Investigating wildlife-road interactions in the Chignecto Isthmus Region

Roads threaten wildlife throughout the world when animals experience increased collisions with vehicles and decreased access to important habitat and resources. This research will investigate where animals are crossing roads in the Chignecto Isthmus of Nova Scotia, a region highly impacted by human development. The results will provide evidence for hotspots of negative wildlife-road interactions, with the goal of recommending effective changes to road infrastructure for the benefit of both animals and humans.

Using commitment to reduce plastics waste in the marine environment

Given that plastic pollution in the marine environment has been a critical issue in Canada and in the rest of the world in recent decades, our project aims to provide a possible solution to mitigate plastic waste in the ocean. Previous findings have shown that asking people to make a commitment can effectively change their behaviours. In the current, we will ask people to make a commitment by signing a pledge to reduce their plastic waste. We hypothesize that people who signed the pledge will show a reduction in their plastic waste disposal, compared to those who did not sign.

Potential roads for recovery of Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotian rivers

Atlantic salmon and its associated fisheries have a rich and complicated history in Nova Scotia. Commercial and recreational overfishing, as well as habitat damage and environmental pollution have all contributed to the species’ decline. For a century, work on rebuilding populations has met with varied successes. This history, and relative successes of different measures, will be reviewed and synthesized in this project, with a specific focus on potential recovery options for the Margaree in Cape Breton.

Displacement-based Design of Hybrid Steel-timber Structures

Driven by heightened environmental awareness, the construction industry increasingly strives to utilize materials such as timber with a low-carbon footprint in their life cycle. High-strength mass-timber products, innovative ductile connections, and fast computer-numerically-controlled pre-fabrication, combined with changing legislation create better opportunities to also build tall timber structures. However, low ductility and limited tensile strength of timber are challenges for such buildings particularly in high seismic zones.

High value-addition of forestry residuals into levulinic acid

Levulinic Acid (LA) is among the top twelve value-added platform chemicals, and is an abundant and versatile building block for numerous compounds aimed at consumer applications. LA is produced in insufficient quantities to meet market demand and by using fossil fuels which prevents LA production to meet environmental standards. We propose a novel, efficient, and green conversion of forestry residuals into LA production, while using crude glycerol, a biodiesel industry by-product, as an alternative to strong acid to minimize the by-products concentration obtained during acid treatment.

Experimental testing of employing large grains as a bank erosion mitigation technique

Traditional engineering approaches to stabilizing stream’s (e.g. dams and cemented banks), typically alter a stream’s natural function and are expensive to maintain. Using large grains naturally found in a stream, could provide a way to stabilize the channel’s banks while still allowing natural system movement. To test if treatments of large grains could be used in river engineering projects, a physical model will be built. The large grain treatments will be subjected to environmental conditions typically experienced by river engineering projects.

Upper Fraser River bull trout management evaluation

Bull trout in the upper Fraser watershed (UFW) of British Columbia are important top predators and serve as the basis of a recreational fishery. Anglers in the region have asked government to consider changing current fishing regulations for bull trout from catch-and-release to regulations that allow them to take a portion of their catch home. Allowing for this regulatory change would increase the types of fishing opportunities in the area but could harm bull trout populations.

Numerical Prediction of Mode Splitting on Rotating Disks

This project aims to develop a numerical tool for predicting accurately resonance frequencies of high-heads hydraulic turbines. Both the presence of water and the rotation of the disk-like structure induce shifts in these frequencies compared to a standing disk in air, respectively added mass and mode split.

Building Resilience into Canadian Housing

Resilience is toughness, or the ability to function and bounce back after a traumatic event. In this Mitacs research project, the focus is on housing, and resilience results from features that protect Canadian lives and property from natural disasters. One of the ways that governments ensure the safety of Canadians is through The Canada Model Building Code. The insurance industry is also committed to protecting lives and property by contributing advice about resilience in Building Code Review Committees.

Assessing the effectiveness of shorebird roost site conservation strategies through the employment of Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

The purpose of this project is to conserve critical shorebird roost habitats at high tide in the Minas Basin of the Bay of Fundy in collaboration with recreational beach users, local businesses and tourism operators. The project seeks to develop long-term solutions for creating safe spaces for roosting shorebirds by identifying innovative strategies whose effectiveness can be measured using the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation protocol. This work will allow BSC to develop an in-house capacity for the protocol as well as a proof of concept guide.

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