.

Long-Term Transportation Alternatives for Metrotown Redevelopment

Private car dependence represents a significant problem and a major obstacle towards a more sustainable future. A good combination of different modes of transportation can create an opportunity to overcome this issue. In this sense, integrating car sharing into Transit Oriented Development can be an ideal combination to promote a smart and sustainable development. This research will examine specific aspects of the relationship existing between car sharing and the public transit infrastructure.

NRTEE 15 year update study: A comprehensive review of progress implementing the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy’s 2003 National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada

After the NRTEE 2003 National Redevelopment Strategy for Canada, an in-depth review of the progress and status of the 14 recommendations offered will be completed through interviews of Canadian municipal and provincial governments and other stakeholders in the Brownfield Industry. Outcomes and recommendations will be formulated for consideration. This study will be presented at the CBN conference in June 2018 and the report will be made available to all participants and stakeholders through the CBN website and electronic avenues.

Predicting noise impact on fish communities in the western Canadian Arctic using Passive Acoustic Monitoring - Year two

Several fish species produce species-specific sounds that can be identified in the wild using Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) (i.e. dataloggers configured with underwater microphones). Our project will use existing and new PAM recordings to monitor the distribution of several fish species in the western Canadian Arctic, with particular focus on a keystone Arctic species, the Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). Acoustic signal detection techniques will be implemented to identify fish sounds from large acoustic datasets.

Investigation of Future Footprint Scenario Modeling Approaches in the Peace River Break

The Peace River Break in northeastern British Columbia is an important ecological connection along the Rocky Mountains. The region has a long and rich history of use and occupancy by Indigenous Peoples. In addition to being known for high agricultural, recreation, and tourism values, there is also a lot of industrial economic activity, particularly, forestry, mining and energy. With multiple large-scale resource development projects proposed or underway, the Peace River Break is under significant stress and conservation opportunities are limited.

Internalizing risks: Value Creation from Internalizing Non-Technical Risks – Mining Sector Case

This work seeks to contribute to developing the “business case” through valuation of environmental and social impacts related to potential risks in the extractive sector taking into consideration both academic and practitioner settings. A solid review of methodologies will lead to important considerations to improve the current assessment and valuation tools. The latter aims to help practitioners better estimate environmental and social impacts, and thus implement more informed strategies that reduce both business and societal risks.

Greenhouse gas and volatile organic compound reduction using the SmogStop® coating

Sound barriers can be seen beside highways across Ontario and are designed to protect residents from the noise produced by traffic. However, these barriers do little in the way of protecting residents from the pollution produced by nearby vehicles. This project will help determine the ability of the SmogStop® barrier to reduce the level of exposure to GHGs and VOCs for those living close the major urban roadways. The partner organization is an R&D firm that would greatly benefit from the access to equipment and HQP that they would gain from a partnership with the University of Guelph.

Fostering a Culture of Sustainability in Organizations

Current approaches to engaging employees in sustainability are ineffective as they focus on increasing one simple behaviour (such as the amount of paper recycled). Research is now moving away from promoting individual behaviours of employees towards fostering a more sustainable corporate culture. However, little research is known about how organizations can foster a Culture of Sustainability. This research will develop a model that fosters a Culture of Sustainability within organizations based on current research.

Faecal sludge desiccation rates for optimal design of passive ventilation sanitation systems

VIP latrines and the Aerosan emergency toilet demonstrate tremendous potential for achieving in situ faecal sludge treatment objectives in volume reduction, odour control, etc. In order to determine the potential to scale, lab-based studies and field validation are required to optimize the design. This project seeks to optimize faecal sludge desiccation by simple enhanced passive ventilation to reduce the waste to be taken off site by 75% in volume.