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.

Advancing an Artificial Intelligence Platform for Crop-Health Monitoring

Plants can respond to changes in their surroundings and can convey precise information about their health state. Ecoation has developed a multi-sensory data acquisition device to capture this information and has been collecting in-field sensor data along with data labels produced by human experts during data collection. In addition, images of various parts of plant canopy has also been collected to supplement the sensory information and to provide insights into plant physical features such as vegetation.

Prioritizing decision-making for agriculture and conservation in North America’s prairies under climate change and land-use change - Year 2

Wetland habitats are critically important to many animal and plant species, and they are in trouble. The North American prairies, for example, comprise some of the most productive wetland habitats in the world, but many areas of the prairies have lost up to 90% of their wetlands and more than 90% of their native grasslands due to farming practices and more recently, climate change. This project will build a decision-support framework to prescribe the conservation actions needed to sustain wetland biodiversity in the face of climate and land-use changes.

Watershed-scale connectivity analysis: An applied GIS model towards the strategic management of barriers to Atlantic salmon migration

Barriers to connectivity are often associated with roads, culverts, and even beaver dams. An M.Sc. student with the CRI at UNB working in collaboration with the Restigouche River Watershed Management Council will develop a watershed-scale connectivity analysis using a GIS model to best inform the management of connectivity to reproductive habitats for Atlantic salmon in the Restigouche River watershed. The project will evaluate the current and potential available habitats for egg deposition, juveniles, and conservation requirements needed for an adaptive and integrated management plan.