Environmental productivity patterns of the Salish Sea: trends, impacts, projections

Pacific salmon are important from ecological, economic, social and cultural perspectives, but many species in the Salish Sea have seen drastic decrease in marine survival rate in recent decades, likely linked to reduced survival of the young stages of salmon due to a combination of environmental, food web changes, and human impacts. This activity will provide an ecosystem-level analysis of how the environmental productivity of the Salish Sea has changed in recent decades with focus on the implications this has had for salmon populations in the area.

Elk habitat selection in Manitoba's agricultural landscapes: understanding its effect on stress and reproductive success

In Manitoba, elk herds are either small or declining, and the relationship between farmland use by elk and population declines is unclear. Animals typically choose to either avoid predators or access good food resources when choosing habitat, and this trade-off may bring about natural selection if some individuals make better decisions than others. Our project seeks to understand how individual elk use the landscape in response to farmland.

Drivers of woodland caribou calf survival in the Rocky Mountain foothills: a landscape with anthropogenic disturbance and multi-carnivore predation risk

Throughout western Canada, declines in woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) continue at unprecedented rates. Caribou calves are especially vulnerable in their first four weeks of life, after the calving period. During this time, mother caribou must effectively select habitat that is rich in food resources, but also minimizes likelihood of predation. In the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, the predator community is large, including
wolf, black bear, grizzly bear, cougar and wolverine, meaning avoidance of areas with high predation risk is important.

Understanding glass sponge reef structure and function using a structure-from-motion approach

Glass sponges build their skeletons out of silicon dioxide (i.e. glass). While these animals are found all over the world in very deep water, they only exist shallower than 50 m in a few places in the world. In very rare cases, new sponges grow on top of existing, dead sponges and form reefs in a similar manner to coral reefs. As with coral reefs, the structure formed by the reefs is ecologically important because it provides complex habitat and shelter for other animals.

Movement patterns of migratory tree-roosting bats during autumn migration in southern Saskatchewan

Three of Saskatchewan’s bat species roost in trees and migrate long distances annually: hoary bats, eastern red bats and silver-haired bats. Migratory bats are facing a variety of threats, such as habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use, and fatalities at wind energy facilities. Large numbers of bat fatalities have been recorded at wind energy facilities across North America. If current fatality rates continue, the population of hoary bats, the species most commonly killed by wind turbines, could decrease by up to 90% in the next 50 years.

Integrating mass spectrometry and computational chemistry for suspect and non-targeted screening of industrial effluents

Thousands of chemical compounds are released into the environment as a result of human activity. While exposure to manufactured chemicals is concerning, the majority of such contaminants are not monitored by regulatory agencies and their environmental and human health impacts are unknown. The objective of this collaboration is to develop and evaluate state-of-the-art tools to identify chemical contaminants in our environment. Specifically, contaminant molecules will separated and detected using a technique called gas chromatography-atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry.

Estimating the benefit of green infrastructure to urban ecosystems: A synthesis and case-study

Globally cities are expanding and this has a negative impact on natural systems. Green infrastructure (GI), such as green roofs, retention ponds, or urban tree canopies, is used to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather and provide resources for people in the city. However, GI can also provide a benefit for native species and wildlife by providing a habitat for them to live. Although this is commonly suggested, to our knowledge, no one has attempted to quantify the effects of GI on natural systems.

Adapting a Culture of Sustainability for multi-tenant office buildings

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 in office buildings based on current research.

The social license to operate: insights from Eeyou Istchee

The rise of local corporate–community conflicts surrounding development projects represents a trend rather than exceptional events, highlighting corporate–community relations as a prominent strategic issue.  Despite the emergence of these issues for businesses, civil society, and governments, we still have a limited understanding of the conditions necessary for building and maintaining good relations over a long period of time and at all stages of a project’s life cycle.

In-Situ Stresses at the Aquistore CO2 Storage Site Based on Integrated Analysis of Downhole and Core Testing Data

This project will support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from coal-fired power generation. In this case, the greenhouse gas of interest is carbon dioxide which is captured at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan, Saskatchewan. This carbon dioxide is transported to the nearby Aquistore site, where it is injected into porous sandstone formations at depths greater than 3000 m.

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